So This Is Love

Friday, February 15, 2013
As much as I love decorating things with hearts, Valentine's Day tends to come and go around these parts with little to no acknowledgement. I don't think Andy and I have even exchanged Valentine's Day cards since our first Valentine's Day together. It's not that I don't like the idea of a day set aside for remembering to say your "I love you"s, but this day always slips away into "just another day" despite my best intentions to bake cupcakes or something heart-shaped in honor of the day.

To be honest, Valentine's Day 2013 has to be one of my least romantically inclined V-days of all. For some reason, back in December when I made the appointment, I thought it would be a really good idea to schedule my annual doctor exam for February 14. And let me tell you, there's nothing like a pap smear to really knock the romance right out of you. 

My annual exams tend to be pretty dull affairs (as they should be when one is in their twenties!), but it appears that I may have a monstrous case of white lab coat syndrome which has lead to my blood pressure readings creeping up with each passing year. This time, instead of being sent home with a clean slate of health, I was given instructions to keep a blood pressure diary over the next couple weeks to make sure my high blood pressure readings are simply the result of the clinical setting.
I'm not terribly concerned that I actually suffer from hypertension, although considering that after last year's appointment where my blood pressure first indicated hypertension, I went out to lunch with my mother and ordered a kielbasa with sauerkraut on a pretzel roll with a diet Pepsi, obviously, I could be making better choices regarding my blood pressure and cardiac health.

Andy doesn't share my ambivalence to the whole situation and within an hour of my reporting that he'd have to take my blood pressure about three times during the next week, he'd already found a blood pressure cuff to borrow and arranged a meeting with a medical buddy to learn how to use it.

So no, my Valentine's Day wasn't filled with red roses, chocolate, or love songs. Instead, it was filled with caring and care.

It reminds of a couple from our neighborhood who have weathered many a medical emergency together. Last year, when the wife was receiving care for several weeks at a clinic about 6 hours away, the husband drove down to bring her home each weekend, a total of about 24 hours of driving time for him!

 "Now that's love," another neighbor said when I told him about this couple's weekend trips home.

Actions speak louder than words and often the least romantic actions come from a place much nearer to a heart than any stereotypical Valentine's Day gesture.

Baby, you can take my blood pressure.


  1. I wanted to say thank you. I needed a life in perspective Vday post. My honey and I are doing a bicoastal LDR and this was our first Vday. I was (okay let's be honest AM) bitter about the (lack of) acknowledgement I received yesterday. I wasn't looking for diamonds or a room full of roses but some form of "Happy Valentine's Day" response. However, your email reminded me that Feb 14th is just another day and that showing love comes in many forms all year long. Thank you.

    Following from

  2. Ada, I have the same white lab coat syndrome. The best advice from one nurse was to take really deep in and out breaths while they took my BP. I tended to hold my breath, which made my blood pressure read higher! Oh and I agree, love isn't usually about hearts and flowers!

  3. I love how sweetly Andy has made sure to take part in your health. That IS love.

  4. They thought mine was Lab Coat syndrome too but turned out it wasn't. They had me do the same thing you are doing now, took my bp a few times a week at the local drugstore. It was always high no matter what time of day. Like you, I am not overweight, I eat right and exercise regularly. Sometimes it's just our genes. I'm sure being in good health helps it though. Anyway, I am now on medication. It's a bummer but knowing it could save my life, I take it! Good luck!

  5. Caring and care means so much then buying cakes and cards. Yes, this is love.
    As newcomer to the country I found salt gets overused here. There is already much hidden in bread, cheese or cold cuts bought. Now it seems common to add even more. Leads to early affects, even when not obese. Take good care of you.

  6. I spent v-day at my internist getting blood drawn also :) I have to agree- when I've been having hospital and emergency adventures, and even just in shingles territory, you really learn what love is and how people give you what you need, whether that is TLC or other kinds of support. I have proof now that I've got a good one- looks like you do too :)


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