I am so tired of bad or just annoying news. I'm trying really hard to be positive because although some things are making me sad and some things are really on my nerves and I don't know how to handle some other things, I've got some other things to be very happy about.
So I'm trying to be good and I'm trying to be a grown-up and I'm trying to take care of some of the things that no one else but me can do. Like, I need to go to the dentist. I needed to find a new doctor. I need to get the bloodwork done that I've been putting off for a year. I need to get a (blech) mammogram.
So I found the new doctor, and I made an appointment a couple of weeks ago, after my mom nagged and nagged and nagged for days. She just started going to her and said that I would like her, and when people in my life say that I tend to believe them, as prepared as they are for me to call bullshit on what and whomever.
I don't know what the ethics are of disclosing a doctor's name online, but let's just say that her last name? Is almost identical to that of a 140-character message that I send way too many times daily, except with a d in between the second "e" and final "t". Trippy, right? Gave me some serious joy. She was also lovely right off the bat -- maybe a little younger than I am, not creepy or distracted or cold, just warm enough, focused, direct. The office itself was also professional and fairly quiet, in the basement of a newish medical building, really nice except for its lack of any kind of 3G or regular G reception. Seriously. Phone dead the whole time, and you know how that flies with me.
The medical assistant did her thing and then she took my blood pressure. It was 150 over 100, she said. Did I normally have high blood pressure? I told her no, and she said okay, the doctor would check it out.
The doctor came in and asked me again what my normal blood pressure was, and I was all, I don't know, pi cubed? I don't know math. It's usually pretty normal, never been a problem.
"Okay," she said. "That's something to keep an eye on. Plus, people are sometimes anxious or under duress when they come here."
Under duress. Bingo. She just described everything. I neglected to cry like that "I MISS YOU JESSICA" jackhole in the State Farm commercial, but I kind of wanted to. Oh Dr. Twitter (not exactly, but that's what I'll call her) I am. I AM! Thanks for noticing.
Then she decided to take it again, and I started to freak out a little. She spoke in slow, measured tones that make freaks like me crazier, as she wrapped the TOURNIQUET I MEAN CUFF around my arm and squeezed it and leaned down and read it and said "Hmm."
The 150 was the same, but we were down to 92 on the bottom.
Then she sat down on her little stool and started pounding away on her keyboard, making notes, no doubt, about my descent into hypertension and cardiac disease at 40.
"Okay. We need to monitor this. Let's have you monitor it at home daily for a month to see if there's any change, before we talk about other interventions."
Neat! Where would I procure a blood pressure cuff? Does Target carry blood pressure cuffs? MISSONI BY TARGET BLOOD PRESSURE CUFFS? Actually, what really immediately occurred to me was the blood pressure machine at the Giant that I'd stick my puny arm in when I was little just to watch it expand and retract, expand and retract, no doubt enraging a then-40-year-old woman whose doctor just told her the salad days (with dressing, anyway) were over. Oh hi, future self. Sorry for being a little asshole.
I nodded calmly and didn't ask her what kind of cuff to get or how I was supposed to do all of the actions associated with a blood pressure reading, including the occasionally impossible task of interpreting numbers, by myself, upside down. Were there left-handed blood pressure machines?This would probably be its own special kind of hell.
I also started to feel a counterproductive pounding in my head, and I told her that yes, lately, I had felt this. I told her that sometimes I don't sleep very well and that on mornings after that I feel a little weird, a little more odd lately. She nodded her head and said yes, yes, yes to all of these things and I just wondered the whole time if there was a blood pressure app, if I could press my broken iPhone screen up to my bicep and have it spit out ridiculously accurate numbers.
I'm really not sure I'm equipped to care for myself in my middle age, even, forget when I'm actually old.
Anyway, I left, some crazy orders for tests I don't want clutched in my hand. I walked out into the sunny day, and I did what any mature woman of an advancing, withering age would do.
I texted my mom.
"I finally have high blood pressure like you said I was going to give myself. Yay."
She asked me several questions and then she said "You'll need a cuff" and "What are you doing to follow up on the other stuff" and "Is she going to treat it" and what and when and then I went back to work.
You know, 40? You're a riot. Lol.