Thursday, June 6, 2013

Blood Pressure Rising

You know how you find a doctor that you really, really like and then she moves away?  That happened to me.  My doc told me I could follow her to her new practice, but it was in a different city and I'm just not a gifted driver.  Plus, I'm basically lazy.  

Everything changed when Suzy got bitten by a baby copperhead.  (For you snake non-phobics, the babies are the most dangerous so this was the scariest.)
    
When I saw Suzy on Memorial Day, her foot was deep purple and swollen.  We got to talking about doctors - specifically how much she liked hers - and it was then I realized that I was willing to make that drive after all.  The icing on the cake was that Suzy sees that same delightful doctor that I used to see.  So it was settled.  I called the next day and made an appointment.

The receptionist scheduled my visit for two days later at 8:00 am.  I was so excited to get in so fast that I ignored the warning sirens going off in my head.  Anyone who knows me is aware of my aversion to morning.  Because I tend to get lost easily, I would have to allow plenty of driving time, then add more for school buses.  That meant getting up during the dead of (my) night.

Two days later I dragged myself out of bed and threw myself into my vehicle. I plugged the address into my GPS.  Nothing happened.  I put in the zip code.  Nothing.  Apparently this city doesn't exist in the real world.  

Suzy had given me vague directions on how to get to the office.  I regretted only half-listening to her now but I did have the address and plenty of time, so I decided to just go.  Clarity, as it turns out, isn't one of the things I excel at when I'm sleep deprived.  A map would have been nice, too.

Weirdly, I made it to the city without incident and I even found the highway.  What I couldn't find was the 7000 block.  The numbering went from 8000 to 6000.  I was mystified.  I drove in the other direction long enough to satisfy myself that it went away from town.  Back in the right neighborhood, I kept driving slowly up and down this same stretch of busy highway, like I was Nancy Drew, girl detective, searching for a hidden driveway or some secret clue.  

After way too many passes as well as a bit of horn-honking from the impolite drivers all around me, I decided to pull off the road and call the office.  Nobody answered.  Then it clicked.  It wasn't eight o'clock yet.  I was the first appointment.  Ain't nobody gonna be answering those phones.  

I drove up and down the highway again a couple more times and then I got the inspired idea to wander down the road a bit further, even though it defies logic. (I was sleepy, not stupid.  My logical brain was functioning perfectly well, thank you very much.)  Sure enough, I stumbled onto the office.  This may be the only city in America where the blocks are numbered 8000, 6,000, 5,000 THEN 7,000.  Kudos to them!  I admire creativity wherever it is.  Frankly, I was just shocked to find it in the numeric system.  Life is full of surprises!  

I was ten minutes late.  The driving itself was stressful and the knowledge I was late added to my tension.  After I was ushered in, the first thing the nurse did was take my blood pressure with this fancy machine.  It was 138 over God- knows-what.  I was so freaked out about the 138 that I couldn't focus.  I asked the nurse to recheck it and she took it with her stethoscope so it would be more accurate.  The top number was now 130.   This was much, much higher than normal for me and I was obsessing that I might get diagnosed with hypertension.  

My doctor visit went well.  It was definitely worth the effort to get there.  As we were wrapping up our talk, my dear doc decided to give me a shingles vaccine and then she hugged me goodbye. (I love this woman!)  

I asked the nurse if she'd take my b/p again.  She said yes, she'd do it right before she gave me the shot.  I am one big bag of phobias stacked on top of another and perhaps a blood pressure reading right before a shot isn't the best timing, but I was willing to take that chance.  

The nurse left the room for about ten minutes and I took advantage of that time by doing a relaxation meditation.  I went on a quick trip to the beach.  When we both returned to the room, my blood pressure was 114/70. Yahoo!  

I got the vaccine.  They did not, however, give me a sucker.

AND there's even some exciting news from my doctor visit:  When the nurse measured my height, I was a half-an-inch taller than on my last visit.  If I keep growing at this pace, in a mere ten years my weight will finally be a perfect match for my height.

                                              *    *     *

P.S. Snakebite Suzy's much improved and grateful that she didn't need to get the anti-venom shot.  It cost six thousand dollars.  That's almost more frightening to me than the snakebite itself!  Almost.  

2 comments:

ebard3 said...

Chris Zimmerman! I was cracking up reading this blog! Best one yet!

-Naughty, Naughty Erik

Pamela Nastase said...

Love this post!