How to make my mother accept taking her medicine and stick with her cardiologist??

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 21, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

My mother has had high blood pressure for many years. she has tried mediation, biofeedback,several supplements, read every medical newsletter with natural cures,has seen drs with backgrounds in homeopathic medicine. She has seen cardiologists from NY Presbyterian, Mt Sinai, most of the doctors have been on the castle connoly best doctors list. Last April while visiting a new cardiologist she had an aortic dissection. She is lucky to have survived. Now that she has been home she wants a new cardiologist because the one we are seeing told her that her high blood pressure is caused by genetics. ( her weight has always been good and she has a good diet). This news has sent her on a mission to find a new doctor. She insists that she should eventually be taken off her blood pressure meds. My fear is that she will eventually find a Dr. who will take her off her meds and it will kill her. I don't know how to make her accept taking her medicine and sticking with her doctor. She is not mentally ill just stubborn as hell.I am at my wits end.By the way while she was in the hospital and on a labetalol drip her blood pressure would still spike in her sleep to 160/90. It took a week to find the right combination of medicine to control it.

Expert Answers

Carolyn Strimike, N.P. and Margie Latrella, N.P. are cardiac nurse practitioners specializing in the prevention of heart disease and stroke. They have over 40 years of nursing experience in Cardiology between them. The main goal of their work is to counsel, motivate and empower women to adopt healthy lifestyle choices.

So sorry to hear about your mother's recent aortic dissection and her persistent search for a doctor to discontinue her blood pressure medication. Many times a life threatening event, as the one she had, is enough to convince people of the importance of blood pressure control. The latest guidelines recommend everyone's blood pressure be less than 120/80 mmHg. Consistent readings above this level can lead to heart failure, kidney failure, heart attack and stroke to name a few other conditions. Many people come in with a perfect diet, regular exercise routine and an ideal weight but still suffer from high blood pressure. As the doctors have said, this is probably due to genetics or family history that your mom has. There is no other option but blood pressure medicine if all lifestyle changes have been made. Unfortunately, all you can do is continue to impress the importance of the medicine on your mother. You can also refer back to the fact she almost lost her life due to the uncontrolled high blood pressure and that this can happen again. It is especially important now for her to keep her blood pressure low following the aortic dissection. Hopefully with her past history, she will not find a physician willing to discontinue her medication!