High Blood Pressure usually has no symptoms.
But as I stared at my enlarged lip in the mirror at 3am yesterday, I have to say I was a bit doubtful. Countless people battle this silent disease on a daily basis, and I’m one of them.
As a cardiac nurse, I can easily state the causes, side effects, and complications that come with high blood pressure and hypertension, but I’m not planning on giving a lecture. For once, I want to look at this problem from the eyes of a woman, not a nurse. The experience I had with treating this ailment can only be regarded as tedious.
They say, “Don’t die before death comes”, but when my son drove me to the emergency room in pitch black darkness, and the triage nurse overdramatized my swollen lip, if I had not been a nurse, a heart attack would’ve been only seconds away.
So how did this problem even start?
Let me just begin by saying that I have not had an easy life, and stress engulfed me far too frequently. This was particularly true about four years ago when I was working a twelve-hour shift and I felt a sudden headache and could hear the blood rushing in my head. To say the least, I knew something wasn’t right. Being a nurse, I could assess my symptoms and so decided to check my blood pressure.
For a minute, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I couldn’t believe it. My blood pressure was a high 154/88.
Though blood pressure numbers vary from person to person, I knew those numbers were extremely high for me. Before long, I had talked to my doctor friends and got a prescription for Norvasc. And for a while, it did its job. But as we all know, ALL medications have side effects, some even worse than the problem they’re meant to fix.
Norvasc led a whole other can of worms for me and I developed heartburns less than two months after I started taking it. From there on I switched from medication to medication, each giving me worse side effects than I bargained for, hoping to find something, anything that would fix my problem. Finally, I started taking Lisinopril/HCTZ as prescribed by my doctor.
For a while, it did its job, and I thought I could finally relax and not worry about blood pressure. I had hoped it would be the end of my stressing over blood pressure, but of course I was wrong. Several weeks ago, my daughter bought me an EOS Lip balm ball when I ran out of my usual lip gloss. She was using it well and I figured there was nothing wrong with trying it.
Three hours later, one of my students noticed my upper lip had swelled significantly throughout the day. In the end, I chalked it up to allergies and decided not to use the lip balm again. I didn’t even consider that it might have been my blood pressure medication. Or maybe I just didn’t want to think of the possibilities, after all, the simplest answer is probably correct, right?
It wasn’t. Not in this case. Not having had time to get a new lip gloss still, I tried a Lip Treatment cream to hydrate my lips instead of my usual Vaseline. For a day, everything was fine, and I didn’t think much of the lip balm instance in the past. But then the day after, the swelling began. Slowly but surely, my lip blew up like a balloon at a carnival and I began to get scared.
I tried washing off the balm. I tried icing to reduce the swelling, but it was useless, I decided to take 50 mg of Benadryl to calm down some immune reactions. I was too scared to go to bed, finally, at 3am, I called my son and we went to emergency room.
Through the fear, I began to think of the possible causes. Then it hit me. I had oral Angioedema. A life threatening tissue swelling and fluid accumulation in the lips and throat. As I rode with my son to the emergency room and as the ER doctor gave me Epinephrine and Solu-Medrol intravenously, I knew in my heart that I was really blessed to have not had any swelling in my throat. I remembered all the times I took care of people with the same problem, taking the same medication and I knew I had to change my blood pressure medication again because for all I knew, the next time my lips swell, my throat may swell with it.
I write this a warning to any who may have high blood pressure. Be extremely careful with the medication prescribed to you. Do your research! Just because a doctor says something is good doesn’t mean it’s good for YOU. If you’re not sure, get multiple second opinions. I know it’s hard work and it’s tedious, but I think your health is worth at least that much, don’t you?
Share this, please, you might save someone’s life!
Blessings, RASamuels 🙂
With hope and confidence, you can achieve success.
It doesn’t matter how long ago you finished school.
Don’t give up!! #passnclex
Life is full of ups and downs that will test your resilience. But take heart! The lessons you will learn from the ups and downs will only make you stronger. The deepest pains become our greatest strength.
If you win at everything you do in life, you might be happy, but you may not have developed the strength you need to face any struggles that might come your way. The struggles of our daily life make us strong. The hardship, the pain, and the hurt of everyday life, that you go through and still did not give up; these makes you stronger each day. So, when you’re in the middle of a hardship you think you may not get out of, don’t give up, and look for the lesson in each moment. You are building up the strength for the next day!
Tip #1 – Study to understand, keep memorizing to a minimum.
Good students don’t always study more than other students. They just know how to manage their time, concentrate fully and effectively while studying. Students often express frustration about how much they have to study and how quick they forget. You just get it and forget it. At times like that, it’s important to remember that the NCLEX is an exam that test critical thinking and how well you can apply what you learned in school to a potential nursing situation. So, to prepare for such an exam, understanding of contents is absolutely important. When you understand a topic or a section, it becomes a part of you. If you get it and really understand it; it will be hard to forget it.
