So yesterday was a big day. A month after finding out my blood pressure was through the roof, I had an appointment with a nephrologist (kidney doctor) to review my case and hopefully give some guidance going forward.
First off, the doctor and nurse were very impressed with my spreadsheet and chart, tracking my blood pressure over the last month. After weeks of having my color-coded document completely ignored by the walk-in physicians and nurses, it was nice to finally get some appreciation of my geeked up spreadsheet. I was especially proud of the management-friendly trend lines on the chart.
So with my home tracking looking good and my meds doing their job, we moved on to other matters. My blood work results were great. Even my cholesterol levels were superb (surprisingly). I'd had an ultrasound done on my kidneys a couple weeks ago and that showed perfectly healthy kidneys. So I've cleared all the serious diagnostic issues. So what's left? What could possibly explain my high blood pressure? The doctor's best guess? Sleep apnea. He was 98% certain that the root cause of my high blood pressure was my snoring. Well, the root, root cause is that I'm overweight which started the snoring which lead to the high blood pressure. But it was actually quite a relief to hear. That's something that can be addressed easily and quickly.
The weight loss still has to happen and I'm sticking to my program going forward but a night in a sleep clinic and sleeping with a darth vader mask for the indeterminate future sounds A-OK to me compared to the nightmares of surgeries I was conjuring up in my head prior to meeting with the nephrologist.
And I just have to say, I've had some not-so-kind words for the state of the K-W region's emergency rooms, but this whole experience has left me very appreciative of the entire medical staff at both St. Mary's and Grand River hospitals. With the exception of one particular Judgy McJudgington nurse at St. Mary's, everybody else I have interacted with has been professional and supportive. There's a piss poor selection of family doctors in the area but I'm feeling a lot better knowing the quality of support that's available at our hospitals.