The Pressure’s On


I went to the doctor’s office about two week ago. It was a totally standard visit in every way. I have a patch of dry skin just near my left ear and I find myself scratching at it quite a bit. Not a problem, but annoying, and something I wanted to get some sort of cream for before dry winter weather hits and exacerbates the issue. That, or I wanted a referral to a dermatologist. All in all, about as run of the mill as a visit to the doctor’s office can be.

After waiting an hour, I’m finally greeted by the doctor and he asks me a couple questions, takes about a 5 second look at my scalp, agrees with me that it looks like it needs something, writes me a prescription and then takes my blood pressure as a matter of course. And it comes out high. Not danger, danger Will Robinson high, but to the high side of normal. Even though we’re both pretty sure it’s a case of nerves in the doctor’s office, he asks me to consider getting a blood pressure device to monitor things for a few weeks just to be sure. So, I get myself a nifty little electronic blood pressure monitor and, what a surprise, each time I test I’m almost textbook optimal.

So what gives with the high readings at the doctor’s office? I’m not a nervous person in general. I hate shots and anything that might lead me to shots, but I wasn’t going in for anything that would possibly merit a needle. I pondered for a moment then why it might be that I would be stressed at the doctor’s office, and I realized that it’s because I was concerned about approval.

I think I’m always concerned about approval. I can’t help it.

At the doctor’s office, I want them to tell me all my readings are solid. I don’t want to hear that so I can be told I’m in good health (I’m already pretty sure I’m at least not anywhere close to bad health), I want them to think that I’m the kind of person that takes care of himself. This is also why it sticks in my head that the first time I went to this office and the nurse weighed me she proclaimed “Oh, you hide your weight well.” *shakes fist at nurse*

I wanted to have a larger post here, with a discussion of what I think this means for me and how it comes up in my day to day life. But after I wrote it all up, it read back as just so much apologetics, which seemed pretty ironic considering the content of the post. So, suffice it to say this is a silly quirk of mine and I’m pretty sure its here to stay.

And now to begin preliminary work on my http://www.nanowrimo.org/ project for next month, which there will be a post about soon enough.

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  1. #1 by Trent Kuzman on October 19, 2009 - 11:25 AM

    Note to self: Mike can be destroyed by saying “I disapprove of you”. It is his kryptonite.

  2. #2 by Renee on October 19, 2009 - 2:21 PM

    I had this happen once. The nurse asked me how school was going right before checking my blood pressure. I was right in the middle of dissertation-writing hell, so the numbers were through the roof. When the doctor checked again 20 minutes later it was fine!

  3. #3 by Badmoodman on October 19, 2009 - 3:00 PM

    Just the like a TV camera adds 10 pounds to your weight, so does the doctor’s scale. After getting weighed it’s incumbent upon you to make sure the nurse knows you just had a really big breakfast or lunch, you’re wearing steel-toed shoes (even if you have sandals), your belt is thick leather with a huge buckle, the buttons on your shirt are brass, you just went to the ATM and your wallet is loaded with a wad of cash, and you your way overdue for a haircut.

  4. #4 by Badmoodman on October 19, 2009 - 3:01 PM

    “and you your way overdue for a haircut.”

    Ummm, huh?

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