(Posted in Wellness Wednesdays)
I think it’s worse when you think you are so much healthier than everyone else, this whole getting older thing. I’m a healthy weight. I exercise about an hour most days. My diet is relatively healthy. Most of the time I don’t drink too much alcohol. I’ve never smoked. And I certainly don’t suffer much stress these days.
Except for when I’m in the doctor’s office apparently.
I was at my annual OB/GYN appointment on Monday and my blood pressure was 145 over 90-something. I assured the nurse that that is NOT my real blood pressure. They had noticed a high reading on my last visit, but when I went home and obsessively took it two or three times a day for a week, I could never get a reading higher than 120/80. I, of course, informed her of this, that I must have that white-coat syndrome or something. My husband Doug has high blood pressure, that’s why we have the equipment at home. And I know the equipment is accurate, as it has been tested at his (which is also my) primary care doctor’s office.
So I told them let’s take the blood pressure again at the end of the appointment. I was sure the difficulty of parking, the 40-minute wait, and the dread of those stirrups were all to blame for my false reading.
Except, at the end of the appointment my blood pressure was 163 over 100-something. I can hardly focus on those bottom numbers when the top numbers are so insane.
So now my doctor is withholding sex. Ok, not really sex, but birth control pills. I’m cut off until a real doctor, my primary care physician, proves that I just have that white-coat problem. Apparently, it’s not just good enough for me to tell them that’s what’s going on.
So today I went to my primary care physician. I got there 20 minutes early, there was parking right in front, and the doctor was running right on time. Not to mention there would be no stirrups at this exam. All the stars were in alignment for a perfectly normal blood pressure reading. The nurse said that she would let me relax for a moment, and that we would not talk during the test. I decided to think of puppy dogs.
One-sixty-five over 90!
I was armed with data this time. I brought my obsessive log of normal readings over the last few days. I brought Doug’s blood pressure machine so they could see that it really was accurate. Surely this travesty would be rectified now that I brought PROOF!
Dr. Primary Care Physician was unconvinced. She agreed with the No Pills For You doctor, and I’m still cut off. Well, except for the 3-month stash of pills I hoarded when I thought Rick Santorum might be president. But I’m saving that for a real emergency.
So now they are using the M-word. Both doctors agree that it’s best to stop the pill while we sort out this blood pressure thing, but also, it will give them a chance to see if perhaps I’m entertaining menopause.
Menopause. It seemed like they were calling me old. I did remind them both that I’m only 49. Both doctors informed me that the average age of menopause is 51. I explained that that is two whole years away. They explained what average means.
But I guess it’s true, no matter how healthy I am, I’m just like everyone else. I’m getting older. While I don’t know how the blood pressure thing is going to work out yet, the reality is, as you get older, “The parts, they break,” to quote another blogger’s dad. But there is a silver lining. If I really am in menopause, without the hostage of birth control pills, I could actually withhold doctors’ appointments.
I will use my power wisely.
Can’t keep track of my non-existent posting schedule? Subscribe—it’s free!