Yes folks – We left off as I was about to discuss my particular ailment. ( If you missed it, click here for Part I.) I have developed – white coat syndrome. What is this you might ask?
White coat hypertension, more commonly known as white coat syndrome, is a phenomenon in which people exhibit a blood pressure level above the normal range, in a clinical setting, though they do not exhibit it in other settings. It is believed that the phenomenon is due to anxiety experienced during a clinic visit.]
Since when did this become my issue? Good question- now I have something else to worry about. I say to myself, “They are going to think I’m sick!! Next think you know I’ll have to go on meds and be handed a prescription! Ok snap out of it Denise, you’re fine, it’s just nerves!”
When the nerves are running high and anxiety is at its peak – you worry what will the doctor say? I try to calm down and slow my breath because my heartbeat is rapid. I appear visibly calm – because I am great under pressure -but on the inside I am so nervous. I hear Ms. Bampoe – Ok I guess it’s my turn. I walk down the hall to the next available room set up just for me and before I prepare to disrobe, the nurse asks for me to roll up my sleeve so she can take my blood pressure – anxiety sets in. She takes it and its sky high – ok this is not normal and if it were, I wouldn’t be able to sit there and function. It’s not normal but what’s normal these days – I’m under a lot of stress -actively caregiving, managing a household, work and now this unexpected event manifests itself and you want me to calm down and take it easy??? I can’t calm down; but I need to. It won’t change the outcome. So there’s the diagnosis and fears compound. The doctor leaves the room and you wait for results and each sound as you sit on the exam room table is filled with trepidation. Each squeak…is that the doctor? What will she say? More tests? More scans? A procedure?
Geez. It was then that I realize that I’m out of control. I’m not dealing with stress as well as I thought, nor am I fearless.
And all that I feared was confirmed it was – more tests, another scan ending with a procedure.
This is what my parents felt as I shuffled them off to doctor’s visits and to specialists and procedures. It’s nothing like it until it’s you that is personally going through it. This is why time, healing, and reflection is important. It’s key to do this not only when you are sick but exercise self-care while you are well. It will equip you to handle things a little bit better when things get off track. I’ve learned that things eventually get off track but we, as caregivers, are all resilient beings and are more than capable of rebounding if we allow ourselves the time.
So, folks that’s where I have been. I’ve been a patient dealing with all the things – the emotions, vulnerability, diagnosis and fears and just coping and trying to juggle getting back to a normal life while balancing attempting to keep stress to a minimum while not succumbing to my fears. I realize this is what my Dad or my Mom may have felt. While I may have been able to put it into words, my parents may not have been it is a gift to have had those encounters with them and I can call upon that same experience to help myself. Maybe one day I’d share more specific details but until then I am well and essentially I am back!
I’ve been through my own caregiving journey on the other side of the hospital gown. It’s not at all pleasant or pretty but at times these things are very necessary. These set backs come to show you how much you can endure – you learn how strong you are and God reminds you of your purpose. In my own recent experience, I’m reminded of the tools that I created to help me to navigate caring for both parents simultaneously. How to keep track of history, diagnosis, records and dealing with doctors and makings sure quality of care is maintained. However, instead I was in the hotseat and had to rely on hubby to help me out in this situation. For those who have never had to navigate this type of journey before – don’t fret that’s why I am here. If you want to learn more about how I can be of service to you, start here.
I look forward to serving you and helping make your life just a little bit easier while you are caring for others or perhaps caring for yourself.