Disability aids, equipment and technology
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Blood Pressure Monitoring Wristwatch

OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,443 Disability Gamechanger
Hi,

I've mentioned in previous threads that I regularly get wobbly, dizzy, light-headed spells and these seem to be getting more frequent.  I also get a sudden feeling of falling, or like the room starts to rotate and I have to quickly ground myself against something solid, so far that stops the effect (although it does then trigger panic instead!) but I'm worried that it won't always work and the panic afterwards is obviously not ideal.

 The things I've noticed make it worse or more frequent are heat, stress, looking downwards or closely at things, before/during/after a bowel movement, when lifting & bending and lastly any sort of motion, even something as simple as sitting on a 'bouncy' mattress!

I have severe contamination fears and medical/illness/bodily fluid phobias but was hoping to force myself into the GP this Spring to check if it was anything serious...obviously that's not going to happen during the Corona pandemic now!  Blood pressure has been mentioned a few times so I was wondering if there's any cheap & easy way I could keep an eye on that myself during the above times like some sort of fitness watch?  If so, any recommendations?

Thanks.
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Replies

  • atlas47atlas47 Member Posts: 179 Pioneering
    Hi @OverlyAnxious

    The best thing you can do, is to make an appointment with your GP.

    You need a BP machine, not a wrist watch.

    Your systems suggest you have a balance problem, that may be linked to your hearing.

    Your GP can do simple tests on our balance, to check.

    I experienced the very same thing.

    Would be interested to know how you get on.

    Hope this helps.
  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,443 Disability Gamechanger
    I definitely can't go to the GP for at least 3 months in the current situation - unless it becomes life threatening of course.  I've only been able to force myself in there 3 times over the last 5 years, and not at all for the previous decade.  My blood pressure will be extremely high at the surgery because of the other issues, a test there won't prove anything other than anxiety disorders.  I want something that I can check regularly while at home.  I know those watches can measure heart rate (which might also be useful) but not really sure what else they test.

    What was the outcome for yourself if you don't mind me asking?
  • atlas47atlas47 Member Posts: 179 Pioneering
    Hi @OverlyAnxious

     You could think of buying your own BP monitor from Argos, they cost about £25.

    They have clear instructions and easy to use.

    You need to identity what your rage of BP is, based on age and sex (male/female).

    My wife had to monitor her BP for a two week period, as requested by her GP.

    She did three tests am and three more around teatime.

    You need to write the results down, as this will be good evidence for your GP.

    My balance issues, where the same symptoms as yours, I saw four different consultants and had various tests.

    I have to be very careful about taking my time when moving around, you soon learn.

    Hope this helps.
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 8,002

    Scope community team

    Hi @OverlyAnxious. Did you manage to find a suitable device? Obviously it's important to get professional medical advice from your doctor if you're concerned about something health-related.
    If you're still looking to pick up a monitor, lots of online retailers sell them. My partner picked up a reasonably cheap (around £20-25) one from Amazon a few years back. It's still going strong and results in the same range as when a doctor does it. 
    Be careful if you do decide to monitor at home, I know for my partner it became quite obsessional and every fluctuation triggered her anxiety, exacerbating the situation further. 
    Community Manager
    Scope
  • atlas47atlas47 Member Posts: 179 Pioneering
    Hi @OverlyAnxious

    Just another thought.

    My GP surgery are not seeing patients, but they are offering telephone appointments, with a GP.

    This is because of Coronavirus.

    It might be worth considering.

    They are also offering Skype.

    Worth thinking about.
  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,443 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @OverlyAnxious. Did you manage to find a suitable device? Obviously it's important to get professional medical advice from your doctor if you're concerned about something health-related.
    If you're still looking to pick up a monitor, lots of online retailers sell them. My partner picked up a reasonably cheap (around £20-25) one from Amazon a few years back. It's still going strong and results in the same range as when a doctor does it. 
    Be careful if you do decide to monitor at home, I know for my partner it became quite obsessional and every fluctuation triggered her anxiety, exacerbating the situation further. 
    No, I didn't in the end.  

    I really wanted something 'passive' like a watch that could be worn all the time.  I don't think I'd be able to use a proper cuff type one at all as I can't stand it when all the veins come up and you can feel it moving in there even when I'm not feeling light-headed & wobbly...I really couldn't risk making that happen when I am!  I don't think what I wanted actually exists, I just wanted something I could glance at when it happens while sitting on the loo or doing a bit of hoovering for example...time I've sorted myself out, got through to the lounge and got a cuff out and on to my arm my blood pressure will obviously be high anyway and won't be helpful, as with your partner.

