Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Cuff Him, Danno

          Two weeks ago I blogged about Bob’s incredible luck.  It floated right up to the Irony Fairies in the Constellation Not So Fast, and now we’ve been to the Emergency Room.
          Bob had a doctor appointment recently, so they slapped a blood pressure cuff on him and all of a sudden the room is lit up like the Aurora Borealis.  Lights are flashing, sirens are going off (I assume this is like a casino when you hit the jackpot?) and he is told that when your blood pressure goes over 200 you need to go to the emergency room. Definitely not the jackpot.
          We jump into the car and I take a moment to say, “I am begging you.  Please let me drive like a bat out of hell.  This is my one chance to get away with it.” (You may not know this, but I once called an ambulance service to see if non-medical people can volunteer to drive ambulances.  They can not.)
          Bob looks at me and says, “It will raise my blood pressure even more.”  I start the car, take off, and urge him to recline the seat and close his eyes so he won’t see how fast I’m going, but he refuses.
          “Fine,” I tell him. I obey the law. “But I get to advocate for you when you get there.”  I am, shall we say, a different creature in hospital settings and am not always happily received by people whose decisions I'm questioning.
          Once again, he refuses my offer. In fact, he wants me to restrain myself.  Or “retrain” myself.  I can’t really recall.  Pretty sure it wasn’t “remain” myself.
          We get there and apparently sign up for the deluxe package which means they will run every expensive test they can imagine, starting with an EKG, progressing through lab tests and running for home plate with an MRI.
          It takes five hours, during which time he cannot eat or drink anything.  I try to smuggle him a sip of water but Obedient Bob refuses.
          Finally-- and I am really glad you’re sitting down as you read this—his doctor comes over and says, “Well, we really don’t treat high blood pressure in the emergency room.”  Apparently it’s against the policy of the American College of Emergency Physicians.
          And I want to jump from my chair, get right in his face and scream, “THEN WHAT ARE WE DOING HERE?” Nicely, of course.
          But Bob has put me under a gag order and I have to smile and nod and watch as a nurse whips up a “cocktail” of pain killers for him that will now pay for lifetime docking fees in addition to the sailboat we’ve just bought somebody.  We learn it’s mostly Tylenol and we decide to save a couple of car payments and just take Tylenol at home.
          We leave and Bob is perplexed.  One of us has to be livid, so it’s me. The next day he tops the 200 mark again (it’s a holiday weekend and we can’t see our doctor for three days), so now I take him to an Urgent Care clinic hoping for a prescription, at least.  Nope.  Wouldn’t help, we’re told. Just buy a home monitoring unit and see your family doctor next week.
          So he does, and finally gets a prescription.  Which doesn’t work. His numbers are bouncing up and down all over the place. But we understand these things may take a couple of weeks to kick in.  So if it doesn’t work, “kick in” is going to be my new operative phrase. And you don’t want to be standing in the way.

Yeah, yeah, I know.  You’d think my own blood pressure was high.  Oddly it’s so low that nurses ask me if I’m a runner. Irony abounds.  Oh—and so do my books—buy ’em here.


  1. Wow. Stay on top of this Joni. This could cause other problems. Don’t let the doc blow it t off!

    1. Thanks, Debbie! They're monitoring his heart rate (also erratic) for 2 weeks, then have an echo cardiogram scheduled. Meanwhile, a low dose of high BP medicine. I hope we get to the bottom of it! Thanks for your concern- xoxo

  2. Mine is 55 over 110 -- because I'm a long distance bicycler!!!

    1. I'm counting your exercise as mine since we're all in the same family!