Saturday, February 23, 2019

Dammit! The People In White Coats Got Me.

There are some poor, misguided souls that don't see it this way, but in general going to the doctor is not something most people enjoy. And of those there is a subset of people for whom going to the doctor is a downright horror.

Count me in that latter group. In fact, I'm pretty sure you can count me as being in the extreme upper end of that latter group.

There's no logic to it, this thing that is so prevalent it has an official name, the White Coat Syndrome, any more than there's logic to most phobias, but there it is. Just as real as that pair of too-small, full-footed, one-piece Superman pajamas (Spelled Supperman because they were a cheep, unlicensed knockoff.) Auntie Tia gave you for your 15th birthday.

In my case, as if having to stand on the scale in sight of God and everyone (Fully dressed and booted which adds 7 pounds. I know because I've checked.) isn't bad enough, when they, you know, those fiendishly grinning, deceptively friendly, overly solicitous, white-coat wearing minions, force me down into a seat next to that hulking sphygmomanometer, I know I'm going to throw an "Oh my God Call an Ambulance!" blood pressure reading, which, of course, bumps the damn reading even more by tacking on an additional 5 points at both ends.

(I had to walk out of a dentist's office once, shaking an assortment of hygienists, technicians, and receptionists off my arms and neck while dragging a prone, leg-hugging dentist along behind in a Boris Karloff shuffle, because they insisted I was going to go to the emergency room. I mean sheesh, You'd think professionals that are constantly facing a steady stream of freaked out victims clients, wouldn't freak out so bad!)

This time, in an attempt to make the whole event less traumatic The Wife tried to sneak it up on me, my only pre-notification being a Post-it with a name I didn't recognize (I mean who knows their doctor's first name?!) stuck to the mirror the night before.

But like that dog all proud and primed thinking he's on his way to meet his friends at the dog-park,

there comes a point where he recognizes the turn into the vet's parking lot and tries to crawl under the front seat, which, in these damned toys they call modern cars is nigh on impossible for an old fat man. (But I tried anyway. I'm just lucky I didn't get wedged in so bad she had to call the rescue squad to extract me.)

After a couple hours of being poked, left to sit, body shamed, left to sit, bled, lifestyle shamed, left to sit, prodded, displayed, and lectured at, I was released; whereupon I blindly dashed out to the parking lot and scrabbled desperately at the handle until The Wife finally unlocked the damn car.

I spent the rest of the day sequestered in The Van reading and napping and Sudokuing and trying to forget.              Oh the horror, the horror.

Many doctors I've been subjected to insist on treating the BP reading obtained off me in their office, which results in a copious amounts of an assortment of expensive drugs that would actually kill me if I took them. This particular doctor doesn't even read the BP written on the chart, instead he accepts my printed-out spreadsheet of daily readings and treats to that. Even so, I have to cut his prescriptions down by about half to avoid fainting every time I stand up any faster than a sloth or want to take more than a dozen steps all in a row without a rest period in between.

Yesterday I threw an inexplicably tolerable, for me anyway, 185/95 in the doctor's office. Today, in a post-apocalyptic, stress-releasing letdown, my mid-day BP reading was 90/45. I could tell even before I slapped the cuff around my wrist because my ass was dragging only halfway through a lap around the property and I had that weird, stuffy, fuzzy feeling in my head.

Hopefully it will be back up by 20 or 30 points in a day or two so I can get back to my life. -- For another year -- (As always he wants me to do a 6 month followup. Yeah right, like that's going to happen!)


  1. My last trip to the doctor for anything like that was 19 years ago. It was a requirement for my job. At that time I weighed about 20 pounds more than I do now, ate a horrible diet, lived on Pepsi but all the readings came out below normal for people my age. He told me "keep doing what your doing ??? You're in good shape." Really ???

    I'm still putting off any kind of annual physical. I'll let my Apple Watch tell me when I am in trouble. :)

    1. I was genetically doomed to hypertension (not that I really believe what the self-serving, insurance industry funded studies say but when your face is constantly the color of sunburn and the veins are popping out of your forehead you might want to get that BP down a little!) so go often enough to keep myself in drugs.

  2. I'm with Steve, except I stopped counting the years so I wouldn't feel guilty. One of these days, I should get a tetanus shot. Sometimes we do things, knowing it's not right. I feel good and have good genes. I'll just go with that until I have a reason to go.

    I will say that I have good friends who went to the doctor regularly. It didn't help them. Something is going to get us eventually. In my family, it tends to be an assortment of things that come with old age.

    1. Yep, with what I get up to I keep my tetanus up to date. Let's see, the next one is due innn....Oh yeah, 2027