Diabolical Diastolical

Blog_The Beat_BPTriple digits on the speed gun!

That’s great for a Major League Baseball pitcher, not so terrific for a desk jockey getting his first blood pressure test in … a while. That second number, the diastolic pressure, should never start with a 1.

Poor devil.

And by that I mean the doctor. He’d guided me through a severe concussion in the late 1990s and sent me on my way afterward as fit and clear-headed as I’d been in years. Today, it took half the darned appointment before he even recognized me as that guy. In fairness, back then I did have a little beard … and a physique. Hell, I hardly recognize the face in the mirror most days myself. Where did that other dude go?

“So the doctor finally told you that you’ve been living in a world of denial,” my wife chided me afterward. (Hogwash. I haven’t denied myself anything in years.)

She wasn’t with me for the exam, my first physical in, like I said, a while. She’s that type of person, that advocate, that we all say ensures the best care for a patient. She’s done the research and is ready with questions. All business. Me? I like to downplay symptoms, make the nurses laugh, be charming and self-deprecating and tell stories, like, “It’s funny … I work at the Hopkins School of Nursing, and any nurse we interview there about alcohol use says a big problem is that every patient lies about it to their caregivers. So if they say five drinks a week, they mean 10. Ha-ha.”

“So perhaps we’d better revisit question No. 2,” my doctor deadpanned.

Then he cuffed me, and we did a different sort of lie-detector test. I’d explained that my previous doctor had been watching my “borderline” high blood pressure.

He allowed as how the border was no longer in sight. He gave me 30 days to prove the reading was a fluke. If not, we medicate.

Blog_TheBeat_aceOf course, my first step out the door I’m like, “Tell it to Lemmy!”

Oh, that’s right.

Too old to rock-and-roll. Damn.

Pity party over here! Sorry, it’s BYOB.

–Steve St. Angelo

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