A funny fact about “health” that fat liberationists have known all along, is that the numbers of perceived health can belie actual health.
By behavioral standards, I am healthier than I’ve ever been. I more or less quit drinking five months ago, and haven’t smoked cigarettes in ten years (OK fine I cheat once in a while but really so rarely I can count on one hand how many I’ve smoked in the last year).
I hate it but can run several miles. I rode my bike through all kinds of terrain almost every day in 2020. I work out once a week via Zoom with a sweet gospel instructor (I’m not religious but didn’t realize she was and before I knew it found myself kind of getting into the Godly cool down soundtrack). I don’t eat out much. I’ve curbed my sodium intake. I’ve quit coffee for weeks at a time. I listen to a lot of slow jams.
Here’s my blood pressure Before all of that, in December 2020, at my highest weight/BMI when I was still polishing a bottle of wine a day and staying up till 1am numbing my brain on television, smashed inside a 500 square foot apartment hiding from my toddler.
129 over 77 is pretty good all things considered.
I mentioned last year, that nostalgia also makes my blood pressure erratic. Early in the pandemic when I thought the world was ending, I thought I was having a heart attack. Turns out I was just susceptible to rational thought.
Anyway, as a natural effect of curbing alcohol, I lost my appetite for snacks, and lost some weight, gained unprecedented energy. On paper, everything but my BP says “health.” But this was my blood pressure a few weeks ago.
144 over 104. This is so unbelievably high that I made art about it (that I’m never showing). When I explain what I think is causing the hypertension to my doctor, she lets out a sympathetic sigh and prescribes me beta blockers. I’m on medication for stage fright, which I do not get. No seriously I don’t get stage fright. Just stage excitement.
A staffer tells me that according to a doctor friend, humans have a finite resource of energy and that we need to mete it discreetly or we run out too soon and acquire neurological diseases. What in the actual fuck, you guys.
I don’t mean to second guess medical professionals and friends with lived experiences but I know what makes me hypertensive. It’s a privilege to know. I know what makes it slow down. That’s a privilege, too, but harder to accept. In the ultimate form of dysmorphia, I actually think I may be abetting the restless heart. I am exciting myself to death. Numbers don’t lie but I don’t either.