What could be up with my dad?

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libby123
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Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:23 pm

Re: What could be up with my dad?

Postby libby123 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 08:41 pm

Thank you ladies! I made my mom go out and buy him a good blood pressure monitor, so now he can monitor it at home. He also has an appointment for a cardiologist now and a stress test.

I guess his system just forgot to regulate his pressures. I hope that the medication he is now on controls it well. He is now on an ace inhibitor and a calcium channel blocker.

Ugg, I hate blood pressure problems.
Mommy to Sailor Ann, born on February 17th 2011 at 36 weeks by c-section due to PIH that slowly turned into preeclampsia.

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caryn
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Re: What could be up with my dad?

Postby caryn » Fri Mar 02, 2012 03:08 pm

^THIS.
:D
Science! The articles you don't want to miss:
The Preeclampsia Puzzle (New Yorker) and Silent Struggle: A New Theory of Pregnancy (New York Times)
Looking for recent articles and studies?
A chance to participate in research? For us on Facebook or Twitter?

Caryn, @carynjrogers, who is not a doctor and who talks about science stuff *way* too much
DS Oscar born by emergent C-section at 34 weeks for fetal indicators, due to severe PE
DD Bridget born by C-section after water broke at 39 weeks after a healthy pregnancy

dracarey
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Re: What could be up with my dad?

Postby dracarey » Fri Mar 02, 2012 02:13 pm

I'm not a doctor, so my explanation is based on some reading. My understanding is that this would qualify as a hypertensive crisis. The first thing that doctors do - in addition to administering antihypertensive drugs - is to assess for organ damage. The presence of organ damage allows them to categorize the crisis as emergent or urgent. Urgent is better, as organ damage has not yet occurred, and once blood pressure is regulated, these patients are sometimes not hospitalized (at least not for a lengthy time). This sounds like your father's case.

Often times, it's a simple case of forgetting to take your medication. Sometimes there can be more serious situations at play, such as a heart attack. This doesn't sound like the case with your father. In terms of the basics of pathophysiology though, doctors aren't quite sure exactly what happens. Probably it is multifactorial. Ultimately though, we should all have a functioning autoregulatory system that maintains our blood pressure in a normal range. When this fails us, even in a minor way, it can precipitate a vicious cycle leading to a hypertensive crisis. Now, for those of use who have chronic hypertension, our little autoregulatory systems are used to getting a workout. Our little vessels are used to being abused. But if you're generally a normotensive person, it doesn't take much of a dysfunction to send your autoregulatory system into a tailspin, and your body into a hypertensive crisis. I would imagine that these poor folks also feel worse, with terrific headaches and the like. It sounds like everything has checked out with your father's health other than having high blood pressure. For his peace of mind, it would be worthwhile to discuss a thorough cardiac workup and stress test with his doctor. The likely scenario though, is that for him, high blood pressure pounced, rather than creeping up slowly. It's a terribly scary way to make a discovery like that, but I bet that medications and monitoring will be effective for controlling it from here on out. And he now knows that a headache could signal high pressures for him, and should view that as a warning sign for sure. I would also think he should be very careful about remembering to take his medications and not making any adjustments without the advice of his doctor since he could be predisposed to another crisis if he decided to stop his medication.

It is horrifying when something like this happens to someone you love. He is blessed to not have any lasting damage, and blessed to have people who made sure he got the appropriate care at the right time. I bet everything's going to be fine for him now, and that the most important thing will be helping him to get through the emotional aspects of this health scare.

Sending good thoughts your way!

libby123
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Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:23 pm

What could be up with my dad?

Postby libby123 » Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:56 pm

Hi ladies,

I thought you might be able to help me out with this one, even though it is not pre--e related technically.

My dad was having bad headaches for two months (didnt tell anyone, sigh) and just last night it was so severe that he told my mom and she made him go to the ER. His blood pressure was 240/170. They ran all the tests and couldn't find any organ damage or stroke or immediate heart issues. His blood work was normal. So they administered many different antihypertensive agents and eventually got it under control. He was admitted overnight and was released today with medication.

The strange thing is that he went to his doctor just 2 weeks ago and his blood pressure was normal. He has always gone to the doctor, and taken care of his health. He is overweight, but not incredibly so.

I am bummed that I now officially have hypertension that runs in the family, and I am incredibly scared for my dad. I can't believe he didn't have a stroke or organ damage. What could have caused blood pressure to go up like that so suddenly without any prior warning? Any ideas on what could be wrong with him?
Mommy to Sailor Ann, born on February 17th 2011 at 36 weeks by c-section due to PIH that slowly turned into preeclampsia.


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