    I also can't afford one either, not sure where I thought I could find the money from when I started this thread... :| 

    I won't take this thread off topic but it's been the IBS, water retention & nausea that have been the bigger issues over the last few days, with the wobbliness being less frequent than a couple of weeks ago when I posted this.  All these physical symptoms seem to peak in 'waves' for around a week or two before easing a little and the next one peaks instead.  I don't understand why or what causes them, despite trying to keep diaries of food and stress etc nothing seems to make any difference.

    Obviously being stuck home in lockdown is meaning I've got no escape from my own body & brain, whereas I usually go for a short walk each day, not because I find it relaxing, but because it causes a different type of anxiety lol.  I'm just constantly worrying about Chrons, kidney stones, narrowed bowels, stomach ulcers, tooth problems etc, etc, etc at the moment and really not coping with being 'alive' and having no distraction from that.  Makes me laugh when people say Mindfulness will help...that's focussing on the exact things I can't cope with! :D

    I won't be able to get any physical help until I can mentally cope with bodies and bodily fluids and bodily processes which I never have been able to explain to any medical professional or family member so far...there must be other people with the same level of health anxiety but I've never come across one yet, so it's totally understandable that the Doctors won't understand something they haven't seen.  I never have been able to cope with bodies, it's not something that was triggered by a bad expereince in my case which is where therapies can help, it's been there for as long as I can remember so I don't know of anything that will help.  At the end of last year I tried to get mental help for this again through sheer desperation, and was pushed through 3 different assessments, finally ending up at the local mental team, who just said there wasn't any help available for someone in my position.  I even left a letter with them as I couldn't really explain myself verbally, but heard nothing from them at all, didn't even get a report from the assessment or anything.  I don't know what I'm meant to do now, this isn't just going to go away and while some of my physical issues may just be 'in my head' I know at least some definitely aren't and should've been treated years ago, obviously worse now, and still with no chance of being able to accept treatement for them in the foreseeable future either.  



  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,443 Disability Gamechanger
    atlas47 said:
    Hi @OverlyAnxious

    Just another thought.

    My GP surgery are not seeing patients, but they are offering telephone appointments, with a GP.

    This is because of Coronavirus.

    It might be worth considering.

    They are also offering Skype.

    Worth thinking about.
    Thanks Atlas,

    I can't use telephones at all - despite the agoraphobia, contamination OCD and social anxiety it's actually slightly less difficult to force myself into a F2F meeting than speak on a phone.  I know it doesn't make any sense...it doesn't to me either! 

    It would help if my surgery would accept e-mail but they won't.  I've had to resort to writing physical letters and posting them to try and get a response but they usually get misunderstood anyway.  Last time I asked for some 'remote' advice as I couldn't get into the surgery, they just sent me a hospital appointment instead...as if that was going to be any easier! :/ 

    Tbh, if it is a balance issue as you suggest, and they'll just tell me to do things more slowly, there's no point trying to deal with them.  I never will be able to cope with it but I've got enough common sense not to go headbanging to Metallica when it occurs! ;)
  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,443 Disability Gamechanger
    I spoke too soon...it happened 4 times today where I've suddenly felt like falling and had to steady myself, over and above my usual light wobbly, fuzzy, unsteadiness.
     
    Twice in one bathroom session around 2pm, then again while walking round the block at 3pm, and finally just now stood in the kitchen at 7pm...yet I managed to hoover the flat ok at 4pm, albeit slowly and trying to keep looking forward instead of down.  Don't understand it at all.  It was very weird when it happened while out, there was nothing to steady myself against so I grabbed my other arm tight around my back which did seem to help, when I let go I felt odd again so ended up walking the whole way back like that!  Tbh it's scared me trying to go for a walk again, don't know what I'd have down if I'd collapsed there or not been able to walk home.  :(

    I'm starting to think it's a vasovagal issue, where the BMs are hitting the nerve on the way past...I know there's nothing at all I can do if it is that though.  I'd find life so much easier if I didn't have to eat or defecate!  :D


  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    Sounds like a scary experience @OverlyAnxious! Have you found you are anxious at the same time as this?
    Scope

  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,443 Disability Gamechanger
    I'm anxious all the time (hence the name lol!) so it's hard to tell whether anxiety might be part of the cause or just the effect...or possibly both! 


  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    Sorry for missing this. How are things doing today. :)
    Scope

  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,443 Disability Gamechanger
    Sorry for missing this. How are things doing today. :)
    No problem!  :) 

    Not too bad today, I've had another week or two without any major dizzy spells.  Still had plenty of stomach & bowel problems though.  There really seems to be no common reason for either the dizziness or the digestive issues that I can see, or a specific link between them.  There must be something, somewhere that I'm missing though! 
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    I'm glad the dizzy spells haven't been as prominent, I imagine it is still a concern if you don't know the cause. I hope you are doing well today. :)
    Scope

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