Concentrate during your study time – be sure to maintain your attention and focus without distractions. You may not want to hear this, but it’s very important to identify any distraction or disturbance that can make it hard for you to concentrate, then find a way to get rid of the distraction so you can understand what you study. At that point, if you are still having a hard time studying, an NCLEX review class can help you to tame the information you’re given in your textbooks and apply it to the exam. At Rophem, we host interactive classes with content mastery, test taking strategies, and critical thinking exercises designed to guide students step-by-step to pass the NCLEX.
Rophem Nursing Notes 🙂
A state of mental and emotional calmness, with no worries, fears or stress. We can get there and we can maintain this beautiful state of mind. It does not cost anything to be kind to others. It is great to be positive; try as much as possible to be positive even in a difficult situation. An opportunity to help someone is great, do it if you are there; you may be the only one they have to rely on. As a nursing instructor, I always have this talk with students, study not only for the exam, study hard for the day you will be the only one between the patient and death.
Be open as you deal with friends and family, it only helps to create peace of mind that last long. Our body is the only one we have, so it is highly important to care for it. Consider what to eat and drink, good food prevents diseases. Be aware of what your mind is thinking about, let your mind engage in positive thoughts, no matter what; never allow bad thoughts to rule your mind and life. We all have the will power to do this.
Maybe you have some bad experiences in the past, don’t think about them too much. The present moment is more important than the past. We all make mistakes sometimes; learn from the mistakes you have made and don’t repeat them. If you are wrong in your dealings with people, young or old, don’t hesitate to apologize and ask for forgiveness; it’s not for them but it will give you peace of mind. If it is your turn to forgive, do it without grumbling.
We are all beautifully made, be grateful, and appreciate how unique you are. Enjoy your life with the people you love and have Peace of Mind.
Bowed but not Broken!
I remember receiving a phone call from a woman one afternoon. She sounded so disappointed and unhappy because her dearly beloved son had failed his exam. Her son was devastated and was ready to quit. After about half an hour conversation with him, I was able to convince him that he needed to bounce back; that was not what he expected to hear from me.
So many times in life, bad things happen as you are trying to move on to your destiny. Remember, you can be resilient. Tell yourself – Okay, I have to be strong and healthy. Know that you are stronger than you think or believe.
Seasons change and that’s natural. So as you try again, and be strong, you will discover the great plans that God has in store for you.
Rise Up. Try Again. Be Resilient.
Set your eyes on the prize; always remember that nothing comes easy in life. If it were to be easy then everyone will have it and it wouldn’t worth that much.
What is the goal that you want to achieve at this time; stay focused, have the strong will and gently find available resources.
Other things will happen at the same time, life has to go on and these things may appear to stand in your way. Try not to pay too much attention to distractions. Stay focused. A person does not fail until they give up. Never give up!!!
A mother is one who bring up her children with care and affection; motherhood is sweet and powerful. The bible shows us a mother who was persistent without boundaries as she begged Jesus to heal her daughter [Matthew 15:21-28]. Being a mother has taught me to love, and to care unconditionally, to guide my children not only as their truest friend but as a mother who will continue to love and cherish them. Through happiness, sadness, anger and even grief, motherhood has taught me to never give up and never let my children suffer.
To all mothers; as we celebrate this joyous day, let us continue to love, care, and pray for our children, for no man is poor with a Godly mother. Motherhood, is an attitude, a lifestyle, not just a relation. A mother’s love is deep, sound and filled with strength enough to persist through any hardship. She is the one behind her child’s story. Mothers, please don’t give up on your child! Mother’s hold their children’s hand only for a little while, but mothers will continue to hold their children’s heart for all eternity. For motherhood is where true love begins.
Happy Mother’s Day!
We all have goals of what we want to do or become in life. The interest in what we want to become is highly important. The goal will not achieve itself but the joy that comes into our lives once it is accomplished is usually what keeps us going. The first step is developing the motivation to get there, then do something every day to refresh the motivation; this becomes a habit and it will get you there!
It is a brilliant idea to want to do something or become somebody (become a Nurse). Nurses are heroes, nurses are the best, nurses are awesome; and you want to be the best, you want to be a hero, you want to be a nurse! So don’t wait to accomplish your dreams, you’ve started school, congratulations, but you have to push to graduation!
Here is what’s important; how motivated are you to do this? You are really motivated to join one of the best professions in the world; be motivated to finish. You cannot allow the flame to die too quickly after you’ve started. To become a hero is hard but it’s worth it at the end. You will do a lot of work and a lot of studying. It will be hard but you have to remember what prompted you to start, the goal that you have set will help you to develop the habit that will keep you going.
Don’t give up!
– Rophem 🙂