Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Sphygmomanometerphobia

phobia_grammar

Image from ‘Analytical Grammar’ on FB

They missed one on this list!  (see heading)

On Sunday (yes, Sunday!!) I had an annual check-up appointment at my Health Care Centre. I’ve never before had a HCC appointment booked for a Sunday (I had to double-check to make sure they hadn’t given me the wrong date!). Apart from the unusual time, I was also to meet a new doctor (since the one I’ve been seeing for many years now has retired). Apart from that, though, it was just a routine annual check-up to renew various prescriptions. Alas, the routine also includes the doctor taking my blood pressure, which in turn includes a recurring problem: It always seems to go up just by being there. At home, according to a little wrist ‘thingy’ of my own, it is usually fine. (Had to look up that word… Sphygmomanometer?! Seriously?! – just trying to pronounce that may cause the pressure to go up…) At the HCC they also have a bigger sph…you-know-what for self-check, in a special room. I’ve brought my own little one there a few times to compare; and yes, my own meter goes up there as well (and back to normal at home…). I checked it last year, and I checked it again two weeks before this appointment. At home – fine; at the HCC – too high… (The only good thing about that being that it indicates that I can trust my own spy-thingy.)

I did several random checks at home over the last couple of weeks, and they were all good. Even on Sunday morning it was very good. However, when I gave it a last check just before leaving home to walk into town for the appointment… Oops… just on/over the limit… Tried to mentally relax while walking into town; but of course, when the doctor took it, it was still too high. I told him about my own experiments, though - and he decided on no changes in my medication (just continue to keep an eye on it).

(And yes - when I got back home, the pressure was of course back to normal.)

Although I know that it is a rather well known phenomenon (also called white-coat-syndrome), the irrationality of it still bugs me!

Kind of wish there was a similar theory for cholesterol levels, though… Not alarmingly high, but a little oops there too… as in maybe having let my guard down a bit too much on that front… (Think chocolate and cheese. Or rather – try NOT to think about chocolate and cheese…)


11 comments:

  1. Just goes to show how hard it can be to put logic over emotions. Yes, here we call it White Coat Syndrome. I have a little wrist one too, makes it so much easier. My blood pressure has been too high for over 50 years. Now it is called Friable. This means it goes up, then down so low that I faint. Not much can be done for it. Let;s see...looking at your list, I have fear of heights, spiders, gosh, I guess that is all. What fears on the list do YOU have?

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    1. I don't like heights either. Depends a bit on general safety how if affects me, though. Ladders are a no-no for me, and I seriously don't like "open" staircases either. I have fear of spiders too; which at least in Sweden is rather irrational, as in Sweden there is very little risk of coming across a venomous one. I just feel they have too many legs... ;) I guess it might also be said that I suffer "mildly" from some of the others on the list; but it depends on the situation...

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  2. I don't trust the Thingies! How do we know they know what they know? I am waiting for Star Trek tri-corders! ;-)

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    1. Sandi - not being a Star Trek fan (I don't think I ever watched it), I had to look that up!

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  3. i agree with Ginny, on the logic over emotions. i have 7 of the fears on this list, all are irrational fears and my mind knows there is nothing to fear but i do. i know bob's bp is up a little but his comes from having to wait and see a doctor for what he terms no reason.... glad the doc understood... he could have overmedicated you. and i have never heard of a doc visit on a sunday

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    1. Sandra, I never had a doc appointment on a Sunday before, either. When I went to have my blood tests done (in advanced) I asked the receptionist about it and she said they were trying to catch up.

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  4. White coat syndrome is all too common. My blood pressure used to be deemed to be a little of the high side and I've been of various tablets for many years since my heart attack in 2000. However all the hospitalisations I've had recently have shown that my BP is too low and I've been taken off the medication. However when a nurse came to do a survey and we had a some 'lively discussions' about the [very silly] questions and when she took my BP (in my own home, sitting down and not talking and three times a minute apart0 my BP was too high and she served me with a notice requiring me to see my Doc. Back on the tablets. First day afte BP dropped off the safe scale and I haven't taken a tablet (it was the lowest dose he could give) since and my BP is fine. It will be interesting to see what happens to it next week when I go to have my 'cancer jab'. I've never had a problem with 'white coat syndrome' in the Doc's or hospital in the past so it will be interesting to see what happens next week. I've been keeping records so I can at least show them.

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    1. I really should have checked that before I sent it. However given the distance between the n and the f on the keyboard I'm puzzled as to why 'on' has become 'of' in the first two lines. I gave up checking after that in case I found too many more mistakes.

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    2. Somehow typing mistakes in comments never seem to be visible before the comment has already been published!

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    3. One reason the BP goes up in a doctor's office may well be silly questions asked just before they take the pressure ;) For me, this time, it was a new doc, and therefore also partly different questions than usual... At this age, with a history of various health issues going back decades, it's really not easy to know what may be of most interest to them just then and there. (And probably the same thing for the doc.)

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  5. Don't fret about blood pressure or cholesterol - these are largely genetic and going back through time to change your great great grandparents is far too hard. There is a breathing technique to overcome that spike. It is called circular breathing here. I use it sometimes. Try to remember that doctors are just ordinary people who have done a few courses. They are not special although sometimes we tell children that they are. It sounds as if you have a sensible doctor who understands his patients.

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