Just to prove I’m an idiot I decided to obsess about my blood pressure. First, I checked it in the rescue in the middle of a twenty-four hour shift. 148/90. Then, I did it at the hospital. 144/92. Then I did it again, and again and again, switching from the rescue to the hospital, always with the same results, 140’s over 90’s.

Being the OCD type, I took this little obsession home with me, and when at the local CVS or Walmart stick my arm into the Accu-Check machine. 120/80. And again, 118/76. And again, 128/80. We have a centuries old BP cuff and stethoscope on the top shelf of our linen closet, pilfered from one of the kid’s Ken and Barbie play doctor sets, and utilizing my lovely assistant, Cheryl, would hold blood pressure clinics in my kitchen. 120’s over seventies every time.

Very interesting.

I had a doctor’s appointment, and lo and behold, back to 142/92. The doctor suggested medication, I decided to walk faster and eat less. A few weeks later, same deal, at work 140’s over 90’s, at home 120’s over 80’s.

This was puzzling. Hmmmm, I said to myself, and slept on it for a few weeks.

We had a mutual aid call to one of the suburbs surrounding Providence. Never one to let an opportunity pass, I stuck my arm in the rescues machine, and viola! 120/80.

With a new hypothesis firmly entrenched in my noggin, I visited a CVS in Providence. 148/96. My doctor’s office is also in Providence.

Through sound scientific expirimentation and using a dummy (yours truly) as a test subject I have reached the conclusion that Providence, in and of itself causes an increase in ones stress levels.

Therefore, in conclusion, I have surmised that walking faster, eating less and avoiding work is the only rational answer.

Step 1-check

Step 2-check

Step 3-damn, I need the check!



Since retiring in July of 2016 BP holding steady at 120/80, most of the time.



  • Lynn Briggs says:

    LOL  that is great………I do the same thing on the scales……conclusion ….the Doctors office and hospital always weighs you 5 + pounds heavier.  !!!!!!

  • Bob Lincoln says:

    You're right, Mike.  My BP actually got out of control just before my wedding (anticipating my lovely red-headed bride moving up here), and I've been on meds for 16 years.  It dropped for a while, then I had a boss from hell and it went to 160/110.  Dropped back down after getting away from him.  Now it's usually 124/84 or so on med, and goes up to about 140/100 within a week or two of reducing or stopping meds.  For me it seems to both stress and about 15 extra pounds.

    As for doctor's scales, I weighed myself at work once on a NIST-traceable scale at 180 lbs.  Doctor weighed me an hour later at 188.  Scale at home said 180.  My wife weighed in at home, and her doctor (different facility) weighed her at 8 lbs heavier than home.  I believe our scale, theirs is a lie.

  • Brita says:

    I always wanted to study BP of EMTs while they were working. Wouldn't it be interesting to compare BP just before and after the tones went off, when using lights and sirens vs. not, or in seasoned EMTs as opposed to newbies.
    I think we'd just prove, once again, that being a healthcare provider is hazardous to your health.

  • Nobody calibrates BP cuffs. Just saying. Your consistency in each environment would suggest a degree of validity. Mine goes up at any doctor’s office – probably would spike under My own experiment with being drop dead tired/fatigued was on the monitor where, w/o fail, I produced 1st degree heart block.

  • CBrown says:

    Start sailing, knock it back another 10 points…

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