Every once in a while, I like to get a check-up, see if everything’s working under the hood, especially as the year begins to wind down a bit, and especially since Mercury Retrograde is about to arrive on Samhain aka Halloween.
I usually don’t anticipate emergencies or crises in my everyday personal life, but I work in a high-stress environment with constant contact with the public, plus my research, teaching, and committee work tends to put me over the top in terms of stress levels and workload. There’s something I have been missing lately:
This blog has become a part of my workload.
Visiting the doctor should relax me, but as a Black woman, the white coat syndrome always pops up for me, regardless of the reason for my medical visit. What should relax me actually makes me even more anxious than dealing with my job.
You get the idea.
I usually do my doc visits around this time of year, and this time I decided to see my psychologist, my dentist, and my gynecologist within a two week period, which usually leads to the other things–followups for more dental work, mammograms, colon checks, etc.
At age 53 I am beginning to realize that my blood pressure isn’t as reliable as I thought it was, and chances are high that I’m going to have to make even more changes than the weight loss I accomplished this year.
One change involves me becoming much more informed about drug interaction and spacing out medical appointments a bit more generously.
Here’s a couple takeaways for you since you’ve taken the time to read my post today.
When you go to the dentist, do make sure (if you are having work requiring gum anesthesia) that you
- 1) remind your dentist if you have hypertension; and
- 2) do a frequent check of your blood pressure for about 12-24 hours after the procedure.
Could save your life, and keep you from stroking out or having a cardiac arrest.
Because until last Thursday, I had no idea that Novocain could cause me to have stroke-ready/cardiac arrest-ready blood pressure.
Where was I?
At the gynecologist waiting for my pelvic exam and pap smear, which ultimately did not happen because my blood pressure was off the charts. I got as close as being stark naked, save for my socks, but no stirrups or breast exam that day. That’s right–she would not do the exam because my blood pressure was too high.
After having them do my blood and urine tests–which I insisted on because otherwise that whole day out in suburbia would have been a waste–I spent two hours sitting in ER having more tests done before going home and having to monitor my blood pressure.
We are fully in the shadow of Mercury Retrograde, and last week was the beginning of me having to alter my whole way of thinking about my blood pressure and my health overall. As I get through the rest of fall semester and plan out my podcast episodes, I will need to plan for real resting points.
Everything else besides my blood pressure checked out well for me. I am healthy, sane, well-balanced in my thinking, which is great for me, and even a relief that my attention to my blood pressure will help me learn how to not allow my work environment to harm my well-being or take me from my sense of grace.
Take your medicine on schedule (I do!), and stay informed — save your own life.
Dr. Cherie Ann Turpin