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Low Blood pressure sitting up-33 days post

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  • Low Blood pressure sitting up-33 days post

    So my hubby is 33 days post, and having low blood pressure (plus dizziness, nausea ) when he sits up for periods of anywhere from 20 minutes on up - and then they are having to lay him back down and discontinue the PT. Sometimes it happens after 20 minutes, sometimes he lasts longer, but it always happens . I know its normal to some degree, but I wonder if any of you guys had this happening when you were around a month post - and when it ended? The one Physical therapist said that she hadn't seen anyone take this long to get over it. We were thinking that trying to sit up in bed periodically would help, but he has a monster butt sore so can't really do that.

  • #2
    I'm sorry. I forgot to say that he is C6-7 with no motor function in torso or legs, if it is relevant for this question

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    • #3
      From my inexperienced opinion, I would ask his drs about a temporary use of medications to increase his bp so he is able to complete PT. My experience is with low blood pressure from other disorders but I've read here about the same medications used for low bp from sci and especially for temporary periods (or longer) for quads. I know I've read people here mention taking midodrine.
      Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

      I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

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      • #4
        I really question their experience in SCI if they say they are not used to this. It is a very common problem for people with tetraplegia, and may continue long term for some.

        Is he wearing an abdominal binder when out of bed? Is he wearing compression hose? Are they apply Ace wraps over the compression hose when out of bed? Is he well hydrated before getting out of bed? Have they discussed the use of drugs such as midodrine to keep his blood pressure up? Is he using the tilt table to get him more used to the upright position gradually over time?

        (KLD)
        The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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        • #5
          I had to remain in bed for 6 weeks after my injury (things were different in the '60s). I'd get up and pass out shortly thereafter. I slowly grew out of the worst of it, but I use compression hose regularly and a binder now and then.
          Tom

          "Blessed are the pessimists, for they hath made backups." Exasperated 20:12

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          • #6
            What little I know about this is that it is beyond normal at this stage in your husband's progress. When Ryan got hurt, he spent more than eight weeks unable to have the head of his bed raised to more than 20 degrees due to the intensity of his numerous injuries (other than SCI). When he finally was sat up, it was done at a snail's pace with BP monitoring. Rather than surprise if his BP went down, they were shocked when it did not. He was wearing compression stockings but I was not introduced to the binder until rehab. He wore the binder and the stockings until he has passed multiple blood flow tests. Low BP is not an issue we have had to deal with but most high level quads do.--eak
            Elizabeth A. Kephart, PHR
            mom/caregiver to Ryan-age 21
            Incomplete C-2 with TBI since 3/09

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            • #7
              I am on midodrine for low BP. I had issues with passing out after I came home from the hospital. I don't know what I would do without it! Very expensive medication, no generics available.JMeyers

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              • #8
                When I first got hurt it took about a year for your body to adjust.....well that was me.

                Art
                Art

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                • #9
                  I continue to have pretty low blood pressure (100/60 but sometimes measured down to 85/50) but never get dizzy during normal living. I do fatigue easier after heavy exertion or when exposed to heat. Also, quick transitions to higher altitude can be an issue. But, going from lying to sitting went away within a few weeks of working at it. That is something your body has to train itself to do. Tapping on the bladder region can cause the body to provide a temporary boost in pressure. This can be either like light knocking on a door about 4-5 inches below belly button, or can be just a quick wiggling massage of the same region. If you ever get the dizzy feeling while sitting in the wheelchair and the tapping doesn't work, just bend over with chest on lap until feeling normal again.
                  C-6/7 incomplete

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                  • #10
                    Oh, btw, the butt sore can actually be contributing to this. The body sends its blood where it is needed, which, means less for the brain. Also, I think he should be trying a tilt table as soon as possible. This is basically platform that can pivot from being flat so you lie on your back to tilted into an almost standing position. It is much better at training the body than just sitting and he probably can do it with his sore. Oh, and I forgot, those few weeks of working came after being only in bed for over a month and I had both an abdominal binder and ted hose. Oh yeah, and I did try different medical options (salt pills, ephedrine, and a few others) some of which helped a lot.
                    C-6/7 incomplete

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                    • #11
                      He does wear the hose, and the binder when he gets up to do PT... Doesn't seem to help. He also gets into the 70's sometimes while sleeping lately. They are talking of medications, though not given any yet. So frustrating. Maybe we just need some meds for awhile until it works itself out. They haven't done the tilt table yet.

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                      • #12
                        I am a C-7 complete quad and have had this post injury for more than 57 years. I learned to manage it.

                        Make sure he is hydrated.
                        He should not eat before sitting up. The digestive process uses much blood.
                        A binder can help some. Compression hose do little unless they are waist high.
                        Check his medications. Some can lower the pressure.
                        A cool environment can help.
                        His blood pressure may drop some after his bowels are evacuated.
                        Even a low level wound infection may contribute to the problem.
                        Bending forward with the head at knee level can boost the blood to his brain.
                        Both physical and mental stress may aggravate the problem.
                        You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @
                        http://www.rstce.pitt.edu/RSTCE_Reso...imb_Injury.pdf

                        See my personal webpage @
                        http://cccforum55.freehostia.com/

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                        • #13
                          Just to say, in case someone comes across the thread in the future... We're 53 days post. Things seem to be improving. He doesn't wear the ace wraps anymore while in PT, and we aren't having many problems anymore. He still looks a bit pale at times but a definite improvement

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                          • #14
                            I know it sounds tough but it takes quite a while for a body to adjust to SCI. I had low blood pressure problems after my injury for several months but things stabilized. Many years after my injury I still have low bp issues.
                            C4/5 incomplete, 17 years since injury

                            "The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.” - Carlos Castaneda

                            "We live not alone but chained to a creature of a different kingdom: our body." - Marcel Proust

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                            • #15
                              I kept getting dizzy when sitting in the chair for about 3 months or more. And I used an abdominal binder for like a year.

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