lundi, octobre 24, 2011

My Paoli hospital vacation

Some folks go to Hawaii.

But I chose Paoli Medical Center.

Sunday morning I took a routine blood pressure check. We have a family history of hypertension, so I try to stay on top of it.

It was high -- on the border between call the doctor tomorrow and worrisome. I took it again -- it was higher.

I'm going to the hospital, I told Mr. C. He told me he was coming with me -- which turned out to be expensive. Boys who have little to do but sit around emergency rooms need to be distracted with frequent feedings, just like bears in a zoo.

When the doctor came in, I told him about my regimen -- functional single mother, running two households, working journalist, and part-time caregiver to my children's father. Who was coming home from four weeks of cancer treatment yesterday. The man with whom I hadn't shared bed and board for more than six years.

Dr. Shrestha listened sympathetically. He thought that my blood pressure would go down when my stress level went down, he commented.

Was I sleeping? Was I anxious?

I thought of the weekend -- a wedding rehearsal on Friday. Wedding rehearsals are always stressful -- a bunch of strangers, women hysterical from too much planning, and the mechanics of moving crowds of people through a space most of them aren't familiar with.

Then a brief interlude with a friend at a noisy bar -- "we may act younger, but we're too old for this" I said to him as we escaped into the chilly evening, heads ringing from the overmiked singer.

Baseball game and lawn mowing on Saturday (my yoga class has been temporarily sacrificed). Wedding itself on Saturday afternoon. Dinner with kids and study for midterm that I should have taken a few days ago.

Collapse on Sunday -- I guess, after weeks of this, it was predictable that I would break at some point.

I snuck around to glance at the blood pressure monitor.

Guess what? My pressure was going down -- because, I guess, I was in a place where I felt someone was caring for me. The doctor assured me that it was going to be all right.

Lesson? I'm going to work in time to take care of myself -- the massage here and there, dinner with a friend, a pedicure, meditation.

My yoga class. And perhaps, who knows, some walks with friends in more appealing environments.

I can't do all of this on my own. Sometimes, when you are used to being lone ranger, you have to get your butt kicked to realize that it's o.k. to lean a little.

As long as you don't topple.

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