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Blood pressure, blood tests, frustration


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#1 mando621

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 05:52 AM

Hi,

I went through an ordeal today getting blood drawn for a full blood work-up for a physical. It took 5 tries before they were able to get blood into the vials. I have a huge pocket of blood in my hand where they tried and instead of going into the vial the blood pooled under my skin. My hands were turning purple and I was shivering so bad. I wondered if Raynaud's's was causing the trouble with getting blood. They were able to get the needle in my veins but nothing was coming. I was a little dehydrated since it was a fasting test and I'd only had some water with my pills.

Another issue, my blood pressure had been elevated lately and I mentioned it to the rheumatologist, he didn't think it was a big deal. Yesterday I saw my general practitioner and she said my pressure was up significantly for me. She put me on Hydrochlorothiazide to help reduce my blood pressure. I took the first pill today, and I don't know if my feeling poorly is because of it, but I sure have a bad headache from not eating and having my coffee. I just generally don't feel well. I can't describe the actual problem. Just one of those times when you feel off.

Does anyone else take this medication for their blood pressure? From what I've read it seems that other blood pressure medicines are usually prescribed. My general practitioner wanted me to see the rheumatologist but he only said to come back if I had changes. I don't think he will think this is a big change. I had the same type of numbers in May when I saw him.

My general practitioner also mentioned that she thought I should get an MRI of my brain. I didn't use mine to ask WHY? Maybe she thinks I'm having some type of brain issue that is causing the swallowing issues and trouble talking. I haven't heard of anyone else having an MRI of their brain. Has anyone had this come up?

Thanks for listening. Right now, I really wish I had someone sitting here to talk to.

Mando.

#2 Karenlee

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 08:15 AM

Hi Mando,

Sorry to hear you had a rough go of it today. You'd think in these advanced times of medicine there would be an easier way to draw blood rather than the barbaric needle. I say that now, because since having sclero, I am having the same trouble with blood draws. The nurse actually blamed the fact that my vein "moved" as the reason she couldn't draw blood.

Anyway, my hubby is on Hydrochlorothiazide, and from what I understand it is a water pill, so since you fasted for the blood work, then took a water pill, you may be dehydrated and that's why you are feeling bad. Try to drink plenty of water (if I had a nickle for everytime someone told me that).

Hope you are feeling better soon!

Karen

#3 WestCoast1

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 12:01 PM

Hi mando,

I am so sorry to hear that you are just not feeling well lately.

I am not familiar with blood pressure meds, but I have had MRI's. I think that it is very usefull for us considering some symptoms can resemble other illnesses. Mine show non specific white spots. These only signify that I have had some doozy migraines in the past. I already new this, but it ruled out things like neurological illnesses.

I would go ahead with the tests that the doctor recommends. I hope that you find some answers and relief soon!

Take Care~
*WestCoast*

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#4 shennen0820

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 05:26 PM

Just wondering if you have previously had kidney involvement...my rheumatologist stresses to my how important it is to watch my blood pressure as this can be a sign of kidney involvement...if you do not have kidney involvement previously then I would insist on a blood test BUN/creatitine (checks kidney functions) and also a urine test to UA/C&S (also checks what is going on in your urine which is basically produced in the kidneys) to make sure that there is no kidney involvement...(I am a nurse so I have a little bit of knowledge of these tests)
Shennen

#5 canon

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 06:15 PM

Hi mando,

Sorry you are are having a rough time. Everyone has given you good advice. I agree with sheenen in getting your kidney function checked out. Hopefully that was part of your horrible lab draw today. Can you call the doctor that ordered your lab to see what was done? Usually, at least this is what I heard, that most labs hold the blood samples for 7 days so they could actually add the test if it was not done. Blood pressure cuffs are not to expensive if you don't have one. We all should be keeping check on our blood pressure. Hope your headache goes away and you feel better soon.

With gentle thoughts,

Judy
A happy heart is good medicine.

#6 mando621

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Posted 22 November 2008 - 04:03 PM

Thanks all who responded. I'll have to wait until Monday to find out what type of blood tests were ordered. My had was so bruised by the blood that leaked out I couldn't do much yesterday. Today it isn't as bad. I still didn't feel quite right today at times. I think it is the medicine. I felt slightly dizzy and nauseous.

I'll ask about the test for kidney function. Thanks for the input. I did end up calling a friend to talk to about our girls off at college. I tried not to dwell on things.

Thanks.

#7 CraigR

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Posted 25 November 2008 - 08:36 AM

As Karen says, Hydrochlorothiazide is a water pill, or diuretic. It is often prescribed for edema, or water retention, to get rid of the water and reduce blood pressure. However, please bear in mind that I am not a doctor. You might want to find out from your doctor if you have edema, as it can possibly signal issues with other organs, such as the heart and kidneys. The tests that Shennen mentions can signal kidney function. Any time it is tested, I always want to know my creatinine level, since it is linked with kidney health.

Something to keep in mind is that many of the drugs used to help with Raynaud's by dilating the veins can also have a tendency to lower blood pressure. Thus you can get a two for one effect. But they do not address the edema issue.

Craig

#8 Wohali

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Posted 25 November 2008 - 05:04 PM

Just a FYI about blood pressure meds if they give you a beta blocker it will make the Raynaud's worse plus it tends to cause migraines. If you are given a calcium channel blocker it lowers blood pressure but helps Raynaud's by increasing flow to the extremities. However what you were given was a water pill.

The MRI of the brain to determine swallowing problems sounds odd. Sure I've had MRI's but it was for head injuries and a 5 day long migraine. I also have swallowing issues but what was suggested to me was a Barium Swallow test. Sure brain injury can occasionally cause swallowing issues. However, its much more common that in CREST syndrome people can get esophagis problems. I don't know if you have CREST but it is something to think about.

As someone who has brain injury I can tell you MRI's really don't show a brain injury unless it is within a few weeks of the injury. A SPECT scan is what would show more how the brain is working. MRI shows only things like scarring, swelling, tumors and mylinezation (sp?).

#9 mando621

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Posted 26 November 2008 - 01:53 AM

I don't know why my doctor seems to think that something will get picked up on MRI. She sent me to a Neurologist the first time I mentioned I was having swallowing trouble. He looked me over and said he wasn't the type of doctor I should be seeing. I really don't a sense of confidence in my family practitioner when she does things like this.

I suppose I should try to contact my Rheumatologist and mention that I'm on the water pill thing.

I had an MRI done years ago for terrible migraines. They found a shadow on the right temperal lobe and scared me half to death making me think I had a tumor. After a second MRI with contrast that didn't show any changes and no neurological problems, I was told it was probably an old injury. Funny thing. I went through a second opinion at the time and numerous tests were ordered, including an angiogram of the brain. That was very painful. No problems found that could explain anything, which is good. The neurologist I was seeing said that my injury to the brain was probably from a hit to the head, almost enough to knock me out. I was never hit like that. I wasn't dropped as a baby, so I have no idea why I would have that scarring. I fell down the stairs in 8th grade and hit my jaw on a ceramic jar and it made my teeth slightly loose, but I didn't get hit in the head. No one seems to know why this is there. I did have German measles as a baby and that illness can cause encephalitis type problems, so I'm not sure if that is where this shadow came from. Sometimes it seems like our modern medicine picks up on things that end up nothing to worry about.

I really don't want to end up going through numerous tests again that really won't help in figuring out what is going on.

Thanks for the info,

Mando.