I wanted to write something hopeful tonight, because today’s visit to the doctor did not go well. My blood pressure is too damn high, and I am officially taking medication to bring it down. Alarm bells are going off in my head, I can assure you. My father has been hospitalized for high blood pressure. So has my mother. So has my sister. My aunt has high blood pressure. So did my late grandmother.
The doctor was pleased that I joined a gym and lost a significant amount of weight.
“Good job,” he said, “now lose some more.”
He prescribed a generic version of a popular medication—only $30!—and sent me away for another month.
He warned me that I might feel “a little funky” as my blood pressure normalizes, and when I pushed him to be more specific he said I’d probably feel like shit until my physiology adjusts.
“Just don’t stop taking the medication,” he said. “And if you have any questions at all about how you’re feeling, call me.”
Apparently this is what a lot of patients have done, stopped taking the drug because it made them feel unpleasant. I promised him I would push through, and off I went to the pharmacy.
I took my first pill with lunch, so it’s official: I am a blood pressure patient. Second only to my father’s diabetes, this was a genetic disease I was hoping to avoid. Kind of a bummer.
Here’s the hopeful part. I really enjoy going to the gym, especially early in the morning. An hour of low impact exercise changes my whole day. It clears my mind. It helps my writing. And I’m really enjoying losing weight, too. It’s great for the confidence of a former fat kid. Confidence, that will definitely help my writing, too. Win. Win.
But I think I also need to spend much more time sitting in quiet meditation, maybe some soto zazen, maybe at the Village Zendo. No more regretting the past. No more imagining horrible futures.
And I think I also need to start gathering other writers for writing groups, for seminars, for planning and organizing public readings. I need to build a community of local writers.
In other words, I need to regain my center or my health is doomed, early death.
This will mean spending a little less time on U.S. and International politics, and a little more time reading literature, reading poetry, working with other writers, and hopefully finding some inner-peace in this downward spiraling culture.
These are my new plans, vaguely sketched out. Some of them off the top of my head with no revision, because I also want to try being much more casual on this blog. I’ve written enough formal essays and term papers in my life to make me puke a bibliography. Was that funny? Anyway, the point is, I must drop the academic tone. It’s poison.
So, here’s my call to action, in conclusion, since all the blogging articles say I should have one in every post: please leave me a comment and tell me what you think of my life-changing plans so far. Thank you.
And please make a small donation, if you can.