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Ktgrok

Urgent High Blood Pressure question

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So, they did send him to the ER. Blood pressure came down the last time they took it, but not enough. He had a choice of hospitals and goof ball was going to go to the one that he hates. He forgot that it was the one his mom died at, he has terrible memories of that place - but I guess he blocked that out. Instead he's going to the one that has the heart care center, that my friend who works at the various hospitals recommended. It's where I had my bariatric surgery, which he was happy with the care I got, and where I got checked out after a car accident while pregnant, and again it went well so he has decent memories associated with that one. 

I figure a guy with blood pressure that high doesn't need to go somewhere that on a good day spikes his blood pressure and makes him angry. 

I have a bag packed for him with a change of clothes, pajama pants and a t-shirt, deodorant, toothbrush, etc but he doesn't want me to come at this point. He said he doesn't want me to "make it a thing" yet. But DS 20 is more than willing to watch the kids if I go up, or he could go and take DH his bag. DH doesn't want me to leave the 2 yr old (she has nightmares and wakes at night looking for me) if I don't have to. We'll see. 

I have leggings and a big t-shirt on so can just throw on a bra and leave if need be. I'm just glad he's taking this seriously. (he still was thinking he'd go on the hike tomorrow!)

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13 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

So, they did send him to the ER. Blood pressure came down the last time they took it, but not enough. He had a choice of hospitals and goof ball was going to go to the one that he hates. He forgot that it was the one his mom died at, he has terrible memories of that place - but I guess he blocked that out. Instead he's going to the one that has the heart care center, that my friend who works at the various hospitals recommended. It's where I had my bariatric surgery, which he was happy with the care I got, and where I got checked out after a car accident while pregnant, and again it went well so he has decent memories associated with that one. 

I figure a guy with blood pressure that high doesn't need to go somewhere that on a good day spikes his blood pressure and makes him angry. 

I have a bag packed for him with a change of clothes, pajama pants and a t-shirt, deodorant, toothbrush, etc but he doesn't want me to come at this point. He said he doesn't want me to "make it a thing" yet. But DS 20 is more than willing to watch the kids if I go up, or he could go and take DH his bag. DH doesn't want me to leave the 2 yr old (she has nightmares and wakes at night looking for me) if I don't have to. We'll see. 

I have leggings and a big t-shirt on so can just throw on a bra and leave if need be. I'm just glad he's taking this seriously. (he still was thinking he'd go on the hike tomorrow!)

In truth, he may not need any of that. Now that he is in an appropriate place to get an accurate assessment of cardiac issues, it's still possible that they might assess him, and determine that he's fine and just needs to follow up with his regular doc.  Or they might assess, and refer him to a cardiologist, but send him home.  Thing is, once the BP is back down to a reasonable level, be that medicated or just after time, his situation becomes less urgent, and they could very well just send him home.  BUT....because cardiac issues can get really bad really fast, being in a place that can handle emergency cardiac issues to be monitored while waiting, that can make sure that the fastest treatment available is there if something goes sideways.  

Edited by happysmileylady
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He should have a bag just in case though, just because the monitoring may take 6-12 hours at least.  A phone charger and headphones wouldn’t hurt.  Mine always seemed to die toward the end of monitoring 😉

Edited by Arctic Mama
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3 minutes ago, Arctic Mama said:

He should have a bag just in case though, just because the monitoring may take 6-12 hours at least.  An extra phone charger and headphones wouldn’t hurt 😉

Oh goodness yes to these!  

I ended up in the ER on NYD due to a reaction to meds from having dental surgery on NYE.  And I forgot my phone charger.  I was there a good 6ish hours.  They monitored me for a little bit, did an EKG, and ultimately, wouldn't let me leave without giving me a med to bring my heart rate down (up in the 130s)   I was struggling to get in touch with DH just to have him come pick me up, because it was hard to get a signal and without my charger, I was afraid my phone was going to die.  AND, the ER room had no USB so not only did I need a charger, but I needed the charger PLUG.  

