I had no idea
Ok, this is going to be a VERY long post...and a very difficult one for me to share. I am not one to share very personal stuff on social media. I like to keep it light and fun, but if this helps others become aware of health risks, then I will be thankful.
Here is my story and why I am so thankful to not be a static.
A couple of months ago (Dec. 17, 2017 to be more accurate) I went in for a standard office appointment with my primary care physician. I needed to see my Gynecologist for an annual check up and since I have an HMO insurance I had to see my primary for a referral. As they are doing the usual weight, temperature, blood pressure check before I see my doctor, I see the nurse become very confused. She tells me she wants to check my blood pressure again because she got a funny reading. I say "okey dokey" and she checks it again. The second time she looks concerned and asks if I am feeling ok. I tell her "Yes, I feel completely fine." She then tells me my blood pressure is currently 198/105. I look at her confused as she tells me that is critically high and wants to grab the doctor right away. I sit there dumbfounded and say "ok" again (clearly the blood pressure was minimalizing my vocabulary lol) The nurse leaves and I hear her talking with the other members of her team saying "how scary, she is so young." At this point I started to worry. The doctor comes in, I put a big smile on my face and try to make a joke about being broken. He check my pressure again, which now has jump to 204/110 (I will blame this on my nerves). He tells me he can't let me leave the office until he gets my blood pressure under control. I smile and shake my head yes. They give me medication that takes about 30 minutes to get my blood pressure down 20 points. During this time, my doctor sets up a world of blood tests, a kidney ultra sound, and a follow up with him in a week.
The next day I head into work, and per my husband's demand/request, I ask the optometrist I work for to check my blood pressure to make sure it stayed down. He says no problem and checks it for me. 214/106 says the machine, ugh. My boss/doctor is now concerned too, and checks my eyes with our optomap machine that shows the blood vessels in the eyes (amongst many other things). Sure enough he finds 3 hemorrhages in my eyes (ps very bad news). He then very calmly but firmly says "Jenna is this an emergency room situation." I stare at him blankly and tell him again "but I feel fine." I then decided to just call my primary care physician to tell him what my boss found and see what he thinks I should do. I talk with the nurse, letting her know what we found. During the conversation I was trying to make light of the results and even threw in a few jokes (because clearly that will change what she tells me 😒) She very calmly but firmly tells me to go straight to the ER and don't drive myself. Ok.... now I am losing my sh*t. I am talking hot mess crying. Why is everyone freaking out?! Why should I be freaking out?! "I FEEL FINE" I scream in my head. I get myself emotionally in check and I then leave work and meet Mark at home so he can drive me to Roseville ER. (I know, I drove myself home. I am sometimes bad at listening) we get to the ER and my blood pressure is now at 244/155... They do all there checks and give me medication again to get my blood pressure under control. They send me home about an hour later with medication, instructions, and a very large bill.
It is now 6 weeks later and I still have no answers as to why my blood pressure is so high (it is currently under control with medication, which I HATE taking) blood tests and kidney ultra sound show everything as good, no reason to have high blood pressure. I am now seeing a cardiologist as my current EKG shows that my heart is potential enlarged due to my blood pressure being so high. My ECHO is scheduled for later this month to confirm that or not. My cardiologist believes we won't find much as far as WHY I have high blood pressure. Only 5% of high blood pressure cases do they find a reason. That means 95% of the time they have no clue. This is why research is very important.
So, you made it this far in my story. Thank you for reading so much! 😂 that was a lot. I wanted to share my story because I am a 32 year old, active, mother of 3 that shows no signs of cardiovascular problems, except for a few headaches and a high blood pressure readings. If I were to go into heart failure I would not know it until it actually happened. That is a scary idea and it is highly comman in woman! It's called a silent killer for a reason. I share my story in hopes that another woman may take a closer look at her heart and understand the risks. I hope we never lose another mother/daughter/sister/friend to cardiovascular disease. With awareness and research one day that can happen ❤❤❤