My Blood Pressure

I bought my bike in the first place, a few months ago, because my dentist wouldn’t give me a cleaning on account of my high blood pressure. I didn’t want to go on blood pressure medicine, so I got a bike instead and rode it every day. After a month or so of that, my pressure was jim-dandy.

Today in the doctor’s office the nurse checked my pressure again. “It’s going to be high,” I told her. “I’m at the doctor’s and I’m in pain.” And sure enough, it was very high.

But the doctor wasn’t satisfied. After I thought we were done, she said, “You know what? Let me check your pressure again. I think you might have what we call ‘white coat pressure.’ It goes up whenever you face a medical procedure.” But everything else, she added, appeared to be just fine.

So she checked it again, and it was high again. “You’re a Christian,” she said. “Think of something that makes you happy.”

The first thing that popped into my head was a hymn, Revive Us Again, complete with auto-harp and guitar. (You can find that hymn posted elsewhere on this blog.) And after 30 seconds or so, the doctor said, “Aha! Now it’s going down, just like I thought it would. You don’t have true hypertension. You have white coat high blood pressure.”

Well, that was good news.

If you’ve got a blood pressure monitor handy, you might want to try this at home. Or you could just take my word for it.

9 comments on “My Blood Pressure

  1. Not only do I believe you, Lee, but a similar thing has happened to me, although my Christianity wasn’t brought up (my doctor is also a Christian). I have a condition that keeps me in pain most of the time so that accounts for my blood pressure being up at times so it’s a bit of a problem determining what it really is. Thankfully, no blood pressure medication has yet been recommended to me (most likely, I wouldn’t take it anyway). My doctor and I agree that other methods for lowering it are preferable – my usual methods are prayer, reading my Bible and listening to (and singing along with) hymns and songs of praise and worship. Your blog is also helpful. Pain, unfortunately prevents me from riding a bike – some days I’m thankful that walking is less of a problem than other days.

    When you’re healed up and take up bike riding again, may I suggest not riding with no hands?

    1. I mustn’t chicken out. Riding no-handed can be incredibly soothing. It’s good for your balance, too. As for that being the cause of my fall–well, all I know for sure is that everybody who rides a bike will occasionally fall off.

      I am very sorry to hear that you’re in pain. No one would ever guess it from your comments. And I’m very glad my little blog is helpful to you.

    2. Thank you, Lee. It’s quite an amazing thing that when I’m in a great deal of pain (to the point of being unable to focus my thoughts) I ask Father to ease it so I can read His Word clearly. He does! No surprise there 🙂

  2. Lee, I have found the very same thing to be true for me. I do have a monitor, and I have found if my emotions are stirred up, pressure goes up, when I’m calm, BP is normal. If we focus our thoughts on the things written in Phil. 4:8-9, we are well on the way to good health.

  3. The sight of white coats doesn’t actually bother me but when I hear the words, “Let’s do some bloodwork…….” a panic begins to happen inside of me. I hate for blood to be drawn or to get a shot. And I’m old enough to that these things generally are for my own good. And you’re right about focusing on what’s above in the Heavenly Places, focusing on Jesus and on all that He has done for us. He is the most Calming Factor of all.

  4. I have a similar reaction to the “white coats”, especially when they don’t give me a chance to calm down. My BP is usually high when the Nurse checks it, so the Doc comes in and goes “hmmm….”, then takes his sweet old time getting the equipment out and rechecking my BP – TaDa! that BP has dropped back to normal!!

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