Friday, June 11, 2021

You Had a Bad Day

Sometimes, you have a bad day and the magic is lost.  Today was like that for me.

I've been feeling so good about everything lately: Eliot and I have made progress on our house.  Both of our businesses are booming which has kept us super busy- but it hasn't really been a stressful busy like it has been in the past.  We got our final COVID shots last week.  We're getting ready to get puppies in the next few months.

Then, today happened and it was kind of a kick in the shins.

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This morning, Eliot and I had what I thought was going to be a follow up to my physical back in December, and a check-in for him.  We were running a little behind schedule, but since we both have the same doctor I thought that it would be fine and we'd make up the time.  When we got there, all hell broke loose.  We were having actual exams and we needed to fill out paperwork when they'd be calling for Eliot any minute.

Sure enough, he got called in as soon as we found a place to stand in the already full waiting room.  He asked if I could go in with him and the nurse said yes.  (But in hindsight, I don't think Eliot's nurse realized I was also being seen.)  The nurse that was supposed to come out to get me was left scrambling trying to get me signed in when she wasn't ready for me yet.  She was understandably flustered and I was confused because we had asked to be seen together.

Flash forward to me sitting in the room getting my vitals done.  Eliot was next door getting his vitals checked and then when we were both checked in, they'd move him over to my room.  Everything with check-in went fine... until the blood pressure.

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Backstory: I absolutely hate getting my blood pressure checked.  When I was in middle school, we had to learn how to do it in my health class.  I was paired up with another girl in my class and we had to take each others blood pressure with the ones where you do everything yourself.  Well, she got the thing on me, pumped it up, and couldn't get the release valve to work.  I'm not even entirely sure what happened after that... I think my brain has honestly blocked it out because it traumatized me.  All I remember was that it hurt like hell and my entire arm had little red dots going down it after.  Ever since then, I've hated having my blood pressure taken.  I get severe anxiety about it, which is pretty much the opposite of what you want in this situation.

I'm sure you know where this is headed.  Of course, like usual, it was higher than it should be.  Like every other time, I had to have it done on the other arm a few minutes later.  Still high.  I wasn't really alarmed.  One of my parents has high blood pressure and the other has severe white coat syndrome.  I've always chalked it up that I run a little higher than I should to begin with and I also have a case of white coat syndrome... and on top of that I was also traumatized as a kid.

But when you're 36 and not in the best shape at the moment, that's not how the nurses and doctors see it.  Unfortunately, I didn't have a great experience with check in the last time I went to the doctor... and this was that all over again.  I've always been a firm believer in bedside manor because you don't know what someone is dealing with internally.  In my nurse's defense, she doesn't know me or what would upset me.  But both times I've been checked in, I haven't had the best taste in my mouth afterwards. 

Side Note: I would like to be clear that my doctor is wonderful and I'm so glad Eliot and I found her.  She's kind but to the point.  She doesn't sugarcoat things, but she also doesn't treat us like we're complete idiots.  I've had so many doctors and nurses treat me like I'm clueless.  I'm thankful and incredibly grateful for our current doctor.  In addition, all of the student doctors she's had working with her have been wonderful, professional, knowledgeable and kind as well.

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The rest of the appointment went fine.  Eliot was checked over, and then I was.  At this point, I knew we were holding them up on their lunch and I was getting anxious.  But our doctor and her student doctor were kind and didn't rush through anything.  We went over plans for Eliot and then it was my turn.  Everything went as I assumed it would and I thought I was in the clear.  That's when the other shoe dropped.

My doctor wants to put me on medication for high blood pressure.

The rest of the day has just kind of dragged by with me in a blur.  I immediately got defensive in the room, which my anxiety has me playing over and over again wishing that I'd done and said something else.  Again, she's a wonderful doctor and I trust her opinion.  I don't want her to think that I don't trust her because I do.  I just think this happened so fast that it caught me off guard.

She agreed to my idea of taking my blood pressure at home twice a week for the next 2 weeks and I left without the prescription she wanted to put me on.  But now, I'm dreading that next appointment.  I don't want to be checked in by a nurse.  I want her to take my blood pressure... and I don't even know if that's possible.

