Am I overreacting?

Krys - posted on 04/26/2011 ( 12 moms have responded )

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So here's the deal. I'm 28 weeks pregnant with my second child and like last time I've been told that I'm high risk for hypertension this time around again. My first is 19 months old and I developed pre-eclampsia with him. I've got a bit of a situation, and I was wondering what other mothers would do when faced with what happened when I went to my last midwives appointment this morning.
My midwife and OB have been watching me very closely since about 18 weeks pregnant as they believe that I am once again going to develop high blood pressure. So far, its been pretty good. The high side of happy really, but nothing to worry about yet. Every month I'm in for an ultrasound and blood pressure checks every 2 weeks is the plan they have me on for the moment.
The last 2 days I've been feeling a little funny, some spotting in my vision and the feeling of a "racing" heartbeat.. It comes and goes. So today I go into my midwives office to find that my regular midwife is on leave (her daughter is having a baby), and she has someone new in to take her place... We get to the point of the appointment and when it comes to taking my blood pressure she seems to have trouble getting the manual cuff to inflate/hold air. She proceeded to get frustrated with it and hand it to my husband in hopes that he could "fix" it. This was my first "warning" bells, isn't she the professional? Either way, my husband could not get it to work either (mind you he has never used one himself.)
SO.. what she ends up doing is taking the "hose" part off of a monitor (after saying they were not interchangeable) and attaching it to the so far non working pump of the other monitor. Now here's the problem, you could quite clearly see that they did not fit together properly, it wouldnt go on all of the way. She made a comment to this herself and proceeded to put her hand over the connection as she inflated it to quote "see if she could feel air leaking." She thought it was fine so she used it this way to take my blood pressure. My reading came out 140/80 and as much as I want to be happy with that I cant help but feel that she blatantly misused medical equipment on me to get that reading. I cant help but worry that she will continue to use it this way on other women and get possibly inaccurate readings potentially putting them at danger.
We then proceeded to go the local pharmasave and take my bp with one of those electric ones you sit at that they sometimes have there and got a MUCH different reading. Much higher (although I know that those don't give very accurate readings (due to calibration, or lack thereof.
Im just wondering how other mothers might react to this? I thought of going to the hospital for them to take it, but the last time I went to the local hospital over my midwives office they were not impressed with me and i got "scolded" on who my main care providers in this pregnancy were. I should also add that I am on a small island of which we do not have any OB'S and the hospital doesnt do pregnancies and deliveries. We only have the one midwives office to serve our population of roughly 10,000. So there really isnt anyone else that I can go to without starting a lot of drama. My question is this.. "Am i over reacting to what she did with the bp cuff/monitor, and what should I do if I'm not?"
Thanks so much!

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Erin - posted on 04/26/2011

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I would definately let your regular midwife know exactly what happened, and if nothing comes of it or your complaint is ignored, bring it to the college of midwives association. Also if you are still concerned about what your ACTUAL bp is since she obviously could have messed that up, just go to a walk in clinic or even most pharmacies have a cuff and they know what theyre doing. Just to put your mind at ease. I dont overly trust those mechanical ones, too many people use them all day long, anything can happen to them. Get another professional to take it properly :) I have extremely low blood pressure, and I have also been feeling the rapid heartbeat and ive had the spots in my vision for a few months now, my midwife told me (as did the eye doctor) that those are caused by fluctuations in the blood pressure, not necessarily it rising up or dropping down for extended periods of time, just it changing. Keep a log of when you see the dots, what you were doing at the time, and what youve eaten (or forgotten to eat) in the hours before and after that. More often than not, you forget to eat or dont eat enough, or too much, or something too sugary, the list goes on and on, and that can have a big effect on bp as well. You are definately NOT over reacting with the cuff, and I would be alarmed as hell!

Karli - posted on 04/26/2011

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This is a very serious condition, not to be taken lightly. Ask yourself what would you do if something went wrong. would you wish that you had gone to a doctor instead? I would be very upset that the midwife clearly does not understand the seriousness of your condition.

12 Comments

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Samone - posted on 05/30/2011

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GET A SECOND OPINION! With my first child they told me nothing was wrong and I went home well 2 days later I ended up back in the hospital with swelling in my legs and problems with my heart and it was all just to much. Always get a second opinion, this is the life of your child. If you feel uneasy about it you have the right to ask questions and do whatever you need to to ensure that you and your baby are ok!

