Probable Cause Of My Coronary Disease
My story begins in the mid 1990s. Prior to then, my blood pressure was normal. I’d been told by a doctor after a treadmill stress test my heart “could be put in a horse and he could pull a plow.”
During the mid ‘90s I had an electronics business which required exposure to solvents…specifically toluene and xylene. It was then my blood pressure began going up.
It got to the point where my b/p was often 250/150 and never dropped below 200/100. This went on for about 8 years. Doctors would freak out when I went in for some other issue. They put me on all the ace inhibitors, beta blockers, and calcium channel blockers…all the standard medications. None of them worked. My blood pressure ignored the medications and remained high.
One Sunday morning at 2 am I had trouble getting to sleep. It felt like bad indigestion and someone pressing against my chest from the inside. I had a glass of water and tried to go to sleep. The indigestion continued. Eventually I decided to drive myself to the ER as the indigestion didn’t feel right..
When I walked in, the gal behind the desk took me back where a doctor did an EKG and took a blood sample. He said the EKG looked normal, but the blood showed traces of an enzyme the heart puts out in distress. He did another EKG. The next thing I knew I was headed into the cat lab. I suddenly felt freezing and couldn’t stop shaking,
When I woke up the doctor said another 15 minutes and I would have died. There had been no blood flow to the bottom half of my heart.
Over the following few years I suffered 3 more heart attacks.
I got out of bed one day and my right leg collapsed. When I attempted to get up my right arm wouldn’t cooperate. My speech was funny. I had my first stroke. 30 hours later, I had recovered completely and the doctors said I was lucky. They sent me home.
A week later my best friend decided a vegetable or a corpse didn’t make for a good friend. He drove me to the UCLA medical center. They took my blood pressure. It was 246/145. They put me in ICU. After a week of trying to control my blood pressure, administering all the common medications, they gave me clonidine and my blood pressure dropped to normal levels.
For the following year and a half clonidine worked well, although the dose had to be raised several times.Then it stopped working and I was off it for almost two years. Several TLAs and another heart attack followed as my b/p was once again stratispheric.
When a new primary doctor took over for me, he suggested we try clonidine again and…once more, my b/p was normal.
There followed another heart attack due to a misplaced stent (I have six of the critters).
It appears clonidine is failing me again as my b/p is creeping up.
Analysis—The solvents damaged my nervous system, causing my brain to misinterpret the signals from the basoreceptors on the carotid arteries which measure blood pressure. When I take medications which affect the outputs of chemicals from the adrenals and kidneys to control B/p…my brain says it’s going too low and adjusts it back up. Clonidine acts on the brain and allows the signals to be read correctly.