My last check-in with my nurse practitioner brought up a familiar discussion — my blood pressure.
Every time I visit the blood center, a health clinic, even the dentist’s office, someone stares shockingly at my blood pressure and asks me what I’m doing about it.
Honestly? Nothing. It’s always been really high. About four years ago I did all the tests, including that horrible machine they attach to you for days on end, and everything came back normal. There’s nothing wrong with me.
When these incidents happen, my mom always reacts the same way.
“Just tell them we all have high blood pressure,” she says. And she is right. My mom’s blood pressure is high and so was my dad’s. I like to think we are just moving at a faster pace than everyone else. But, they won’t let you donate blood if your bottom number is 100 or higher, so as a regular donor, I would like to get this problem solved.
On my most recent visit, the nurse practitioner decided I need to track my blood pressure for the next 12 weeks and come see her again with documentation of these checks. I already exercise and eat well, so she wants to rule out “white coat syndrome.”
I have a blood pressure cuff at home, and she said these checks should be random. Not at the same time every day or week, just whenever I think about it. And to keep track of it all?
“There’s an app for that,” she said cheerily.
She’s right. There are lots of apps out there that will track your blood pressure, put it into fancy charts and teach you what all the numbers mean. After you type in the day’s reading, the app asks a very strange question. “Share this on Facebook?”
Why? I’d like to think all my friends are concerned about my well-being and would like me to stay healthy, but do any of them care to the point they too would like to track my diastolic and systolic data? I doubt it.
I like to imagine the gossip that would follow.
“Did you hear about Rose? Her diastolic number is so out of control. You would think she would seek help,” they’d say.
Or. “It’s so sad how Rose is just letting herself go. I mean, who just let’s their systolic get that ridiculous?”
This could also be an opportunity to pay back everyone who forced every moment of their pregnancy onto my newsfeed.
Most of all, I wonder how many “likes” my blood pressure would garner.