Back in the mid-'90s I was working away from home and signe up with a GP near work.
This surgery had a policy of doing a “health MOT” on all new patients (Blood Tests and 3 weeks of BP).
Then the GP gave me the news:
“You can quit smoking or you can quit living”. My BP was 210 over 110. So that was the day I stopped (20 years ago).
18 months later and I was working for the same Uni, at a different location, and back home with the old family GP practice.
A bit of attention to my diet and the BP is down a little (like 180 over 100).
Then I have an argument with my boss for not doing something that he had told me not to do earlier that day (He had a BP problem and was also on that evil stuff Seroxat). While this is happening I feel dizzy and cannot breathe. Uh-Oh!
That afternoon I had an appointment with my GP, and told her what had happened.
The next thing is an appointment for a stress cardiogram at the local district hospital.
The test is stopped after 30 seconds and I am told that they want me to stay in for another test.
I am turning this down, my wife is waiting, the car is in the (expensive) car-park, and I do not wqant an overnight stay.
The next week I am in for a cardio-gram. Catheter in the femoral artery, tiny tube in up to the heart, an injection of dye, and we are all watching on a live x-ray screen. This is when I find out that I need a quadruple bypass, and I am sent home with a letter to my GP with instructions to go to the surgery that same day. Now I am on a string of heart medication to keep me alive while I wait for the bypass op.
Of all the things that I was on, the biggest single effect was obtained from a beta-blocker that slowed my heart rate down. In my case this was Atenolol, but it could have been anything ending in"olol". The rest of the story is not relevant, but:
BP has to be considered with heart rate (and my resting pulse then was 80 per minute).
If BP medication is not working as expected, there could be a good reason for it.
A stress cardiogram can be a simple way if finding out if there is something serious to be concerned about.
The bypass is now 15 years behind me. The MS came along several years later. I am still on a lot of the heart medication (but not Atenolol). The pulse is now typically 60 per minute, and the BP is typically 135 over 70.
Pam, I think you need a serious talk with your GP.