Well, today, I found out that I can have skyrocketing blood pressure with little or no effort.
I also, and more healthfully, discovered that I can have amazingly low blood pressure.
In the course of the same day.
To get the extra-super-spiffy high blood pressure, it only took a text from my brother. Two, actually.
I got these wonderful missives right when I found out that my daughters each have four cavities, and I was checking out at the dentist’s office. I was also almost running late for a gynecologist appointment at a new office I’d never been to before. In the rain.
When they took my blood pressure the first time, I told them that it would be sky-high. I was right. I told them to take it again at the end of the appointment, and it would be lower. I was right. (Of course, it helped that the doctor had to go deliver a baby, so I used the extra time to do some deep breathing exercises.)
He told me that I needed to take my blood pressure at random times throughout the day over the next 4-6 weeks and keep a record of it. During this time, I’m supposed to keep on my diet (the doctor’s scale must be off – it said I had lost 3-4 pounds since Thursday), exercise more, and try meditation, yoga, and deep breathing. He said, “You wouldn’t believe the benefits of doing yoga. I’ve got people who really turned around their health when they started yoga.” Go figure. Heck, I’m game.
Then, when I got home, after all the evening stuff, I luxuriated in a hot bath. When I got out, I was putty. I curled up on the sofa with my cat, Sam, and just existed for a while. Then I suggested to my husband that I get my blood pressure taken some time when I was actually relaxed and petting a cat. (Petting a cat is key, here. It is one of the most soothing things for me, and the mere mental image of my hand stroking through the soft hair is enough to steady and slow my pulse rate.)
Up he jumped to go get his own handy-dandy home blood pressure machine. Heaven alone knows from whence it came, but come it did. I kid you not, my blood pressure dropped 40+ points from its earlier peak. 40. That’s in each systolic and diastolic. And yes, the home machine is accurate.
My friend told me that if my brother tries to communicate with me again, I should tell him, “I’m sorry, my doctor says I’m not allowed to talk to you.” And if he persists, to say, “Did you not understand what I just said? My doctor says I’m not allowed to talk to you.” And leave it at that.
Right now, feeling my blood pressure spike just thinking about the possibility, I’d have to agree with my doctor on this one.