In the past four months I’ve visited my GP more times than I have over the past four years. After being plagued with migraines I decided enough was enough and I wanted to do something about it. At first, it seemed light sensitivity was the problem – as I’m often looking at very bright light in otherwise dark environments. When I had my eyes checked, and everything came back okay, my doctor moved on to the possibility that – while light was a problem, stress and anxiety could be making it worse. Just to be sure there were no further underlying problems, I went for a few blood tests, and I wore a blood pressure monitor for 24 hours while I was in work. I have to admit, wearing a blood pressure monitor was so uncomfortable. It went off every half an hour to take a reading and if it failed to take a reading, it would just try again, but this time it would get tighter. It made work very difficult, and sleeping even more so. I was glad to see the back of the thing the next morning.
I avoided going back to the doctor for a while, as I’d got quite paranoid that she would tell me I’m sick because I’m fat- which she sort of did. When I arrived, I told her I was feeling better than I had, but I was still getting headaches. I also asked her if the results of my previous tests were okay. She told me my thyroid bloods came back fine, but that she had some other concerns. She took my measurements, and asked me if I’d considered that my weight might be an issue – as I’m a size 16. I assured her that I’m very healthy and active, as my work needs me to be, but my diet is awful and I’m working on it. She was so kind, and said she wasn’t trying to make me feel bad about myself, she just thought it could help – but if I can work on my weight, I should.
However, my weight wasn’t her main concern at all. Her main concern was my blood pressure, which peaked at 161/85 and was at 145/81 at its lowest. I knew nothing about blood pressure at this point, so she gave me a quick guide to blood pressure in layman’s terms. The first number represents the pressure in my arteries as my heart is beating, and the second number is the pressure in between beats. A healthy pressure is anything under 120/80. Pre-hypertension is 121/81 – 140/90 and hypertension that needs addressing is anything over that. At 161/85, my pressure on the beat is far too high. While it could be anxiety, it could apparently indicate a problem with my kidneys. She asked a few questions about my family history, before booking me a significant amount of tests – including an ultrasound, an ECG, a urine test and a meeting with a cardiologist.
In the meantime, I’m still banned from caffeine, painkillers and alcohol. I have to be honest, since laying off the caffeine I have noticed a significant drop in the amount of migraines I’ve had. While I still have some form of head pain daily, only a few days have turned into fully blown migraine days. I’m not hugely keen on taking painkillers anyway, but there have been a few days where I would have done anything for a paracetamol! Instead, I’ve had to manage the pain in other ways – which mostly involved sulking.
I’ve got my ECG next week, and I’m waiting for the other appointment times to come through. Here’s hoping everything comes back okay!