Sitting on an elevated table, I’m a full grown 37 year old man and my feet are dangling over the edge alone in a fluorescent lit room, waiting….waiting.
I can hear people mumbling in the hall, the mumbling is transient then a door closes “ker-clunk!” the mumbling stops.
When the mumbling stops I can hear the paper on the table stick to my nervous hands, rustle with every tiny movement. My shoes are off and my feet are cold, because they took my height and weight in the hallway before I came in.
Now I’m here…waiting, waiting.
I feel like an innocent suspect on ‘The first 48,’ you know how they make them wait before the detective enters. I try my best to be a good boy, I exercise, I eat right (whatever that means) and yet somehow I’m here, waiting, waiting…like a murder suspect.
The nurse took my blood pressure when I sat down and it was high, 140/90, of course, here we go, a lecture from the doc, just what I need, it took this much courage to drag my ass in here in the first place and now I have high blood pressure!
In nervous anticipation I begin putting on hand sanitizer for some reason, just a little, now a little more and a little more.
The doc enters, “Oh wow!” she says recoiling a little from the smell of a room consumed with hand sanitizer, “I see you’ve discovered the hand sanitizer!” Palms get sweatier, heart rate jumps again, thoughts get foggy…is it too late to cancel this appointment?
I’ve come to the doctor to get my shoulder checked, it’s bothered me since I was a high-school baseball player, but I’m reaching an age where the pain is beginning to interfere with things, carrying two toddlers around for a decade hasn’t helped.
I’m terrible at hiding my nerves, she asks me to move my arm in various directions and then feels the tissue a bit. Bursitis is her best guess, based on my range of motion, and she suggests rest, a little physical therapy and anti-inflammatories.
It’s almost over, I got the info I was seeking, time to put the shoes back on. Maybe she won’t even mention the blood pressure, maybe she’ll just let it slide, I’m putting on my shoes…It’s over! It’s over! I made it!
“Oh, and we need to talk about your blood pressure.” She says.
“Do you have access to a blood pressure device?” She asks
“No, I mean, I could go to a pharmacy” I suggest.
“I mean, I don’t want to put you on blood pressure medication, but it could be necessary,” She says, “How about you keep an eye on this for a week or so and we’ll make a nurse appointment for you to come back and get It checked again?”
Damn! I’ve got a new problem now! THIS IS WHY MEN AVOID THE DOCTOR!!! I should just tell her off, I mean they can’t scare people like this, who does she think she is…the dentist? I should just be like, ‘I’m not worried about this, thank you very much, my blood pressure is high because your office treats patients like murder suspects! I came in here for a shoulder problem and now you’ve got me coming back and even suggesting blood pressure meds! I’m gonna say it, here goes, I’m even gonna call her ‘detective’ all sarcastic and I don’t care if she doesn’t get it.’
“Yeah sure, that sounds like no problem, actually I think this runs in my family, and I probably should start keeping an eye on it.”
…I’m such a pussy.
So here I am writing this post, it’s been a week and I’ve purchased a blood pressure cuff. It’s still high and I’m going in for my nurse appointment soon. I’m so excited, a health thing to keep an eye on one that might require medication. I try so hard to be healthy and now I have this thing to deal with, frankly, I think the doc is over-reacting.
What’s the big deal? It’s just blood pressure, which can lead to stroke, diabetes, aneurysm, dementia, myocardial infarctions, kidney damage, eye damage, nerve damage, and sexual dysfunction...ok, maybe this thing deserves some attention.
By the way, right before I started writing this post I got a call on my phone, it was my dentist office, and I totally forgot, my appointment is tomorrow.