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9 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

In truth, he may not need any of that. Now that he is in an appropriate place to get an accurate assessment of cardiac issues, it's still possible that they might assess him, and determine that he's fine and just needs to follow up with his regular doc.  Or they might assess, and refer him to a cardiologist, but send him home.  Thing is, once the BP is back down to a reasonable level, be that medicated or just after time, his situation becomes less urgent, and they could very well just send him home.  BUT....because cardiac issues can get really bad really fast, being in a place that can handle emergency cardiac issues to be monitored while waiting, that can make sure that the fastest treatment available is there if something goes sideways.  

Yes, I'm hoping he will 1. have a real human check his blood pressure - not a machine, but that may something that has gone by the wayside with rotary phones, it seems. 2. that they can get it down with medication and then have him follow up with a regular doctor. But even then, he may be there a long time. So it's ready in case. 

I did at least get him to loosen his belt or take it off, so that he isn't in constricting clothing - both for comfort and for blood flow. 

8 minutes ago, Arctic Mama said:

He should have a bag just in case though, just because the monitoring may take 6-12 hours at least.  A phone charger and headphones wouldn’t hurt.  Mine always seemed to die toward the end of monitoring 😉

He's in IT, so he doesn't go anywhere without chargers, battery backups, his earbuds, at least one laptop and charger, etc. So he's good that way at least. 

But - he didn't get a chance to get dinner between his regular job and teaching, so he's probably starving. Which is not good comfort wise, but at least if they draw lab work he will basically be fasted for it, and God forbid he needs a procedure done he's good for anesthesia I guess. 

Which reminds me to stick a few protein bars in the bag I packed. 

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I was b*tchy and had them get out the manual cuff from whatever storage closet it was banished to and verify their machine’s readings several times, when different cuffs were giving us different answers.  It’s absolutely fair to ask and the nurses won’t refuse, even if they aren’t big fans.

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So it was 183/119 when he got there. Most recent was 150/109. He's like, "see, it's better" and I said, "well, it sure wasn't going to get much worse!"

They have him in a hospital gown - he sent me a selfie. He's in pretty good spirits considering he skipped dinner and hates doctors. He even bragged that he was reasonably nice to the doctors and nurses. He seems to get that this is important. I guess the doctor at the urgent care gave him a pretty stern lecture about how dangerous his pressure was and how serious this is. 

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He also admitted he has been having chest tightness off and on for a while. Sigh. I think he's in good spirits partly because he's been worried for a while so actually addressing it is a relief. 

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Okay he looks all salty about it and I’m laughing, but also glad he is there!  Even going down a bit it’s still definitely in bad juju treatment time territory.  

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So he found a protein bar in his bag, and ate that, so that probably is part of the decent mood. 

He says he got his third VERY SERIOUS lecture by a doctor about how once he goes home he will need to follow up with a primary care doctor, etc etc. He told the doctor don't worry, I know that if I don't go the blood pressure won't have to kill me, my wife will 🙂

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Hoping all will be well.   

I hope that your dd can put off her hike to when husband situation is more clear or that 20 yo can go with her.  

It may be a huge blessing that your husband happened to take his bp, rather than running into cardio difficulties or heart attack while on a scout hike.  

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1 hour ago, Arctic Mama said:

I was b*tchy and had them get out the manual cuff from whatever storage closet it was banished to and verify their machine’s readings several times, when different cuffs were giving us different answers.  It’s absolutely fair to ask and the nurses won’t refuse, even if they aren’t big fans.

I am like this too and aldo have to have it on my lower arm, not upper arm.  

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17 minutes ago, Pen said:

Hoping all will be well.   

I hope that your dd can put off her hike to when husband situation is more clear or that 20 yo can go with her.  

It may be a huge blessing that your husband happened to take his bp, rather than running into cardio difficulties or heart attack while on a scout hike.  

Oh, I know!

Or, he'd been talking about wanting to try cross fit! I can't imagine if he'd gone and done such an intense workout with pressure that high!

