Heart of the matter

As a part of the process to get to the route cause of my recent high blood pressure, I’ve been having different tests and scans.

Blood tests are always a challenge, especially if I’ve had to fast first. My veins just disappear into my body and I end up looking like a bruised pincushion! Of course I bruise easily just to add insult to injury.

My high blood pressure was first apparent in April, my GP regularly monitors my blood pressure as I take the oral contraceptive pill. I put it down to stress caused by work. It didn’t improve and my readings over the course of 24 hours were sky high and so I started taking medication. My GP also referred me on to a consultant for further investigations.

So far, I’ve had blood tests done. This showed that my levels of renin and aldosterone were high. To investigate further, I had a CT scan with contrast dye of my kidneys. Thankfully, my veins behaved that day and although it took two radiographers to insert the canula, it was successful. Its an odd sensation having the dye injected. First there’s the metallic taste, then, much more bizarrely is the warm sensation and feeling that you have wet yourself. I’ve had a few CT scans in my time but that is still the weirdest feeling!

Today’s test was an ECG. This was to see how my heart is functioning and to check if the high blood pressure has caused the muscle of my heart to thicken. Thankfully my heart is normal size and there is no thickening of the muscle. Its quite something to see and hear your heart beating on the screen. I really realised how much I take it for granted. There it is, beating away countless times over my forty years keeping me alive.

It really does make e appreciate the work it does. I really do need to kickstart my weight loss, I haven’t quite got back on track after my birthday. Time to get back on the low carb lifestyle and exercise – my heart and I deserve it and I want to be as healthy as I can to start a family. No more excuses. ❤️

If there’s an easy way or an awkward way…

I don’t set out to be awkward or contrary, it just seems to happen that way.

If I’m in the supermarket doing my shopping, I always somehow manage to choose the item with the barcode that doesn’t scan….my ‘best’ example of this is the day I picked up the jar of pickled beetroot without any label at all!! How I managed this, I have no idea but I did.

I’ve had a number of blood tests over the years and especially this year. My veins seem to know when a needle is near and either disappear or blow leaving me bruised. I don’t set out with the intention of this happening and sometimes I’m absolutely fine and the blood flows. There’s no rhyme or reason to it, it just happens that way.

Today is another prime example of things being awkward. My consultant has requested bloods, I’m not sure whether my veins will behave or not…we haven’t got that far yet. I’ve seen the nurse who will take the bloods and have advised her of my ‘shy’ veins but before there was even a needle produced, there was a complication…the label on my envelope read “lying and standing” with no guidelines as to how long I needed to be lying down for. It could only happen to me!

It is a very busy hospital, serving a large geographical area, with lots of outpatient clinics running so now the challenge is finding me somewhere to lie down having clarified with the lab that I need to be lying down for an hour!!

My veins were fairly well behaved for the standing bloods….my left hand came good. Now I’m lying down in a side room waiting for round two…thankfully this time there’s only 2 vials that are needed!!! I’m hopeful the blood will flow….I’m keeping my hand warm as a nurse once to me that heat and hydration are the key. Unfortunately I’m fasting so I’ll have to hope I’m hydrated enough!! Fingers crossed.

After my lie down, the nurse took the second lot of bloods and despite being incredibly thirsty….my left arm provided enough blood and using a butterfly needle definitely helped too. Now all I have to do is wait for the results and hope I don’t bruise too badly!!