1 Reply Latest reply on Oct 20, 2014 6:45 PM by canthony

    recording blood pressures - arms I meant


      My spouse is very tidy (and organized) - so you know what type she married.

      In cleaning out a thin and wide drawer (in which from time to time I "secret" away a bit of this and that)

      she handed me a stack of forms for recording blood pressure readings.

      I noticed at the bottom of the columns a "total" and "average" blood pressure.

      Intriguing. What possible use could an "average" blood pressure serve?

      For me, the purpose of taking blood pressure readings and creating a written record is to change behaviors (mine).

      Therefore, I am most interested in "outliers" - the readings that are "too high."

      I could care less about a calculated "average" (whatever that means).

      Some time ago I read that one should check the blood pressure in both the right and left arm (sides).

      If the readings are widely disparate then it could be a sign of impending problems with heart.

      The most recent time I went to my internist (around when I turned age 70) the pressure (white coat syndrome)

      was too high, especially the second number (in 90's).

      The doctor ordered me to take blood pressure readings and record them the first two weeks.

      I continue to do that. I have two machines of different vintage - one for right, one for left side.

      I put the cuff of each on an arm. Then, feet flat on carpet floor, I run first one and then the other.

      When at the doctor's office, I offer my left arm.

      So, I figured readings on my Left were the problem, since it "always" seemed higher, so I switched the order.

      Now my right side is higher (by how much, varies). In any case, the readings are always different

      (sequential, not simultaneous). The pulse is usually close to the same - also varies a lot.

      I take the readings after I have walked 30 minutes (which I do twice or three times daily).

      Also, this time (doctor office) for the first time I saw and paid attention to the instruction "always sit still for three minutes to five minutes" BEFORE taking blood pressure readings. I also read recently that the doctor (office) should always take blood pressure reading two times (or even three times). This may be happening but I am not / was not aware. In any case, my behavior has changed - for the better.