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Pressure is "down" to 160/104 while just laying around for so long. They did a head CT and now are doing an EKG, and took bloodwork for organ function. 

I told him they are giving him the full treatment, and he said he has yet to get a pedicure. Smart aleck. 

Edited by Ktgrok
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1 minute ago, Ktgrok said:

Pressure is "down" to 160/104 while just laying around for so long. They did a head CT and now are doing an EKG, and took bloodwork for organ function. 

I told him they are giving him the full treatment, and he said he has yet to get a pedicure. Smart aleck. 

 

Sounds like progress.

glad he’s feeling well enough to wisecrack!

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Is he still in ER? Or did they admit him— might be you already said and I missed it. 

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Just now, Pen said:

Is he still in ER? Or did they admit him— might be you already said and I missed it. 

ER.

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6 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

Pressure is "down" to 160/104 while just laying around for so long. They did a head CT and now are doing an EKG, and took bloodwork for organ function. 

Sounds like they are taking really good  care of him and making sure they aren't overlooking anything. It is astounding how different medical centers can be in the way they care for patients. Glad he went to a good hospital!

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1 minute ago, Tap said:

Sounds like they are taking really good  care of him and making sure they aren't overlooking anything. It is astounding how different medical centers can be in the way they care for patients. Glad he went to a good hospital!

Very true! 

And yes, I really had good experiences in my care there the two times I went. And their heart health institute has the highest ranking you can get apparently. 

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all his tests came back normal 🙂

They are sending him home I think, and he has a script for blood pressure medication and is under strict orders to see a primary care doctor for follow up and to get a home blood pressure cuff to monitor right away, to be sure the medication dose is correct. 

Thank you all for convincing me to convince him to go in. 

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I’m glad he got checked out and that there’s no obvious problem. Hopefully the medication helps and this turns out to just be scary for today and nothing more.  I hope you both can get some rest.

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So thankful he went in and got checked out - hope this is is the beginning of a journey to health for your dh!  Praying for you both!

Anne

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I woke up thinking about this thread!  So glad he went and has hopefully had enough stern lectures that he will be more attentive to his health. 

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4 hours ago, Chris in VA said:

Just seeing your thread. Prayers said. You are such a good wife, Katie. 

Well, pretty sure it is the stress and lack of sleep talking, but this made me cry. Thank you. 

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I just want to say again, thank you all. It was incredibly helpful having you all to turn to, and knowing you were praying and thinking of us. (and I told DH that the Hive is almost NEVER unanimous, and EVERYONE agreed he had to go to the ER )

I'm going to research his meds a bit, but basically he got a diuretic and an ACE inhibitor from what I can tell. My ex husband (the one who died of heart failure) was on ace inhibitors so I remember those, and from vet med I'm familiar with diuretics. Will refresh my memory though as I know that electrolytes can get thrown off sometimes depending on dosage. Ace inhibitors, if memory serves, or any blood pressure medications, can make you tired at first if I'm remembering right. (my other random knowledge that popped into my head is that it is Beta Blockers that snipers take to lower heart rate, lol - but he doesn't need a lower heart rate his already is)

I really am hoping this is a wake up call for him. He's been pushing and pushing himself. And he has been THINKING more about his health, and saying this year he'd work on getting healthier as he has seen people around him in his career field have heart problems, etc, but he hasn't DONE anything bout it. Hopefully this makes the difference. 

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And be aware it may take a great he’s to get medication right and keep his pressure under control.  Postpartum here I’m still stuck with chronic hypertension that pregnancy had unmasked, and am in a similar boat of tweaking dosages and medication types to find the best combo.  There are so many options, fortunately, but It’s not unusual to take awhile to land on the right one.  If he has side effects he thinks are not tolerable it’s okay to call the doctor and switch it up 😉

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Also, now we need to plan our strategy I guess. 

My thought is we start, on the medical end, with primary care visit for full physical and lab work, including thyroid, vitamin D, etc. The other day I took his temperature because he didn't look well (now I realize that was his blood pressure) and it was like 95.6, and that was in the evening. Could be a fluke, but should get checked. And he hasn't had his D checked in a while and that was low last time. 

