“Just relax,” the nurse prodded, as I set the book aside, earmarking the chapter I’d been reading on anxiety.
Sure. Relax, I chided inside my head. That always works to tell yourself that, almost…um, never.
“I’ll let you sit here for a few minutes before I take your blood pressure again. I’m sure you’ve just been rushing around this morning.”
I dropped my head in shame, thinking of the irritable words I had mumbled at the line of cars that were keeping me from getting to my doctor’s appointment on time. You know, blaming others always reduces anxiety – just like reading books about it.
I drummed my toes on the step that I had used to get up on the table that reminded me I was the patient – meaning that something was wrong with me. Oh yeah? Not nearly as wrong as that stupid step that’s bent downward. I recognized that my legs were plenty long enough that I should have ordinarily been able to be flat-footed upon it. I was beginning to feel a little less anxious now. Transference always did the trick.
Just as I was feeling more relaxed, the nurse came back in and squeezed my arm again with the blood pressure cuff.
Oh? That’s all I was going to get, huh? “So I take it that my forced meditation didn’t work?” I figured one of us needed to verbalize the obvious.
“It actually went up some more. We’ll have you lie down for awhile after your check-up and try again.”
All the issues stacked on my office desk began to send mind-texts to me. The post-it reminders on my brain were piling up. After my little office table nap, my blood pressure had sky-rocketed. Brilliant.
The next thing I know, my doctor is blah-blahing about medicine to reduce my blood pressure.
“Wait a minute, doc. I can’t do that. My blood pressure’s just high because I have a lot on my plate this week, and being here is just putting me further behind.” Seemed like a reasonable excuse to me. Yeah, I know. Emphasis on excuse.
“Well, I’ll tell you what,” she reasoned back. “Let’s just start you on it this week, then, and when things settle down – and we see that your blood pressure does too – we can talk about you coming off of it.”
And therein lies my new pet peeve. Reasonable people. Don’t they just get all over your nerves?