I couldn’t have scripted my latest reaction any better. I went to see internal medicine to address my BP. Somehow the fact I have mind blowing blood pressures has suddenly become ‘important’, though it hasn’t changed in two years. My usual internist wanted me to see a different doc because she specializes in hypertension. In any case, I started off with a resident (it’s a teaching hospital). She took her time, asked lots of questions, easily 45 minutes worth. I was starting to feel more and more reactive, but when I’m not in a controlled environment that’s normal for me.
Going through my history is difficult- there are SO many weird things that it’s hard to encapsulate for a new person. One sticking point that always comes up is that YES, hypertensive anaphylaxis exists… I was trying to xplain that I can sense things with my body that others can’t. (For example, I can tell you what my BP is with startling accuracy. Apparently you’re not supposed to be able to do that? ).. She took my BP, I guessed what it was- and I was within 5 points. That got a raised eyebrow. Then she set the BO monitor to run a few times (while intentionally being quiet).
Typically, if someone enters my personal space, I hold my breath. Hugs, taking my temp and everything in between- I barely even notice it anymore, it’s automatic. It’s one thing to be in the same room as someone, but being in personal space is another ball of wax. She was taking measurements of my neck, and listening to my heart for quite a while. I had to breathe… and as soon as I did I knew there was something on her. I learned the hard way that taking another breath after a ‘what did I just smell?’ is a bad idea. So I couldn’t quite identify it at first, and saying ‘I can smell your dog’ is pretty a very odd thing to say.
In any case, my reaction was rapidly worsening. Five minutes later the BP cuff goes again- and it was 145/125. “Oh dear, that’s not good”, I said. “I’m not in ana yet, but I have a bad feeling Hopefully my systems won’t go nuts.”
Her next question was “What are you reacting to?”
“Well, um, Do you have pets?” The look on her face was fantastic- the perfect WTAF!?! It was pretty close to the expression when magicians pull off a perfect trick, the incredulity of thinking ‘I did NOT just see that, that’s not possible, but I’m seeing it so it must be possible.’. She quietly said “I have two dogs…”
Her ‘deer in the headlights’ was short lived- it was disrupted by the BP monitor having a tantrum. A lot of automatic monitors will give an error message if there’s a really bizarre BP. It read 145/125 and decided that must have been an error. (Great. Even machines think I’m impossible).
Moments later, I took some extra Benadryl, crossed my fingers. said “Uh, oh, Ikm…ores… (Crap crap, crap- I’ve waited too long, fantastic that she actually witnessed it, but you waited too long… don’t pass out!..). You see, If I hit the point where I can’ talk, that tells me I have about 30 seconds to get epi in me independently. I never let it get that far anymore. But doctors think I’m nuts when I say ‘I know you can’t see or measure anything yet, but trust me, I’m gonna need epi.” So I left it longer than I should have.
The internal medicine doc came in a while later, was very brief. She thinks my BP is high because I am taking too much salt from my IV. (She missed The fact I’ve had hypertension for five years before I started the saline belies that). I refrained from arguing with her. She’s sending me for a raft of tests, including the ones that I think will be most revealing. I can’t really blame her, she started at ‘normal’, so it’s gonna take a while for her to realize just how far from normal I am.
IM POsting this with barely a proof read. But I’m wiped- we took the kids to see the lights at vandeusen gardens last night, it was the first time in five years I could go. I had my Xolair shot yesterday, and I always feel rough the next day. I’m running a marathon until the kids are back at school. All good things, but WAY outside my energy envelope. I think someone just ran that envelope through the shredder.