Then he needs to get a sleep study done. No excuses. 

And honestly, depending on how that all works out, I may bring up to him the idea of a consultation with my bariatric surgeon. I don't think he will like the idea, but I feel I need to at least mention it. He's gained a lot of weight, and it is not the good kind. As in, all in the abdomen, and now his neck. And his BMI plus hypertension and back pain and if he has sleep apnea, that too, would qualify him. 

either way, no more fast food, and he has to cut back the booze. 

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5 minutes ago, Arctic Mama said:

And be aware it may take a great he’s to get medication right and keep his pressure under control.  Postpartum here I’m still stuck with chronic hypertension that pregnancy had unmasked, and am in a similar boat of tweaking dosages and medication types to find the best combo.  There are so many options, fortunately, but It’s not unusual to take awhile to land on the right one.  If he has side effects he thinks are not tolerable it’s okay to call the doctor and switch it up 😉

Thank you. 

And let me say, during all this I keep thinking of you and all you have been through. I know this topic has to be painful for you and I really appreciate you adding your knowledge. Thank you. 

Edited by Ktgrok
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Just now, Ktgrok said:

Thank you. 

And let me say, during all this I keep thinking of you and all you have been through. I know this topic has to be painful for you and Happymama and I really appreciate you adding your knowledge. Thank you. 

I’m glad we can help at all!  The 160/110 range now is my cutoff for adjusting medication, if I hit that stage two hypertension range in between doses of anything we are saying it’s not well controlled at that point, going forward.  And pregnancy that’s kind of the freakout number, for placenta reasons, which he will obviously never have to worry about 😉

Like any medical issue I think one wishes they didn’t have experience with it, but better to share the knowledge and help someone else if we can!  And knowing a little of his family history with the heart issues from what you’ve shared it’s definitely nothing to mess around with.  I’m glad he listened to you and the doctors.

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Looking at this blood pressure cuff - that way he can have a record on his phone of all his readings, it works with apple health, etc. It was listed in an article of cuffs that meet whatever standard it is regarding outside verification of accuracy. Waiting for him to wake up so I can measure his arm to get the right cuff size. https://www.amazon.com/iHealth-Wireless-Bluetooth-Compatible-Circumference/dp/B01718JVJE?tag=cnet-buy-button-20&ascsubtag=ag%3A1c139350-6b09-4237-a7d8-d88a78373a27|vg%3Ac616a870-39bc-11ea-aa69-3fe973957dff|st%3Adtp&th=1

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Also, I'm assuming he should not be left alone today, as he adjusts to medication? I remember my ex fainted once from pressure going too low on meds after an adjustment and smacked his head on a wall. 

DD really wants to go on her hike but obviously I'm not sending DH with her and I don't feel I should leave him here either. Her den leader said she can make it up later just with the family. so she doesn't have to go, just wants to. 

I could take the other kids with me, but DS 20 is going to be gone at a volunteer event - today is the annual volunteer party at the bird of prey center and that place is really important to him, as I have said I think the birds and the people there likely saved his life, so I'm not going to make him skip that although he would if I really really wanted him to. But I don't want to push that - he was great last night about going to get me stress snacks as we waited on DH - got me my favorite chocolate and chips and some cookies for good measure, lol. And was willing to babysit all the kids if I wanted to go to the hospital, even DD2 who he never watches. So not going to make him miss this. 

but man, DD wants to go. 

Can I leave him here if he promises to just sit around? Or is he likely to have issues and I should stay with him?

Edited by Ktgrok

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ICan you request a heart ultrasound? I think the Dr would ok that to check for possible blockage, especially due to the severity, prior pains, and the stomach girth. If necessary they could do a heart cath for a more definitive blockage. I’d ask for the ultrasound even if the meds bring his numbers back to normal.

Blood pressure meds made me a bit tired for a couple days, and Dh developed a slight cough.