Veronica - posted on 05/29/2011

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Sounds like the nurse was having a bad day. Is it possible that she had no other way of taking your BP and b/c she was so concerned she was determined to find a way to take it even if it wasn't so accurate? Did she try the good old fashion method, also? I had one high BP temp one visit and the doc said that it takes 2 or more high BPs for it to be a concern as BPs fluctuate constantly. They have to show a trend. If you are concerned, order a BP monitor for yourself. I wouldn't be concerned that she asked your husband. Maybe she was just using ingenuity. I'd give her points for trying. Hang in there. I know it's stressful. I bet they order a new cuff or get it fixed by your next appointment. Pay attention to your symptoms and if they get worse, go to the ER. You can't be turned away regardless of your insurance at that point! Congrats!

Stevie - posted on 05/25/2011

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Mi would definitely report her to someone that was VERY unprofessional and dangerous! Also I would get a second opinion, screw what others think the supposed "midwife" is the only one in the wrong you're just looking out for you and your baby

Constance - posted on 04/28/2011

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I had problem with my blood pressure with my last two children. I would suggest if you have a regular doctor that you see for everything else. I would call them and ask if you could come in fo a quick blood pressure check because it would be your regula physician they would know your history. Should be less judgemental even though there are no OB's on the island. People are stupid when it comes to who yu choose to use for pregnancy. I would report her though. My first pediatrician was really good 15 years ago but after about five yeas he started getting fogetful he was also getting up in age. Sometimes it is time for them to retire.
As far as a few things I did to try and help manage my blood pressure was meditation ( make sure you have no interuptions), pregnacy massage ( great for muscle and any excess water weight it helps reditribute it in the body to flush it out) and accupuncture ( this I loved the most it could relax me so much very quickly and would help with my blood pressure). I did meditation everyday because it really is about breathing and it naturally relaxes the whole body. I did massage as often as once a week. You can do it less if needed and I did accupuncture every two weeks.
Daily my husbad would rub my feet with lavender and peppermint oils it always seemed to relax me to sleep better.

Krys - posted on 04/28/2011

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Thanks Cyndel, in this case the midwife has been in practice for QUITE some time, shes an older lady. It wasn't a wall mounted and she should have gotten another. I'm in the process of reporting her.

Cyndel - posted on 04/28/2011

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Not over reacting, I would call the office and see who you could leave a complaint with. She should know how to work a blood pressure cuff, and if that one was malfunctioning instead of messing with it, she should have got another one, or if it was a wall mounted one taken you to another room to use one that was working properly. I would definatly report her. If she is a student then she should have had someone in the room observing and there to help out in situations like this. I deal with student's at my maternity center, I'm happy to help them get their training as I hope to be among their number in a few years, but unless they have had so many hours of hands on practice they are always accompanied by a midwife.

Krys - posted on 04/26/2011

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Thanks Whitney, I 100% agree with you about it not being about hurting someones feelings, the primary concern is for women and their babies. I do have a OB off island -ferry trip and 1.5 away that I see once a month because they did realize they were getting over their head too. The issue with our only on island hospital is that its really just geriatrics and mental health, they would actually prefer me to go to my midwife enough that they call them before they accept me (granted it doesn't "look" threatening to them) I will be going to the walk in clinic tomorrow and having them double check the bp I got today. I'd hate for them to do an average based on an incorrect measurement. Thank you for your prayers.

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I absolutely do NOT think you are overreacting! This isn't about hurting someone's feelings by questioning their medical knowledge or being disloyal to your primary care provider. This is about your and your baby's lives! If you get flack for concern over that, I would truly question the reputation of their care.

Get that bp checked out at a hospital. I had pre-eclampsia with my son and fortunately my small town family doctor realized when things were getting over his head and he sent me to a specialist 60 miles away. After that we decided to do all my care with the specialist for my daughter and it was definitely the right decision. I pray that everything goes smoothly for you and you can deliver a healthy baby!

Erin - posted on 04/26/2011

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Best of luck, and sometimes its just necessary to bring some things to light, instead of allowing something possibly horrible to happen.

Krys - posted on 04/26/2011

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Thanks girls, I am very alarmed, and I think that I'm going to have to take it to the College of Midwives as the midwife that has taken over for my regular midwife is a close friend (maybe even family) of hers. This is what happens on a small island, and I don't want to start drama. But, I also feel as if she could be putting people at risk by misusing the bp cuff this way.

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