Senseless blood pressure sarcasm : Blame the machine edition
Last Tuesday’s dental appointment: Back molar tooth pull
A dental assistant puts the blood pressure cuff on my arm. It inflates automatically until my bone wants to break.
“Your blood pressure is 205 over 145,” she announced, repeating what a piece of machinery wants her to say.
Considering the fact that I had been doing this 3 hours before…
…though not as well, it seemed odd to have a BP reading that should have made the tooth explode from its socket, along with every artery in my body.
After another attempt to get a reading (this one was 203 over one hundred-something), the dentist paced around as he thought about what he should do.
He wanted to call an ambulance.
I asked, “Do I look red in the face?”
“Do I look distressed?”
He finally had me sign every piece of CYA (cover your@$$) paperwork they had in their inventory.
As usual, I was relaxed in the chair as he numbed the area and pulled out a tooth that was, by his admission, ready to break.
After leaving, I told my better half about it. We went to the pharmacy for the antibiotic that I was going to need for the next week, and there it was — the do-it-yourself blood pressure checker-upper. His BP was 110/60. Mine was 194 over something that was under 100.
He has muscular arms. Mine are toothpicks and by the time the automatic cuff is ready to take a reading, my flesh is trying to meld into the bone.
“This is Bull$#!t,” I said. “The last thing I want is my insurance hounding me to get a million other tests.”
So… I called my endocrinologists office and asked for a consultation.
“My dentist thinks I’m dead,” I told the answerphone. “I think the automatic cuff system is cr@p, and I need to have my doctor take my blood pressure the old fashioned way.”
The new receptionist called and asked, “Why can’t you go to your primary care provider?”
“Everytime I go there, I get sick. April 2019, whatever I picked up at that office had the same symptoms as COVID-19.”
So, I was given an appointment for a consultation.
My doctor seems to be one of the few remaining people on Earth who know how to read blood pressure using a regular cuff and stethoscope.
He listened to my story while I sat like this in his office…
…with my eyes open and not identifying as male.
We agreed that people who don’t know how to take blood pressure the intelligent way also don’t know how to count change back either.
He was chuckling when he said, “154 over 81. It’s nowhere near 205 over 145.”
“This makes me wonder… how many people are on blood pressure medications that don’t need it?” I asked.
He thought about it, but didn’t answer.
Every time the dumbed-down version of taking blood pressure is used, that might be one more person taking an unnecessary drug.
Now, instead of thinking I’m jumping on a diving board and ready to plunge into my grave, the insurance company might be satisfied that I’m not yet ready to do the brain stroke.