Last week when I went to my eye appointment, the first thing they did was take my blood pressure. At first, this struck me as strange, but the girl explained that they just started doing this and put the blood pressure cuff on my arm. She pushed the button on the machine and went back to the computer, asking me questions the entire time. Since I struggle with what I like to call “Blood Pressure Taking Anxiety” (I tense all up when getting my blood pressure taken, and it ends up giving me a high reading – at least I think that’s all it is), I have learned that you aren’t supposed to talk while getting your blood pressure taken. It messes things up. Unfortunately, I didn’t have much of a choice and I answered her questions as politely as possible.
That is, until the blood pressure cuff started to get painfully tight. Now, I’ve had my blood pressure taken numerous times. I understand that it is supposed to get a little tight. Generally, this does not translate to “finger-numbing, bone crushing, something is digging into my arm” tight.
Me: ”Umm, this thing is…gasp…really…gasp…tight!
Nurse: ”It isn’t releasing?”
Me: ”no…gasp. Ow. Ow. It has never…ow….”
The nurse comes over and presses the release button. I swear nothing happened for at least 2 seconds.
The cuff finally starts to release a little bit, and the nurse is trying to get it off my arm. She couldn’t even get her finger between the cuff and my arm. I had a panicked thought of “oh no, I’m stuck in this thing!”
By the time she got it off, I had lines carved into my skin from the cuff. I could see three distinct lines. I also received a small bruise from it (I do bruise easily, but not that easily). I could not feel my fingers for at least an entire minute afterwards. I have never, ever had a cuff get that tight before!
She never did tell me what my blood pressure reading was, or if they even recieved one. There have been times at the doctor’s office that they couldn’t find my pulse, so my theory is that the cuff couldn’t find my pulse, and just kept tightening to try to find it. And tightening and tightening…
This is not going to be good for my “Blood Pressure Taking Anxiety.” From now on, I’ll be freaked out by those little machines. ”It’s gonna take my arm off!” It’s okay, I didn’t need that arm anyways. Or wait, maybe I do.