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MiddyNight, June 26,  2020  8:15am EST

High Blood Pressure & High Cortisol Levels

 This is really, really scarey. Does anyone else have this problem? I experienced a terrible accident 8 months ago. Before then I never had any health issues. I was a senior citizen with excellent health and outlook, lived in my own home, was a gardener, was peaceful and happy. Then the accident,which caused me to have a lumbar burst fracture. In one day I was ripped away from everything I loved, the house that I'd lived in for twenty years, my outdoor life, my pets even the company of my son. The house, a century house with many steps, was no longer suitable for me to live in and I didn't have the money to make it suitable, so I knew I would have to sell it and move to an apartment in another city far away, near my daughter, who could take care of me better than my son. My seven month rehab experience was horrific.  I had severe reactions to the meds they gave me. Every med they gave me made me so ill that I think I probably can't take traditional meds.  I was very, very sick, filled with extreme anxiety and psychological pressures leading to PTSD in which I felt I completely lost my basic self.  This all evenually led to not only high blood pressure, but high cortisol levels, which still causes my blood pressure to spike to over 200/100 every very early morning. My blood pressure comes down, but those daily spikes are horrific and knowing that I'll get those dangerous highs every single morning is so frightening I think many times I will die of the fear. It's consuming my life.. I'm now in my own apartment, away from the confinement of the nursing home, but still suffering from high cortisol levels and I'm terrified. I go to see my primary care doctor in a few days. Is anyone else dealing with anxiety, high blood pressure & high cortisol levels too?

4 Replies
  • AHAASAKatie
    AHAASAKatie, June 26,  2020  9:04am EST

    I am so sorry you are having to manage all of this.  You have been through so much in a very short period of time. It's understandable that you have PTSD, are having a hard time settling in, and continued health issues. Stress is such a key factor in recovery. I can share what we have on High Blood Pressure and Managing Stress to Control High Blood Pressure.

    Seeing your HPC  and talking about your concerns is a great idea, please let us know how things go with that conversation.  We have quite a few members who manage anxiety and I look forward to reading their responses to you as well.

    Thank you, Katie 

  • MiddyNight
    MiddyNight, June 26,  2020  9:45am EST

    Thank you, Katie. I'll post a comment here on how my visit went with my doctor. I can't wait to see him, hoping he might have some answers to my frightening problem. 

  • JeffB
    JeffB, June 26,  2020  11:03am EST


    I am sorry you lost so much through this next phase of your life and are being faced with the emotional shift that, sadly, comes with things like this for a large percentage of us. When I had my heart attack a little over 5 years ago now, anxiety, depression and panic attacks became constant companions of mine. There is a physiological component that is wired into us after we suffer trauma - but there is also a mental one that we can get on top of through hard work. I ended up hiring a few therapists over time and managed to lower that curve personally. I also came to the place that I was fine with, for the first time in my life, saying that I can't fix certain things and would be OK with anti-depressants medications to help with the problem. The fact that I let go of any control was huge for me. That's not how I viewed the world back then. I'm better now, well, TBH 2020 has been somewhat of a test for all of us I suppose, but yeah... most days are good.

    Anyway, I just wanted to chime in with some support on this front. Mainly to say that reach out to your Dr and get a referral for someone who can walk you back through this toward finding peace. I had to grieve the fact that I had a heart attack, you have the health loss but also the loss of your home, probably some independence and other aspects that are so very important and deeply personal. Every one of which is truly meaningful.

    I hope you get to feeling better.


  • JamesPL
    JamesPL, June 26,  2020  4:58pm EST

    High anxiety is common for anyone going through serious heart issues and most, if not all, of us on this site have experiencd this. I felt the strength of high anxiety after being diagnosed with coronary artery disease and was told the treatment was going to be bypass surgery. I was in such denial that I had originally decided I wasn't going to get it and needed to be convinced by others. As a famous football coach who had the same operaton once said "you are aware of your mortality when you enter the OR". So true! I know what you're experiencing right now is difficult for anyone to go through but know that things will improve. It's so important that you concentrate on your recovery and getting your strength back. The rest will be easier to deal with once you've greatly improved. Consult with your doctor often about your physical limitations and then do all the things he/she will allow you to do. This is good for your mental and physical well being.

    Also don't hesitate to speak with someone who can offer counseling. I had online therapy sessions after my surgery as was recommended. This too I was in denial about but I found the sessions very helpful. There was much advice that was shared that I hadn't thought of. I would recommend it.

    I truly hope your situation improves very soon and wish you very well! Please let us know how you are doing.


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