walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

I'm not a hypochondriac. I swear.

I do, however, have a "Digital Blood Pressure Monitor" (funny how they don't want to use that word sphygmomanometer). I got it a decade ago (ish), for complex reasons not having a whole lot to do with me personally, but since the person I was hoping would use it couldn't/wouldn't, I figured I might as well.

In the course of using my "Digital Blood Pressure Monitor", I learned a variety of geeky things. First, that when I used to do a lot of hiking, it was definitely time to take a rest day when my blood pressure started creeping up. Second, when I was pregnant with my son, I convinced the midwives that I was really reliable about checking my blood pressure, and I would call them if the nature of the blood pressure spikes we were concerned about changes, so I didn't actually have to come in for extra visits just so they could check my blood pressure. And third, I told a different set of midwives that I really am reliable about checking my blood pressure, so they don't need to worry about that developing silently with me just because I weigh a lot more than I arguably should.

I keep the "Digital Blood Pressure Monitor" in a drawer near the chair I spent far too much time sitting in, so when it occurs to me (hey, I haven't done that in a while), I don't have to dig it out and then wait a few minutes quietly before deploying it. Pretty much by definition, if I'm in that chair, I've been sitting about as quietly as I ever do. So today, I got it out and noticed that the numbers were looking a little higher than usual (please do not panic: a little higher than usual means the diastolic was over 70. I'm still normal range). And I'm a little nutty on the subject of measurements: I do sets of three, and if something is odd, I check again later on. And it's persistently over 70 (the systolic in the earlier measurements was around 130; later on it dropped below 120. This is a not-uncommon pattern for me).

This is a puzzle. I've been decent (not great, but decent) about salt lately. I eat a lot of things like avocado, and while I've been pushing a little extra protein and iron lately because of my cycle, it hasn't been by a lot (still low end of recommended range). I don't get that much caffeine (a little green tea in the morning, some decaf tea the rest of the day and occasionally decaf coffee plus the inevitable chocolate -- and I've been consistent on this for a while, no real changes). I've been eating a lot of vegetables and taking a little cal-mag.

I think, maybe it's my period? I seem to remember noticing that pattern in the past. So mistakenly google that:


Holy moly! Okay, so I wasn't really worried, but geez. I used to check my blood pressure whenever I got a severe headache or a migraine, because I wondered about that connection. For whatever reason, my migraines had no clear association with blood pressure (weakly associated with low). I am a little weirded out, however, by the idea that there are so many women out there noticing this connection and getting a bunch of blank looks or worse from their health care providers.

ETA: On a related topic, any theories out there about male writers of books about perimenopause? I do realize I've made exceptions on the men-and-breastfeeding-books, so I could be talked into another exception -- but not several.

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