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So maybe work really can kill you!
Old 06-23-2011, 09:17 PM   #1
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So maybe work really can kill you!

or make you sick anyway.

Went for annual physical today and doc wants me to have an ecocardiogram on Saturday. My blood pressure is doing some strange things (swings between high and low) and when it's high I'm a bit short of breath.

I'm convinced the high readings are stress induced. I've been tracking my BP since last March and every high reading has been on a work day. But mom had a heart attack at 62 and her side of the family all have heart disease so better safe than sorry!

Too bad we couldn't do the test tomorrow so I could at least get out of work!

Oh and I'll be doing in-depth study of the "World Class Colonoscopy" thread. Doc reminded me that I'm 50 this year.
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Old 06-24-2011, 12:58 AM   #2
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When DW and I were working, our BPs were also inconsistent - mostly high. And we noticed (and feel) that the BP goes down when we are off (vacations or weekends). Hence, the HBP pills to lower the BP. So far after ER, our BP has been running normal. We don't know if it is because of the medicines or because we are not stressed. We will talk to our doctor to see if we can stop the medicines or at least reduce the dosage.
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Old 06-24-2011, 07:33 AM   #3
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Some anecdotal observations:

I tend to suffer from "white coat syndrome." When my BP is taken in a doctor's office, it's always higher than normal. My regular doctor recognizes this, and he always takes it again 5-10 minutes later, while engaging in conversation with me. The second time the BP is always completely normal.

Another factor is simply the time interval. Most recommendations I've seen are to take the BP after the patient has been resting (seated) for about five minutes. Yet it's common in many clinics to take the reading as soon as you get into the room and sit down, just to get it out of the way. Waiting a few minutes would be a better idea.

When you take your own reading at home, you're normally rested and relaxed, so a difference when you're in a clinical setting is to be expected, IMHO.
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Old 06-24-2011, 10:13 AM   #4
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So maybe work really can kill you!


6 weeks before I ER'ed I got a whiff of some chemicals on the production site I was working at, causing slight stinging in the eyes and nasal passages. In the medical room I had my eyes and nasal passages flushed and my vitals taken. The nurse showed me how high my bp was and suggested I have it taken again later once the stress levels had subsided.

I'd worked in the chemical industry for almost 30 years and this was the first time I'd ever had something like this happen. I always knew that work could kill me so it was no surprise that my bp was so high at that moment

(my bp was back to normal later that day)
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Old 06-24-2011, 11:43 AM   #5
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Chronic uncontrolled stress is a known risk factor for heart disease.

Stress itself is ok, it's the chronic uncontrolled part that is bad.
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Old 06-24-2011, 11:50 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Alan View Post

6 weeks before I ER'ed I got a whiff of some chemicals on the production site I was working at, causing slight stinging in the eyes and nasal passages. In the medical room I had my eyes and nasal passages flushed and my vitals taken. The nurse showed me how high my bp was and suggested I have it taken again later once the stress levels had subsided.

I'd worked in the chemical industry for almost 30 years and this was the first time I'd ever had something like this happen. I always knew that work could kill me so it was no surprise that my bp was so high at that moment

(my bp was back to normal later that day)
Wow, very scary! If it were me, my brain would have immediately gone to...well, there goes retirement!! Glad you are ok.
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Old 06-24-2011, 11:54 AM   #7
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I think I made a mistake in taking my BP monitor to my Dr. appt. She was able to see every reading over the last four months. BP is naturally variable and I randomly have high BP after a stressful conference call.

Then when I told about the family heart disease it was WHAM, need more tests! (this was my 1st appt with a new doc).

It will be good to know how my overall heart health is, but I will not take BP medication without a fight (my avg BP is 110/64).
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Old 06-24-2011, 12:03 PM   #8
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That avg BP is wonderful, hope your eco indicates everything is fine.

In my prior job at a mega corp, I could feel my BP going up and down due to the events of the day, but since moving to another company and downsizing my job responsibilities, that went away.
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Old 06-25-2011, 05:19 PM   #9
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Too bad we couldn't do the test tomorrow so I could at least get out of work!
Oh and I'll be doing in-depth study of the "World Class Colonoscopy" thread. Doc reminded me that I'm 50 this year.
I was told by the colonoscopy staff that Thursday and Friday are extremely busy days because so many employees are trying to get those days off work for a long weekend.

Considering the prep, I'm not sure the liberty is worth the hassle.

But I asked for a colonoscopy at 8 AM Tuesday, which was very quiet. As far as I could tell, anyway.
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Old 06-25-2011, 05:37 PM   #10
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Wow, very scary! If it were me, my brain would have immediately gone to...well, there goes retirement!! Glad you are ok.
Those were exactly my thoughts.

Good luck with your EKG. Hopefully all will be well and if so it will confirm the BP spikes are work related.
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Old 06-25-2011, 07:23 PM   #11
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Of course hard work can kill you. Here's an example.
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