Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Meds Day

Finally we go see Dr. N. today. I have been waiting for this day for a while now and I am glad that today is the day. Apart from what I've talked about here with Thomas and his symptoms, I have discovered something that concerns me a great deal.

When Thomas had his scary reaction to that mix of meds, I also monitored his blood pressure. It got quite low and scared me. What grabbed my attention though was his pulse rate (BPM or beats per minute). During the reaction and the low blood pressure his BPM was 86. My frame of reference for this is my own BPM and it's why I'm concerned about his. 86 doesn't seem high in theory and is well under the Heart Association's guidelines but I felt it was high for someone in the throws of a huge drop in blood pressure. I wrote it all down to give to Dr. N. when he saw me but it plagued me a little bit.

Then yesterday we were in the drug store and I thought just for fun that I would have Thomas do his blood pressure in one of those machines that they provide. His blood pressure was decent but his pulse rate was 124!!!! That. Is. High. I spoke of my own BPM and for me, being out of shape, being an occasional smoker, being overweight, and not exercising regularly, my BPM runs about 80. That is average for a person like me in my state of health but it's not an athlete's reading which should be 50-60BPM. Thomas is a thin young man, granted he doesn't exercise but he does eat well (when he does eat) and he's not a smoker or any other consumer of all things bad for you. However, at the point that I measured his blood pressure in the store yesterday, his BPM was 124! That is scary considering he was just hanging out in a store. I asked him if he felt anxious or anything and he reported that he was fine. In my most stressed out moments in my life when I have measure my blood pressure it was sky high and my BPM was about 102. If you had asked me how I was feeling at that point I would have reported being angry and anxious. My results reflected my state of mind.

So, yesterday when we got home, I pulled out our blood pressure machine and took Thomas' blood pressure again. Again his blood pressure was decent but his BPM was 120! This after sitting for a bit and there being no stressors around. How is that possible? I, of course, got on my trusty Google and went to the American Heart Association's website and discovered that any BPM over 100 was considered high, dangerous and the name for it is tachycardia. Now I was panicked in a way. I next Googled the side effects of clozaril and right on the first page before much else was said was a box of warnings in bold black. Among the list of things I already knew about were a bunch of heart-related side effects that I had not seen before. They listed cardiomyopathy and syncope (fainting) etc. and a few other things and I then went back to the Heart Association and read about all of those things. The thing is, his BPM reflects some of the symptoms of some serious heart maladies. I am not happy. Not at all. This is not good because according to what I read, Thomas' poor heart is suffering right now and needs medical attention.

So, as you can probably guess, I will be speaking to Dr. N. about this today. I laid in bed last night and prayed over and over for God to watch over Thomas while he slept. Here's the thing though, at 9pm when all was calmed down for the day, Thomas had had dinner, his meds and was quietly doing Facebook things when I walked in his room so he was in a pretty calm place. I drug him out to check his blood pressure and it was a decent but his BPM's were 118!! 118 at 9pm at night! That CAN'T be good. I asked him if he felt anxious and he said no. I asked him if he had any chest pains lately and he said he didn't know (I hate those damn "I don't know's" of his) and then I asked him if he felt his heart racing ever and his response was,

"I don't know. If I did, I'd be used to it by now and not think anything of it."

What kind of answer is that? How does a person have a racing heart like his is and not feel worried and not mention it to someone? He's used to it? Is that even true what he's saying? Does he know what he's saying when he says that? Perhaps you don't get my concern about his statement. The thing is, he is always like this. He writes off symptoms as nothing or as "I don't know's" when in fact he's suffering greatly. This isn't the first time I have run into similar statements from him that were vague or didn't make a whole lot of sense. He always says he's not in touch with his emotions so it doesn't surprise me that he's obviously not in touch with his bodily signals either.

So, needless to say, I'll be bringing this up to Dr. N. today. In my humble opinion, I cannot see how a body, a heart, can race at such a rate and not have an effect on itself in some negative way. He's a physically healthy young man so there is no reason for his BPM to be like this other than that damn clozaril. The fact of the matter is, by the end of last night I had made a personal decision to not stand in the way of Dr. N. possibly taking Thomas off of clozaril. Honestly, I want him off of it now. It's not doing anything for his schizophrenia and if the answer is to increase it even more to alleviate his schizophrenic symptoms and his BPM is already sky high then all I see in front of us are heart problems and that is just not an option. I will not lose my 19 year old son to a heart attack or stroke.

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