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High-blood Pressure Scare

My wife recently had an elevated high blood pressure. It was very unexpected as she was always showing me how low her readings were every time we checked together. I have always been the one constantly monitoring both cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar readings and am really surprised to find out that her readings went through the roof last week. 

My mother-in-law just left for Toronto last Sunday after a summer full of family gatherings. My wife complained days before that she had constant headaches and took the customary Advil whenever she feels the onset of migraine coming or when her time of the month is near.  This time was different however. She said that her head felt like it was about to explode and she decided to check her blood pressure readings at home. The reading came back systolic 230 and diastolic 130. After seeing this, I immediately drove us to Surrey Memorial ER to get her checked out. 

If you have ever had the opportunity to wait in an emergency room, you should know that it is never quick. I don't know why we are so under-staffed here that wait times can be as long as 6 hours to be seen by a doctor, even in an emergency. One of the nurses was very kind and saw that my wife was really in pain and rushed her medical records through the queue. I did mention that my sister was a nurse here and that may have helped expedite things, I am not sure. I suppose they do have some form of prioritization to determine who can move up the queue. 

My wife went through to the next interview room to meet with a nurse. He did more blood pressure checks to ensure it was still elevated and sure enough, it was still at a critical level at 221/129. An ECG check was done and when the printout was ready, the results showed elevated  numbers for CBC & DIFF/MORPHOLOGY. These numbers were too high - WBC, RDW, Lymphocytes, and Monocytes. The MCV reading was too low. The doctor/physician (Amoljeet S Lail) prescribed seeing a specialist (Hamed Nazzari) the next day about the meaning of these out-of-range numbers. In the meantime, he prescribed some blood pressure pills and we waited for at least an hour for her numbers to go down. It went down from 213/107 to 141/68 before we left the ER that night.

The next day, I went downtown for a Christmas function and got a call from my wife that her numbers had again gone up critically. I took the Uber to the house and called 911 on the way home. The dispatch didn't immediately send help after determining that it wasn't life-threatening when compared with other calls they were dealing with that day. We were able to get an ambulance after two or three more calls to their dispatch. The two technicians came into the house, checked that her blood pressure was still at critical numbers and offered to treat the symptom with Tylenol which my wife did take. She rode with the ambulance and I followed them in my car with my kids, to Surrey Memorial ER. I thought that riding in an ambulance would cut on the wait time at the ER but this was not the case. My wife had to wait like before on the previous night. I couldn't come to join her in the waiting room because it was at a different entrance from the public entrance for walk-ins. She mentioned my sister's name to help expedite the wait and I would think that helped but I can't be sure. She was attended by another physician and was prescribed another blood pressure medication of that was stronger than the first. She was to take this whenever her numbers went up to diastolic 180+. After waiting for some time in the waiting room, her numbers did go down and I took her home after that.

The whole ordeal is far from over. We are following up with family doctor who has asked for more tests to determine the out-of-range numbers from her blood work at the ER. Here is hoping the latest blood work show what is really wrong with her blood pressure and why it shot up all of a sudden.



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