 

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2 minutes ago, Dotwithaperiod said:

ICan you request a heart ultrasound? I think the Dr would ok that to check for possible blockage, especially due to the severity, prior pains, and the stomach girth. If necessary they could do a heart cath for a more definitive blockage. I’d ask for the ultrasound even if the meds bring his numbers back to normal.

Blood pressure meds made me a bit tired for a couple days, and Dh developed a slight cough.

 

yeah, I think we are going to get a referral to a cardiologist as well, that's a good idea. I forgot about that. I think if nothing else he needs a stress test given family history, etc, right? And an echo, or I think now they do some kind of calcium channel CT scan of the heart to look for plaque as well. 

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I'm glad he went in and is doing okay.

 

As for cold medication, there is a Coricidin made especially for people with HBP. Obviously, make sure there are no interactions with other meds, but I found these meds to be as effective without raising your heart rate. https://www.coricidinhbp.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI1Yer9quN5wIVAtbACh26vARLEAAYASAAEgJ2tfD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

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36 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

Also, I'm assuming he should not be left alone today, as he adjusts to medication? I remember my ex fainted once from pressure going too low on meds after an adjustment and smacked his head on a wall. 

DD really wants to go on her hike but obviously I'm not sending DH with her and I don't feel I should leave him here either. Her den leader said she can make it up later just with the family. so she doesn't have to go, just wants to. 

I could take the other kids with me, but DS 20 is going to be gone at a volunteer event - today is the annual volunteer party at the bird of prey center and that place is really important to him, as I have said I think the birds and the people there likely saved his life, so I'm not going to make him skip that although he would if I really really wanted him to. But I don't want to push that - he was great last night about going to get me stress snacks as we waited on DH - got me my favorite chocolate and chips and some cookies for good measure, lol. And was willing to babysit all the kids if I wanted to go to the hospital, even DD2 who he never watches. So not going to make him miss this. 

but man, DD wants to go. 

Can I leave him here if he promises to just sit around? Or is he likely to have issues and I should stay with him?

I would not go if it were me, but I’m sorry for you dd.

Also, just a suggestion, but maybe get the physical and sleep study done and start working on diet and exercise.  I would wait on the bariatric doctor and not bring it up right now.  So much to process already.  

Glad he is getting help and seems to want to make a change!!!

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15 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

yeah, I think we are going to get a referral to a cardiologist as well, that's a good idea. I forgot about that. I think if nothing else he needs a stress test given family history, etc, right? And an echo, or I think now they do some kind of calcium channel CT scan of the heart to look for plaque as well. 

Yes to the family history. Dh and I go to the same clinic. I had written down all about heart disease in my family, so the dr assistant that I see automatically gave me an ultrasound when my bp was hovering in the 140’s. Dh, who also had it in his family, did not think to add it to his paperwork. It may not have stopped his heart attack and bypass, but at least we would have been more alert to the possibility.

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39 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

Also, I'm assuming he should not be left alone today, as he adjusts to medication? I remember my ex fainted once from pressure going too low on meds after an adjustment and smacked his head on a wall. 

DD really wants to go on her hike but obviously I'm not sending DH with her and I don't feel I should leave him here either. Her den leader said she can make it up later just with the family. so she doesn't have to go, just wants to. 

I could take the other kids with me, but DS 20 is going to be gone at a volunteer event - today is the annual volunteer party at the bird of prey center and that place is really important to him, as I have said I think the birds and the people there likely saved his life, so I'm not going to make him skip that although he would if I really really wanted him to. But I don't want to push that - he was great last night about going to get me stress snacks as we waited on DH - got me my favorite chocolate and chips and some cookies for good measure, lol. And was willing to babysit all the kids if I wanted to go to the hospital, even DD2 who he never watches. So not going to make him miss this. 

but man, DD wants to go. 

Can I leave him here if he promises to just sit around? Or is he likely to have issues and I should stay with him?

