My mom and I share a common trait. It is refer to as white coat syndrome. This is when you go to the doctor and the people in white coats, which really doesn’t exist anymore, takes your blood pressure and everyone get concerned because you are a few seconds away from a stroke or perhaps even your death.
Last week I had a follow-up appointment to make sure my pneumonia was all gone. I had put this off since there isn’t any sign it’s still around. However, I did have soreness by my rib cage and I wanted someone else to tell me that I had bruised a rib during one of the thousand coughing spells I lived through and that it wasn’t something more serious. The soreness had grown to a pain over the past few days and was poking me in the side, which prompted me to make the appointment.
After arriving 10 minutes early, filling out minimal paperwork, I sat down to wait for my name. Breathe, I kept repeating to myself. Relax. The door opened and I was invited to enter. Once through the open door I was directed to the scale which clearly said being sick the months of November and December had taken it’s toll.
“You can sit here,” she instructed.
“It’s going to be high,” I instructed. “It always is when you take it.”
She put the cuff on and the air began to fill. The machine stopped as if taking another breath and kept going. The pressure was enormous and I thought my eyes were going to pop out of my head.
“Is it going to stop?” she said quietly. I laughed, closing my eyelids to hold them in.
It finally did and I waited as the pressure slowly released. “Wow.” she said.
“How high it is?” I asked.
“200 / 100,” she replied.
“Wow! It’s never been that high.” I think 200 / 100 is close to death… glad I lived!
Five minutes later she took it again and it had dropped, not to the You’re one healthy chick! level, but it did drop.
“I’ll take it again after you see the doctor,” she said. I was a little concerned they wouldn’t let me leave until it was safe.
The doctor entered, pulled over a small cart and spread my file out. He check my heart, my lungs and all was well. Then he felt my ribs. “You’ve injured them,” he confirmed. “It will take a while to heal.” I nodded and smiled.
“Your blood pressure is high,” he said.
“It’s really high!” I said “But it does that in the office.” I explained that I have had times where I had been borderline but with diet and exercise I had brought it down to safe levels. “I’d like to try again before you put me on medication.”
“Make an appointment in 6 weeks,” he instructed in his doctorly tone. “Take your blood pressure 3 times a day and record it.”
“I will I promised.” Three times, I thought, I’ve never had to take it three times.
Just before I left, they checked one more time, it had dropped again.
I left defeated. “I’ve been here before, why am I here again. When am I going to figure out the importance of diet and exercise. I fell asleep dreading the next day and starting yet another time, a diet.
In the morning the light had made a difference, as it usually does. This is the first time in my life that I don’t have to change my lifestyle cause it’s too stressful! I thought. I’ve eliminated all of that and I think I’ve learn to keep it at bay. This is now a new lifestyle that I will have until I die. (I’m planning on 40 more fun filled years!)
Fast forward one week. Right eating, daily exercise and all readings are well within the safe zone and going down.
I’ve had a few reminders and discoveries since that doctors appointment.
Two weeks prior Jeff and I were reading about one of our favorite actresses who had lost 100+ pounds. She simply said, “There is no magic pill. You have to eat right and walk more.”
I was reminded that one week prior I had asked God to help me with diet since I couldn’t seem to find the key. He always answers pray and sometimes (most of the time) it’s in very creative and humorous ways.
The soreness in my ribs that forced me to the doctor in the first place almost vanished the next day. If we listen, our bodies find ways to get our attention when something is wrong. For me it was as if it was poking me in the side, telling me to make an appointment. Not that my rib was an issue but it brought me to a place that shined a light on a real problem.
What so amazes me is that well before I knew there was an issue, the solution was making it’s self know. I love how life works when we listen.
Eating right and daily exercising is no long something I have to remember to do, it’s what I do. It’s not because my life is stressful. It’s not because I’m not disciplined. It’s simply because my Mom, who turns 90 this year, and I share a few common traits…
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