Trust me.

I went to the doctor yesterday, and I told her something that I never thought I would say, but as soon as I said it, I realized that it was absolutely true.

Because I've had some abnormal test results, they have had to repeat the test every six months.  And after three abnormals, I get another test - a shitty, uncomfortable, different test - we're going on year three of this.  I'm annoyed, because what is the definition of insanity?  Doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result.

So this time, I asked some questions - I explained that I understood this was protocol, but whose protocol?  And what was the worse case scenario, and was "worst case" really any worse than inconvenient, invasive biannual testing?

Funny you should ask - in an insult to injury, the nurse (not the usual one) who took my BP grabbed the cuff and said I , "You're going to want the bariatric cuff."  She said, "Oh you're not that..." and stopped herself.  I finished for her, "You were going to say I'm not that big, right?"  I laughed and she was a little embarrassed -  she meant it as a compliment.  So she attempted my blood pressure, and what do you know - the regular cuff was too small and basically it burst open after she started pumping it full of air.  I suspect she was chagrined.  But honey, here's the thing.  I know my body.  I've been in it for nearly 45 years.  And what I can tell you about myself is far more than anything any of your instruments can tell you.  Trust me - pull the bariatric cuff.  If you don't want to look it up, bariatric is for bigger arms, the kind possessed by bigger girls.  My spell check urged me to change it thrice to "barbaric" and it has a point.

Anyway, she wasn't the brightest, bless her heart.  But! While talking to my doctor, who I really like, I said "the thing".  I said that the smell of hospitals is "triggering" to me.  That my father spent a lot of time in them, and in facilities like them in the end, and that stepping into the hospital, which is attached to the doctors' building, causes me tremendous anxiety.  I start sweating and my BP gets elevated.

And that's all true.  Of course, using the wrong cuff doesn't help.

Back to the trigger comment, though.  As much as I'd like to say that people are snowflakes who need to toughen up where triggers are concerned, the fact is, certain things will trigger a perfectly resilient person.  And when I walked into Williamson Medical Center yesterday, that rose was BLOOMING.  It smelled full-on hospital:

Broth + Disinfectant + Ozone + Laundry + Fear + Sickness =  Hospital

They say that the sense of smell is the one most connected to memory.  And I don't doubt it.  My sorority house had an undertone of synthetic pineapple -if you bottled it and presented it to me, I'd know immediately.  The smell of pool chlorine reminds me of my early swim lessons (which I hated).  Drakkar Noir reminds me of half the boys in my high school class  - though my first boyfriend worked at an Italian restaurant, so he smelled like spray starch and garlic.   Both are smells I like to this day.

Drakkar Noir By Guy Laroche For Men. Eau De Toilette Spray 6.7 Ounces
This is what my junior year smelled like.

But hospitals and nursing homes have a smell that distress me.  Now, here's the thing.  When Dad was sick, I powered through it, because there were bigger distractions and things to keep me focused.  When my friend was sick last summer, same thing.  I had more to work on/with than a smell.

But yesterday, even though I was there for a test I've had before, the smell hit me and I involuntarily put my hand over my nose and mouth.  And in voicing my frustration, some truth surfaced.  As it does, from time to time.

Anyway, the results will be in next week, at which point, I assume we'll start over and try again for a normal in six months.  Or, worst case scenario, they'll get a little more aggressive.

Either way, it's fine.  And I'll get some essential oils to take with me next time.

To health, and speaking your truth, and knowing your body!