Trips to the doctor are rarely joyous occasions. I have admittedly had a few that were exciting (my final appointment pre-surgery springs to mind), but most are not. One does not normally see the doctor to talk about how great life is.
So, it was not with glorious expectations that I dropped in to my neurologist’s office yesterday. However, my most alarming moment didn’t arrive during my consultation. It came while chatting with an older nursing assistant as she attempted to get my blood pressure reading.
We had already skipped the scale (which was actually kind of disappointing) and gone straight to the blood pressure machine. I went through my normal routine of trying to control my breathing and posture – leftovers from my hypertensive days. I was uncomfortable when she frowned as she checked my reading.
“Blood pressure is a little high, hon. 140 over 90.”
This statement almost certainly caused an even higher spike in my blood pressure. I had been doing so well! I’ve been off my blood pressure meds entirely for months now. What went wrong?
She was relatively calm, though. She made some adjustments to the machine, and said: “Let’s try this again.” This time the machine came back with a reading I was much happier with: 130 over 80. Curious, I asked her what had happened.
“Your arms are too skinny” she replied. “I needed to switch to the pediatric cuff.”
My Withering Frame
Should I have been delighted about the correct reading? Probably. But, once upon a time, my arms were so muscular that medical professionals had to use an over-sized cuff on me. Nowadays they apparently need to use one sized for kids. Not exactly a glorious assertion of my masculinity.
Mentally, I understand that a certain percentage of all body parts contain fat. And, again, I know that even muscular tissue gets lost during the crashing weight loss that accompanies bariatric surgery. But, really? My biceps/triceps are so tiny now that I need kid’s equipment to measure them?
For the first time in a long time, I was not happy with my body.
The Tale Of The Tape
Why this was such a shock to me yesterday is anyone’s guess. We’ve been tracking our measurements here at home and I knew darn well that everything has shrunk. But it was still crushing to think that my “tickets to the gun show” had been revoked.
So, I dug around a little, looking for encouragement. And I found this:
That version of me had 15+ inch arms.
Maybe the pediatric cuff isn’t so bad after all.
Trying Not To Flex And Frown,