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Thread: Please help ASAP! Blood-pressure unstable and being sent to skilled nursing facility

  1. #1

    Cool Please help ASAP! Blood-pressure unstable and being sent to skilled nursing facility

    How can I manage life with fluctuations of blood pressure? I am to be transferred to sub acute hospital or nursing facility tonight or tomorrow. I'm petrified and don't believe I need to go there; and worry my health will suffer more if I do.

    I have been in the hospital for nine days because my blood pressure swings too high and too low. AD will bring it up to the 200 levels and the hypertension will swing as low as 45/20. This happens because of my bowel routine and gas distending my belly that follows evacuation of the stool.

    The doctors here are unfamiliar with the idiosyncrasies of spinal cord injury. I think they are going overboard in keeping me here so long and now transferring me to a skilled nursing facility. We've done all kinds of tests including adrenal insufficiency, and tried several different drugs including midodrine and clonidine. All are negative.

    I believe that I just need some trick to manage my bowel routine and I could be safe at home instead of being monitored 24 hours a day. Here is what is happening:
    1. Magic Bullet suppository
    2. 2 to 3 hours digital stimulation for evacuation. Stool first, then lots of watery mucous. Sometimes bleeding.
    3. Abdomen fills up with gas and belly becomes very distended
    4. Pain, sweating, copious amounts of belched air
    5. AD kicks in. Blood pressure increases around 175, but up to 225.
    6. Take Norco for pain. *About an hour later, blood pressure drops to 60s, but as low as 40s. Dizzy, fainting and see white splotches.
    7. Blood pressure stabilizes to around 90/60 within an hour or two.

    I have been a C 5/6 quadriplegic for 29 years, very healthy and active. The only medications I need are a stimulant in the morning before I get out of bed and a Norco when I do my bowel routine. Sometimes in a blue moon, a Valium for muscle spasm.

    I drink 3 to 4 L of Gatorade, green tea and water a day. My diet is high-fiber, mostly vegetarian. I am very health conscious.

    I am considering a colostomy to manage bowel routine. Colecterol surgeon said it would help in management but would not be a solution for the gas that distends my belly.

    I found a post from long ago that sounded like my problem - gassiness, dizzy then low blood pressure. Stool changed from formed to soft at 25 years post injury. No answer though. Thought it might be related to my problem.
    Last edited by Broken Doll; 09-04-2012 at 07:02 PM. Reason: Typos

  2. #2
    Miralax saved my life.
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  3. #3
    Broken Doll, I completely understand your fears! Let's see if we can find something good to help with your gas problems and liberate you from skilled nursing before you ever arrive.

    At the risk of sounding like a broken record, are you taking any probiotics? I had terrible gas like you get, and found that the rate probiotic helped not only prevent the gas but also helped with constipation that I attributed solely to the narcotics I take. There are a number of probiotics and help with gas; the trick is finding the one that works for you.

    Have you tried activated charcoal? My understanding is that also helps with gas in the digestive tract. It tastes terrible, but if it'll keep you from going to a skilled nursing facility, then what's a little yuck?
    It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience.

    ~Julius Caesar

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Wisconsin USA
    Have you had a colonoscopy and a timed transit test yet?
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  5. #5
    Sounds similar to the symptoms I had. Would get better and back in for the same stuff. Found out the rectum quit working or something like that. Had a Sigmoid Loop colostomy and haven't had any trouble since. It took a while for them to figure it out. I sure feel for ya BD.

  6. #6
    Moderator jody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    east o the southern warren
    don't be afraid. It is temporary, until you get more stable blood pressure. I kinda see why, i have nutty blood pressure lately, and it is scary to see, and I puke all over.

    It happens for no reason too, or because I want a bath, or rode in a car, or stayed outside too long, anyway if you are passing out because of low or high blood pressure it must feel pretty scary. It does for me. scares the heck out of anyone who see's it.

    my friend with ms had the same thing, and it turns out she broke her femur trying to get from van to chair. kept passing out. as soon as they figured it out she went back home.

    im told to eat a lot of salt, and wear support sox. the support hose and an ab binder does help with the low blood pressure. Im supposed to drink a ton more water than Im used to try and keep the blood pressure stable.

    charcoal caps do help with trapped gas.

  7. #7
    Thank you all for your kind words and advice. Unfortunately, I couldn't convince my doctor to let me go home and have a home health nurse monitor me while I do my bowel routine. Before I knew what was happening, medical transport was at my bedside to transport me to an LTAC, Kindred Hospital Long Term Aute Care in ICU surrounded by old comotose patients being monitored 24 hours a day.

    I DON'T BELONG HERE!!! My blood pressure is fine unless I take a Norco to sop the pain that causes the dysreflexia that then causes my blood pressure to drop. I need solutions, not a place to lay and rot with a monitoring system on me.

    I want to explore the options you've listed.

  8. #8
    Moderator jody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    east o the southern warren
    well you can't go getting AD you might get a stroke. oh, sound like my grammie. anyway can you go home when your blood pressure is stable?

    and what else have you tried?
    do you have a binder that squeezes you abdomen? I thought it would make me more faint, but if combined with knee high support, or waist, (the thigh ones give me AD)

    this probably won't work but someone mentioned ice, so Ive had a bucket of ice to put my feet in, and I havent felt like passing out. still have a crazy heart beat, but for so long. Instead of chips though ive had salted sunflower seeds, nuts, and dried salmon.

    I thought I was drinking a lot of water, turns out I need a lot more water not to be dehydrated, and faint. if I dont feel faint, I have a pounding headache. anyway, my blood pressure is better by drinking twice as much as I was, and gatoraid, im not so good with the gatoraid but it does seem to help.

  9. #9
    ask your Dr. To call your SCI dr. and explain the basics.
    Get involved in politics as if your life depended on it, because it does. -- Justin Dart

    I shall not tolerate ignorance or hate speech on this site.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Liz321 View Post
    Miralax saved my life.
    Miralax. It works.

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