Saturday, March 21, 2009

After being admitted to the hospital, I was being aggressively treated for high blood pressure.  After being placed on a cardiac monitor, my heart rate was found to be elevated slightly at rest.  However, as soon as I got up from the bed my heart rate shot up from the 90-100 range to the 140-150 range.  On Wed, the morning after being admitted, the doctor came in to see me.  He ordered a lot of tests, medication, and had a neurologist come to see me as well...a different neurologist :)
I was in the hospital from March 10th to the 16th.  The critical tests that were done required a 24 hour collection period and were send out tests to the Mayo Clinic in MN.  During this time my heartrate continued to fluctuate as did my blood pressure.  During this time an endocrinologist was also sent to see me.  He talked to us in great deal about this pheochromocytoma, a rare type of tumor that forms in the adrenal gland.  The adrenal gland is responsible for regulating blood pressure and it secretes the hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine.  He was quite certain that this was what we were dealing with based on my medical history and symptoms. I had been experiencing anxiety and feelings of depression for about 6 months, tremors (shaky hands),sweats (hot flashes), headaches, and borderline hypertension.  I also have a genetic condition called Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF), a predisposing condition to pheo, as well as I had also had two surgeries in the past 6 months...anesthesia can trigger a pheo to react.  

The test results came back positive (normal ranges were below 500, mine were over 6000) and an MRA of the abdomen was ordered to find the location of the tumor.  The tumor was found to be in the left adrenal gland.

I met briefly with a surgeon before discharge on Mon night, as surgery is the only treatment for this type of tumor.
90% are benign with an increased chance of being benign because of the NF.  I was started on medications called Cardura and Labatelol for blood pressure and heart rate control.  I will continue on these meds until surgery.  They will switch me from Cardura to a more potent drug  specific for pheo about 2 weeks prior to surgery.  I am monitoring my blood pressure multiple times a day.  The meds make me feel very tired and weak.  My activity is restricted so as not to stress my job is to "take it easy, and rest."  My doctor is gradually increasing the Cardura (BP med)...I started with 1mg/day and am now up to 5mg/day in divided doses.

1 comment:

  1. You sound like you have a pharmacy going on there! I am praying for you!BTW, great job on the blog!