While I like to keep an eye on my health, I really did feel dismissed by my Doctor recently, so I thought I might talk you through it.
You see, I like to keep an eye on my health; my weight, blood pressure and listening to my body and what it’s telling me. Using an app on my phone I keep a record of my blood pressure which I have commented on before. My blood pressure is generally around 120/80. However, in the last couple of months I have noticed it creeping up to around 145/95 (give or take a bit).
I showed my Doctor the list of blood pressure readings and her immediate response was “these are fine, what are you here for?”. Then she took a look at the most readings and acknowledged my pressure was raised and “a bit borderline”. She commented on my pulse rate being comparatively low at around 50-60bpm.
“Time to take your blood pressure reading right now, so roll up your sleeve”.
On went the sleeve, the buzz of the machine and I could feel the cuff tightening on my arm. As soon as the pressure of the cuff was coming down I could feel my pulse returning and the reading was done.
“Wow that’s high, off the scale, seems a bit odd”.
I glanced at the machine to see what the reading was – 245/110.
“Do I need to go on some kind of medication now to bring it down?”.
“Well if you do, it’s for life. Medication for raised blood pressure is not just for a short period, like antibiotics, it’s for life”.
“So would you advise me to take them?”.
“Not necessarily, there’s no reason for your blood pressure to be raised. Your weight is ideal, you don’t smoke, you don’t drink alcohol and I see you’ve even given up caffeine. Well done for that”.
So then I asked about weight gain, it seems to happen so easily these days and I explained my weight has gradually increased, although I’m still within the right range, so I’m not overweight at all. She weighed me and agreed my weight was fine.
“You, Mr Hook, are 55 years old. It happens. Every year since your 30th birthday you will have seen your metabolism slow down and it will continue like that, there’s nothing you can do to stop it. Apart from, that is, giving up food and that’ll cause you a few problems!”.
She paused, then typed furiously into her computer, jabbing the keyboard with her fingers and noting some of the readings on my phone’s app and then paused once again. She then said “it’s two years since we gave you a good health check, so we’ll do that and come back and see me in three months once you’ve seen the nurse. That’s a fasting blood test for cholesterol, liver function and so on, plus a urine sample from your first pee of the day”.
“Okay thanks Doctor. I’m sorry if I’ve bothered you unnecessarily”.
“Well yes you have. Keep doing the readings at home and come back if you get 5 days of readings above 150/100. You’re one of those Worried Well people that clog up our surgeries. Don’t you know I’m the Doctor on emergency duty later this morning?”.
“No, sorry, I didn’t know that but thank you for your time. I’ll see you in three months then”.
She was cross at me. Might be a great Doctor but I’m not so sure about her bedside manner. Truly dismissed by my Doctor.