Thursday, February 26, 2009
White coats and high blood pressure
I have an illness.
About a year ago, my doctor diagnosed me with White Coat Syndrome. Basically, she explained to me that I'm a big chicken when it comes to visiting a doctor's office; the minute I arrive my blood pressure and heart rate go up. I'm a wimp. A pansy. In a word... scared. It's probably because every time I go, someone does something to me that hurts. I've never really been a fan of pain. Odd... because it seems to have followed me around the past several years.
Two other things following me around, though, are the blood pressure issue and the heart rate thing. For some reason in the past few months, they don't go back to normal when I leave the doc's office. The high numbers stick around. I've had my blood pressure checked several times lately. My top number jumps anywhere from 132-158 (normal is 120), and the low number is anywhere between 100-110 (normal is 80). My resting heart rate has been around 120 (normal for women is 70-80). And here's the thing... I work out 3 times per week and weigh 102 pounds. I'm in good shape. Or at least I thought I was.
I called a cardiologist friend of mine in Shreveport and told him about my issues to see if he thought I should do something about it. He told me it was probably stress, and that with everything I've dealt with in the last 6 months he would be surprised if I weren't having some sort of issues. And I loved what he said next:
"I'm not ready to throw a pill at it yet."
That tickled me. I was thinking if he did "throw a pill at it," my heart is running so fast he'd probably miss.
At any rate, I'm headed back to my doc's office tomorrow. So, we'll see what she says about all this. And I will try to keep my White Coat Syndrome in check. I just hope she doesn't hurt me.