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low blood pressure, low pulse, pounding headaches...........

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Dolly (Andrew's mom) Find out more about Dolly (Andrew's mom)
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  • low blood pressure, low pulse, pounding headaches...........

    I hope someone here might have some ideas for me as to what is going on with Andrew. He had his knee reconstruction surgery one week ago today. This was not a typical cartlidge surgery. He had an ACL reconstruction with the graft being harvested from his patella, holes being drilled into his femur and tibia and screws being used to secure the new graft. It was a pretty major surgery.

    As I said, he had this surgery one week ago today. He was released later the same day. He had problems in the recovery with is blood pressure and pulse dropping pretty low. His pulse stayed in the mid to upper 40's most of that day and his blood pressure ran between high 70s to low 80s systolic and between high 30s to mid 40s diastolic. They were still in those areas when he was released and i was a bit concerned about it. But I figured they wouldn't release him if it was a problem!

    He also had bladder problems and needed to be taken back in to be cathed. His bladder did not start back up until 60 hours later. At the appt. to have his cath put in the nurse commented that his pulse and blood pressures were really low. (running about the same as in the recovery room) I told her they have been since his surgery........... and nothing more was said. Today he went to school for a couple hours for the first time. At one point he was looking pale and sweaty so the teacher had the nurse come check him. Again his pulse and blood pressure were running very low. ABout the same as they have been since the surgery.

    He has also been experiencing non-stop pounding headaches that nothing seems to be helping. He has a perscription for tylenol 3 for his knee pain, which has been minimal lately, and even those are not helping the headaches. He has had a couple days of sweating, nausea attacks as well.

    I am just totally confused about what is going on with him! He has been miserable since the surgery, but the knee itself has been pretty managable the past few days. Not a lot of pain, average swelling, no signs of infection, ect.......... It is everything else going on that is keeping him down!

    Any ideas? Is this consistant low blood pressure and pulse a concern?
    Dolly~
    mom to Andrew(HCM) 21 years old
    Diagnosed \'95 age 5
    Myectomy \'96 age 6
    ICD implant \'99 age 9
    First ICD shock (X2) \'04
    ICD replacement surgery \'05 age 15

    *And aunt to 7 year old Kenny who had HCM and suffered sudden death in gym class. (2/20/87 - 4/6/94)

  • #2
    Any possibility that he is dehydrated? Low BP and headaches can both be caused by being dehydrated. Narcotic pain meds can also cause these symptoms along with nausea and sweating. If he is on beta or calcium channel blockers, maybe you need to discuss this with his cardiologist and perhaps temporarily reduce his dosages.
    Vickie

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    • #3
      Thanks Vikie. I forgot to mention he does take atenonol and he has been on beta blockers since his diagnosis. Nothing new or different there.

      As far as dehydration, I have been watching that and he has been drinking plenty (I thought so anyway!) because he did become terribly dehydrated the day of surgery.
      Dolly~
      mom to Andrew(HCM) 21 years old
      Diagnosed \'95 age 5
      Myectomy \'96 age 6
      ICD implant \'99 age 9
      First ICD shock (X2) \'04
      ICD replacement surgery \'05 age 15

      *And aunt to 7 year old Kenny who had HCM and suffered sudden death in gym class. (2/20/87 - 4/6/94)

      Comment


      • #4
        This past week when I was in the hospital I had the same problems. I would say it is probably due to a combination of him being on narcotic pain drugs, inactivity, and his beta blockers. I felt completely miserable and was light headed, nauseated, and horrible headaches. So, I'd concur with Vicki

        Mary S.

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        • #5
          Mary, I hope you are feeling better. I see with Andrew how miserable it is

          Does anyone know........... if this was being caused by the pain pills (codiene) how long it would take to get the meds out of his system? It has been over 24 hours since he has had any and there is no change in him at all this morning. If anything he is feeling worse. Still the pounding head, cold clammy sweating, , ect.........And now his knee pain is worse without the pain meds. I have been pushing the water more since yesterday too. I hate to have to take him in to see a doctor! He has been through so much the past week already! (With two unexpected trips in to be cathed besides the scheduled post surgery visits!)
          Dolly~
          mom to Andrew(HCM) 21 years old
          Diagnosed \'95 age 5
          Myectomy \'96 age 6
          ICD implant \'99 age 9
          First ICD shock (X2) \'04
          ICD replacement surgery \'05 age 15

          *And aunt to 7 year old Kenny who had HCM and suffered sudden death in gym class. (2/20/87 - 4/6/94)

          Comment


          • #6
            Dolly,

            Although my docs have always told me that narcotics are out of your system fairly quickly (4 hours for percocet)... any time i have taken them in the past there has been somewhat of a 'hangover' effect which seems to last for several days after stopping the meds. This is likely due to the dehydration effect everyone is talking about here. I usually just try to push lots of water like you've been doing.

