I know why my blood pressure is a little high when I go to the doctor.
First of all, it hurts when they pump up that cuff. I don’t mean a little pressure or even a lot of pressure. I mean pain!
Most people, apparently, don’t have that problem. When I tell someone how painful it is, they attempt to talk me out of the notion.
“Oh, no,” they say with great sincerity. “Taking your blood pressure doesn’t hurt.”
This doesn’t help.
Another reason my numbers are a little high is that they weigh me first and then take my blood pressure.
How in the world can my blood pressure be normal when I’ve just gotten the news that I weigh more than I did three months ago? Three months of watching what I eat and trying to keep moving so I’m not sitting as much (which is a big sacrifice because sitting is my hobby, along with anything I can do while sitting).
I’ve even requested that my blood pressure be taken first.
“Oh,” the nurses say, “it won’t change it that much.”
I beg to differ.
I’ve known for a very long time that I can control my blood pressure by about 20 points. It all depends on what I’m thinking about. Grandchildren and kittens get me great numbers, both the upper and lower ones.
I’ve often had to get weighed in front of other patients, which makes me very nervous. I’m afraid the nurse will say it out loud or someone sitting there can figure it out because when I stepped on, the nurse had to move that big weight over, the one that sits on the bottom row.
So if I can calm down enough after the weigh in and while I’m thinking of my beautiful grandchildren and sweet fluffy kittens, my blood pressure will probably be okay.
There is one more way to have your blood pressure taken. I have encountered it in hospitals. It is absolute torture, even when I’m on a morphine pump. It’s an automatic machine that doesn’t care what I’m thinking about. It squeezes and squeezes until I can’t stand it anymore, and then it finally starts to deflate. It doesn’t care that I have very sensitive flab. It doesn’t care that I’m desperately thinking of grandchildren and kittens. It’s programmed for one thing: bruising my arm.
So if any medical folks are reading this, please do me a favor. Take my blood pressure first and then my weight. I need all the help I can get.