January 22,2005

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers.”
Charles W. Eliot (1834 – 1926)

Monday was D-day; my appointment with the hypertension specialist.  When I woke up on Monday morning and looked out the bedroom window I was horrified to see that it was snowing and blowing snow outside.  A few minutes later as I was looking out the living room window I saw an accident at the two way stop sign just down the street.  This little white car was driving through the intersection when this huge brown truck that had failed to stop and ran into it.  The little white car spun around several times and when it came to a stop the whole front end was a total wreck.  This young kid got out of the little white car and he looked mighty distressed.  The woman who was driving the truck and the man who was her passenger got out of their vehicle and all I could see was her arms and hands in perpetual motion.  The truck had no visible damage.  I felt so sorry for the kid.  After seeing the accident happen I wondered if this was a sign that we should stay off the roads that day.

Since appointments with specialist are so hard to get; we decided to risk it.  It is only a 45 mile drive but let me tell you it was nerve wracking.  The highway was sheer ice with snow blowing across it.  In places the snow had built up on the highway surface.  No one was traveling more than 60 -70 kms an hour.  I breathed a sigh of relief once we reached the city limits.

When we finally reached the hospital my husband told me to take a deep breath because my blood pressure would be through the roof after the stress of the drive.  You can imagine my shock when the nurse took my blood pressure and it registered 124/84.  She asked me why I was there. At that moment I wondered the same thing myself.  She then took a look at the letter No Name had sent and said, “Oh I guess you have a reason to be here with blood pressure readings that high.”   Obviously it is not stress that causes my blood pressure to spike.

The hypertension specialist was interesting to say the least.   At first I got the impression that he thought I had no reason to be concerned.  I told him I would be very happy to go home and stop worrying.  He told me that he was concerned, especially since my blood pressure fluctuated, spiking as high as 234/110 and then dropping as low as 90/53.  The hypertension specialist mentioned that he would be asking for copies of the results of my echocardiogram and CT Scans of the adrenal glands.  He ordered blood work which included tests for C3, C4, aldosterone, renin and a renal panel (potassium, BUN etc.). I had this done at the hospital where his clinic is located.  He told me he would be sending a letter to No Name requesting that I have further tests done to rule out a Pheochromocytoma.  I am to see him again in six weeks.

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