I do not have high blood pressure. You’ve seen the commercials. Old white men wearing dockers and polo shirts on their fishing holidays or standing in their (immaculate!) state of the art kitchens, they have high blood pressure. People who eat their own weight in McDonald’s fries, they have high blood pressure. Not me. I eat spinach and locally grown organic vegetables. I don’t even like fishing.
For years, I’ve been able to pull one over on my doctors, as well. I get that raised eyebrow over the blood pressure cuff wanting to know why it looks like they’ve just taken the blood pressure of a crazed hamster, and I cry foul. “It’s just White Coat Syndrome. I’m only afraid of you. Look, it’s even in the chart! Really, it can’t be me.” Pulled the white coat right over their eyes. The doctor I’ve been seeing recently, however, is apparently aware that she’s the one with the M.D. She’s got this thing about my diastolic, the low number, that makes her worry that I walk around all day in a constant state of panic. She wants to put me on a vasodialater. Blood pressure medication, damn it.
Honestly, it makes no sense to me. I have perfectly sane and functional ways of dealing with things. Take, for example, what happened today when I sat down to finish something for work, something that needs to be done by Monday, only to discover that the website into which I’d entered all my grades was down for routine maintenance. Two days before report cards are due. Now, I could have been pissed at our tech department for not giving us just the slightest heads up (because everyone knows is so unusual for teachers to finish their work week over the weekend). I could have sent nasty emails. I could have been angry with the company itself for disabling their entire site – hell, I have their customer service number, I could have called and harassed them. But no, who did I blame? ME! Because it was clearly my fault for not anticipating the one think I needed to get the job done would not be available. My fault for not staying late Friday night to get it done. My fault for not being able to stop time. What, can’t you do that? I’ve been trying for years. See, logical. Not even remotely conducive to tension or blood pressure issues.
Or I could cite the fact that I know I’m going to have a very productive day tomorrow. So far I have planned to: do my taxes, write 25 report card comments (when the site is open again), clean out the fridge, pay bills, start training for a triathlon, make gnocchi from scratch and write 1000 words. Oh and move the house a little to the left. The sick part is that moving the house is the only thing NOT actually on the list. And when I fail to accomplish all those things, I’ll worry about what’s wrong with me for not being able to get it all done. But, I do NOT have blood pressure issues.
I can’t, because I’ve done so many things right. I try to exercise. I don’t eat a lot of processed foods. I get my fiber. I eat my vegetables. I work with cute little kids. I get the summer off. I’m not overweight. I’m nice to people, damn it! Aren’t nice, hard-working, clean-eating people supposed to be immortal? Or at least reasonably healthy?
Maybe it’s because I don’t floss. Healthy people floss. I’ll put that on the list for tomorrow.