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Old 04-19-2004, 03:41 AM
Danalan Danalan is offline
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Last house on the right.
Posts: 2,365
suezeekay, what does your BP read at the doctors? What does it read at home?

There is a phenomenon called 'white coat syndrome', which causes ones blood pressure to be high at the doctors office. Does your doctor take your BP himself? Does he take it in both arms, several times during your visit? If not, I'd consider getting a new doctor. Particularly since you may very well need medication -- high blood pressure is nothing to mess around with.

Since you say you have a large arm, can I assume you are overweight? Your doctor may be assuming facts not in evidence based upon your weight. It also bothers me that he smokes -- never a good sign of a responsible physician, IMHO.

The newer home machines are surprisingly accurate -- particularly useful for trending data over time. I'd get another opinion. I recommend that you find one of the free blood pressure check services I mentioned. Try to find one that uses an electronic vital signs monitor -- an automatic BP machine used in hospitals. These machines are very accurate. Ask if you can hang around and get several readings on each arm -- spaced at least 5 - 10 minutes apart. Record all the readings, and take them to your doctor (or whomever).

Your doctor's insistence on a mercury BP device is not only unnecessary, it is foolish. Ask him if he has a mercury spill kit on hand -- he should, as it's the only way to deal with a problem that could shut his whole office down for quite some time while the white-space-suit guys decontaminate it. No hospital uses mercury thermometers or BP cuffs any more. Too dangerous. Modern electronic BP monitors are at least as accurate as mercury -- and more accurate when compared to poorly trained nurses.