I can’t believe I am writing about health issues again – but, in the days after returning from the UK I had been feeling very low indeed. This continued after I left the clinic on Friday: I felt incredibly fatigued, I had a non-stop headache, singing in the ears, nausea… …. and various other less dramatic symptoms.
On Saturday morning I struggled to go to orchestra – I did not want to let them down after about a month’s absence (and the end of May concerts approaching) – and then returned to my bed. Margaret suggested I took my blood pressure: it was 200/130 -nearly double its usual level!
Encouraged by Hans and Margaret I rang the emergency health number (15) for advice. I was eventually put through to a doctor in Nimes, who advised me to rest, take the more powerful pills (Coaprovel 150) which my doctor and I dropped a few months earlier after I had too low blood pressure and a couple of near faints, and to see my doctor on Monday.
So, resting as ordered on Sunday (trying not to think of the non-preparations for my friend Sally’s imminent arrival), I ruminated on my condition and came to the conclusion, as that fateful being, a patient with access to the internet, that I have two problems: the medications prescribed for my blood pressure and that for the pinched nerve in my lower spine.
When I went to London, I forgot to pack Neurontin (Gabentine) and Pramipexole (Sifrol), the medicines for my back! But my back pain was no better or worse than before. And while in London I about research at East Anglia University showing a higher probability of Alzheimer’s if you take such medicines
When I got back I decided to stop taking the Neurontin until I could talk to the neurologist about this research. But I did keep to her instructions to double the dose of Sifrol.
On Monday I told all this to the remplacante (the locum taking urgent cases as my GP was fully booked up). She clearly did not want to enter the debate about possible side effects of the nerve pain medicines, and concentrated on the blood pressure problem (now down to something like 170/110 – still much too high). She prescribed a much higher dose of Coaprovel and told me to get a blood test and then see the cardiologue in Ganges (what you do here is get prescriptions from your doctor and then arrange the appointments yourself). She also told me to take my blood pressure at least twice a day and keep a diary. When I last took my bp yesterday it was down to 135/86, which is approaching my normal of about 120/70.
All symptoms are much reduced, though of course I don’t know how much this is caused by dealing with the high blood pressure or how much my unsanctioned dramatic reduction in the neuropathic medication!
So the next developments will no doubt be my appointment with Maëlle on 24 th May