The last time my husband, Marc, went to the doctor for a physical; his blood pressure was slightly elevated. The doctor wasn’t too concerned, as he knew that Marc was going through a stressful time. But he did caution him to keep an eye on it. So Marc purchased a blood pressure machine.
Several times a day, Marc would test his blood pressure. But the readings were never consistent. They weren’t even close. “Do you know if you are even doing this right?” I asked him one day.
“I think I am.” He answered as he was about to test it again.
“Did you ever read the instructions?” I asked, knowing that Marc never usually bothers with directions.
As I expected, he confirmed, “No, why would I do that?”
“Well, maybe the readings don’t make sense because you aren’t doing it right. Where is the book, let me read them for you.”
As I got the book and read how to properly use the machine, Marc must have tried his luck with the gadget three more times. “You know,” I said to him, “I think you are getting a little compulsive with this. You are only fifty years old. If you are this way now, how will you ever be when you turn seventy?”
Marc wasn’t amused. “Whatever. What do the instructions say?”
“Put your arm in the cuff and hold your arm parallel to your heart,” I read from the booklet.
“Parallel to my heart? Like this?” he asked as he held his arm in mid-arm level to his chest.
“I guess so,” I replied.
“This doesn’t seem right. Are you sure?”
“Yeah, I am. See it says so right here, hold your arm parallel to your heart.”
I handed him to pamphlet to read. “It doesn’t say parallel to your heart, it says parallel to your head!”
“Oops. I guess that makes more sense,” I tried to joke.
Exasperated, he commented, “You know, if you continue to help me, I don’t think you have to worry about what I will be like when I am seventy. I will never make it that long!”
More from living