When I started on BP medicine last year, I do remember being extremely quick to tire the first couple of days, but nothing alarming. I just didn’t last as long as usual. Also, I started out with just the diuretic, so I think I was a bit dehydrated. 
I would have been absolutely fine just hanging out at home alone for a day.

i will also admit that I was  not as alarmed as most people on this board. I had been feeling weird and took my BP at home one morning and went to my primary care dr that afternoon. 
I do have a family history of blood pressure issues (my mother has been on BP meds since I was a kid) and I am extremely sensitive to sodium in my diet, so I was expecting the BP medication was inevitable.

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I didn't post last night because I saw you were getting good advice.  I'm glad he went to the ER and that he's now got some marching orders.  

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DH's BP meds have been changed several times. It never occurred to me to babysit him afterwards. The worst symptom--and it wasn't bad at all, really--that he's ever had from one was when he was put on a beta blocker and he felt a little tired for a couple of weeks, until he adjusted. For someone who was elderly or frail, then yes I think it would be wise. For someone otherwise in decent health--I'd go on the hike with DD and not think twice about it.

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As long as he understands it can happen and is careful I'd at least drop her off and come pick her up at the end.

The main danger zone is 30-60 seconds after standing up too fast.

You might consider an apple watch for him.  I think I heard the newest version can call 911 if it senses you had a sudden fall and didn't move again.  At least I think that was Apple.  Set him to researching that, it sounds right up his ally.

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31 minutes ago, Pawz4me said:

DH's BP meds have been changed several times. It never occurred to me to babysit him afterwards. The worst symptom--and it wasn't bad at all, really--that he's ever had from one was when he was put on a beta blocker and he felt a little tired for a couple of weeks, until he adjusted. For someone who was elderly or frail, then yes I think it would be wise. For someone otherwise in decent health--I'd go on the hike with DD and not think twice about it.

This is what I was thinking. 

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2 hours ago, Ktgrok said:

Also, I'm assuming he should not be left alone today, as he adjusts to medication? I remember my ex fainted once from pressure going too low on meds after an adjustment and smacked his head on a wall. 

DD really wants to go on her hike but obviously I'm not sending DH with her and I don't feel I should leave him here either. Her den leader said she can make it up later just with the family. so she doesn't have to go, just wants to. 

I could take the other kids with me, but DS 20 is going to be gone at a volunteer event - today is the annual volunteer party at the bird of prey center and that place is really important to him, as I have said I think the birds and the people there likely saved his life, so I'm not going to make him skip that although he would if I really really wanted him to. But I don't want to push that - he was great last night about going to get me stress snacks as we waited on DH - got me my favorite chocolate and chips and some cookies for good measure, lol. And was willing to babysit all the kids if I wanted to go to the hospital, even DD2 who he never watches. So not going to make him miss this. 

but man, DD wants to go. 

Can I leave him here if he promises to just sit around? Or is he likely to have issues and I should stay with him?

 

I think you should stay home with husband.  (For his safety and safety of other children.)  

(Eta: I’m assuming oldest child who would be at home isn’t old enough to handle an emergency alone—if he or she is old enough —for example to call 911 and take care of the toddler till another adult is available—then okay to go on hike.) 

Is there any other adult who could go with daughter? 

 

Maybe another troop member has an extra available parent? 

 

(eTA but also though daughter is disappointed, learning to prioritize family health and safety is also a huge and important learning experience )

 

 

Edited by Pen

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Glad all his tests came back normal and that he’s doing ok now.  

Dhs meds have been changed/tweaked/adjusted a few times and we were never once advised to have someone stay with him or anything.  I would go with your dd. 

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If he already took his dose awhile ago and doesn’t need to take one again until after you’re home, I would go without worrying about it. He may develop a slight cough on an ACE inhibitor. For many people, that goes away again. It didn’t for me, and I switched back to a beta blocker (after failing both calcium channel blockers I tried). I would also do at least a serious trial of a very limited sodium diet—aim for under 1200mg a day. Some people’s bp is very sodium sensitive. Mine is,  but I admit it’s really hard to stay that low. under 2400mg is much easier for me. 
 

Yes to asking about a stress test and/or echo. 

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