Right now, I'm fighting with myself over if I should send her an email or not.  I think she should know that I haven't had the greatest experiences checking in, but I don't want to get anyone in trouble.  I do think it's a problem though.  (There's more to this story but this is not the place to be airing that.)  Long story short, I'm not comfortable with the check-in process and it's going to do me no good if I go in there another time and get myself all worked up before I have to get my blood pressure taken again.

I don't know why I fought it.  I feel like I'm in a losing battle.  And I hate myself for it.

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All day, I've internally beaten myself up over what I could have done differently.  Why did I get so defensive with her?  Why haven't I been walking more outside while being holed up for the past year?  Why haven't I been eating better, even though I have been more conscious of what I'm eating.  Why have I done this to myself?

The truth is that this probably isn't a big deal.  I'm pretty sure that my doctor said the medication was more precautionary than anything.  I honestly blacked out like you see on tv when the doctor is talking and you don't hear them.  After coming back to reality, I asked a few questions and it's something that can be reversed... that is if I can ever get my stupid blood pressure to not be horrific at the office.  (Which feels unlikely...)

My mother talked me off the ledge a bit after I got out of Michael's.  (I went immediately after the appointment because Eliot's boss needed him to come to work right away and I didn't want to be alone.  Going to the craft store- my other happy place- seemed like the best option and I needed to go anyways.)  My Mom is probably right, after Eliot and I get our puppies, the exercise I'll get from tending to them will help.  And just having the puppies in my life will probably make my blood pressure go down naturally.  If only I could bring them into the doctor's office with me.

And I'm dreading that next appointment.  The one where she will probably put me on medication because no matter how much I tell myself to relax, I won't be able to.  I'm not sure that it even matters if I monitor my blood pressure the next two weeks while I'm at home.  If I can't get it to go down in the office, will it matter?  Will I be stuck on this medication for the rest of my life?

I mean, I probably do need something if things don't change.  But after the last 15+ months we've been through, this feels rushed.  If I'm being 100% honest with myself, I'm happy to be here and healthy overall.  I've said it before- 2019 was not a good year for me mentally.  2020 could have completely crushed me, but somehow I came out on top.  2021 has had it's moments, but I still feel like I've been triumphant.  And I've even felt like I've finally got my groove back the past few months.  Like I'm fully me again.

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And I'm overwhelmingly terrified of losing that.

Here I sit at 11:00 pm on a Friday night all alone with nothing but my thoughts.  Eliot's still at work making up the hours he missed on his birthday.  He knew that I was upset when he said goodbye to me in the parking lot, but I don't think he realized how upset I was.  If he had known, he would have done whatever his boss needed and he would have come home to be with me.  But I couldn't do that to him.

I've struggled to get through the day, but it's almost time to go to bed and begin a new day.  I probably spent at least an hour in Michael's just trying to let my mind wander to it's creative spot.  Then, I went home and rewatched the A Million Little Things season finale.  After, I ended up going upstairs to take a nap.  I only got 6 hours of sleep last night, so I was tired anyways.  But honestly, I just didn't want to be alone in my own head all evening.  And taking a nap ensured me a few hours of quiet.  I got back up at 8:00 and I've tried to get some work done but I just can't seem to focus.

So I ended up here.  I internally debated with myself for over an hour if I should even write about today over here.  But, as I'm still alone with my thoughts, this seemed like a good place to get out some of my feelings.  Eliot will be on his way home soon, and I'm sure that will make me feel better.  Plus, then I can go back to bed.

Tomorrow is another day.  And things could be so much worse.  I could have gotten a terrible prognosis, so I probably should just shrug this one off.  Tomorrow is another chance to be better.  To make different decisions.  To make strides forward.

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Finally, before I end this, I would like to thank you all.  Thank you for providing me a space where I feel safe being honest.  I've always believed mental health shouldn't be a taboo topic, but it's really scary when you're the one putting yourself out there.  

Thank you for allowing me the space to talk about my feelings and struggles in a way that feels safe.  I'm forever grateful for you.

And I'm ok.  Admittedly, today got me in a bit of a funk.  But I've got a lot of things to look forward to this weekend, and I'm going to try to focus on all of that.  Today was definitely a bad day and I lost a little bit of my magic.  But I also know there's a great big beautiful tomorrow, shining at the end of every day.  °o°

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