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.