Sandy: A few weeks ago my blood pressure was taken during a routine exam and it was 140/90. Alarmingly high. My first thought was that I had inherited this condition from my parents who both have hypertension. This was my first visit with this particular Internal Medicine doctor so we weren’t familiar with each other. As she read through my chart she saw that I had allergies and that I listed over the counter medicine which included Pseudoephedrine Hydrochloride (generic Sudafed) and asked if I had taken any that day. I had, and come to find out, it raises blood pressure. She suggested another treatment for my symptoms so I didn’t have to use Pseudoephedrine HCl for relief. Two days later my blood pressure was retaken and it was 110/70. Whew! Easy fix and I’m really relieved.
The reading for blood pressure can be higher if it’s taken from the side of your dominant hand. If you take your blood pressure at home and apply the BP cuff to your left arm, if you are right hand dominant), it may be different from the doctor’s and not a true reading. I wonder if that has ever occurred to the medical staff because it seems like the BP cuff is put on the arm closest to the cuff which is attached to the wall.
Sandy’s year long journey – going from being a right-hander to left-hander, and Kelly’s parallel trip as a left-hander doing things as a right-hander.