            However, don't rely on our opinions or advice especially if Andrew's symptoms seem to be getting worse. This could very likely be something else altogether. I know the poor guy has been through a lot already, but that's why i probably would take him to the doctor to avoid bigger trouble down the road.

            I sure hope Andrew gets to feeling better soon. He's been through much more than any 15 year-old should have to.

            Hang in there (both of you),

            Jim
            "Some days you're the dog... some days you're the hydrant."

            Comment


            • #7
              Dolly, Sounds like Andrew is feeling bad enough to call the doctor. He had a lot of invasive procedures and he could be fighting a low-grade infection somewhere in his body. Why take chances? I'm sorry you all have so much to deal with, and I hope it straightens out very soon. Please keep us posted. Linda

              Comment


              • #8
                I took Andrew to the doctor today because he still has the pounding headaches and his blood pressure is still way low. (We have an automatic blood pressure monitor at home) He has also still been having on and off episodes of nausea, sweating, and sudden onset fatigue. He is not back to school yet because of all this.

                3 hours after getting there we left with no real answers. They did blood workups and a CT scan of his head. His white blood cell count was a little low, but nothing too concerning to them. The blood tests didn't alert to any infections going on anywhere. The CT scan was also ok. So the doctor feels it is just a prolonged reaction to the anesthesia and surgery. He feels it is just going to take extra time for Andrew to get back to feeling well again and getting his strength back. I feel better knowing there are no infections anywhere in his body and that there were no concerns with the head CT, but am still a bit concerned about the continuing very low blood pressure and constant headaches.

                As far as his knee itself, it is coming along good. No excessive swelling or bruising and the pain has been manageable the past day or two. He does not get the stitches out until May 4th. He had physical therapy today and he was very sore after that, but he handled it pretty well. If it wasn't for the nausea, headaches, and blood pressure problems he would be doing super.
                Dolly~
                mom to Andrew(HCM) 21 years old
                Diagnosed \'95 age 5
                Myectomy \'96 age 6
                ICD implant \'99 age 9
                First ICD shock (X2) \'04
                ICD replacement surgery \'05 age 15

                *And aunt to 7 year old Kenny who had HCM and suffered sudden death in gym class. (2/20/87 - 4/6/94)

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm glad there isn't anything bad wrong, but I do hope that he feels lots better soon.

                  Reenie
                  Reenie

                  ****************
                  Husband has HCM.
                  3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi Dolly,

                    I'm sorry to hear about Andrew's problems. A little over a year ago I experienced very similar symptoms. It was summer here in Australia and quite hot. One day after exercise in very hot weather I just felt so ill - I thought I was having a stroke (even though I was only 33 at the time). My head was pounding and it just wouldn't go away. I checked my blood pressure at home and also had a 24 hour monitor and it was low - even dropping to 65/40 on some occassions. The headaches and low blood pressure just persisted week after week. Eventually (5 or 6 weeks later) I started to feel better).

                    I'm sure all of this was related to my HOCM - and particularly me overdoing it in the heat (though my cardiologist at the time was completely unhelpful as to what the cause of my headaches and low BP might be). I also had a CT scan and everything was normal. It is possible that Andrew's system has suffered considerable stress from the surgery etc. and that his heart is under extra stress during this period of recovery. I'm sure things will settle down soon. But you should seek additional medical advice if his BP and headaches don't go away soon.

                    Keep us posted on how Andrew is doing.

                    Paul
                    Age 38, dad of two young children, dx 1996, myectomy March 2005, a-fib issues, due for ICD soon.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks Paul for sharing your similar experience.

                      Andrew's headaches have pretty much stopped. He still has one occasionally but nothing more then he would before the surgery. His blood pressure seems to have leveled back out as well. He is actually doing very well this week! He returned to school, had his stiches removed, was told he could go without crutches, and can shower without Saran Wrap again!

                      He still has a lot of rehab to go through, and many days of swelling and knee pain, but it is GREAT to be on a "normal" recovery course! Life in general is getting more like normal around here.............which isn't really "normal" when you have a teenager in the house!
                      Dolly~
                      mom to Andrew(HCM) 21 years old
                      Diagnosed \'95 age 5
                      Myectomy \'96 age 6
                      ICD implant \'99 age 9
                      First ICD shock (X2) \'04
                      ICD replacement surgery \'05 age 15

                      *And aunt to 7 year old Kenny who had HCM and suffered sudden death in gym class. (2/20/87 - 4/6/94)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Great to hear Dolly! I know what's its like to have the bp out of whack and it can really get you under. I hope everything keeps going smoothly!

                        Mary S.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi Dolly,

                          That's really good news! Surgery can have such a huge impact on our system and just takes time to settle down.

                          Take care and give Andrew and big pat on the back. He is really brave dealing with all this so well at such a young age.

                          Paul
                          Age 38, dad of two young children, dx 1996, myectomy March 2005, a-fib issues, due for ICD soon.

                          Comment

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