I never worried for a second when a doctor took my blood pressure, at least when I was in my twenties, thirties, forties, and even fifties. The numbers 120/80 represented a division question on a math test, nothing more. By the time I turned FOF, the figures assumed new meaning. Since then, my anxiety level increases whenever a cuff is strapped around my upper arm, and I won’t even look at the nurse while she takes the reading. I always feel like I’ve been given a new lease on life when 120/80 pops up, even if I really have no idea what the numbers represent.
Now I’m determined to understand more about blood pressure, and once I do, I will pass my knowledge on to all my FOFriends. I also bought a gadget that lets me take my own pressure at home. My local CVS drug store has a do-it-yourself blood pressure machine in the pharmacy, but the readings seem to be wildly different every time I take them. Once it’s119/78; it’s 125/75 six weeks later, and 145/72 three weeks after that. I know many factors influence our blood pressure (time of day and state of mind included) so a judgement shouldn’t be based on one reading alone, but on readings over time. That’s why I’d rather take them at home, on my own machine.
Of course, I took my pressure 12 times in the last two days on my new “toy” and it appears to be normal. I am determined to take it once a week from now on since I do have a tendency toward obsession. Besides, I was always a nervous test taker, so the fewer tests I take, the better.