My first disease.

This week I was diagnosed with “White Coat Hypertension.”

It sounds like that disease that killed off all the North American bats, but it’s not. It just means that doctors give me high blood pressure.

Apparently “White Coat Hypertension” is common, so common that they actually named it.

(Do other careers cause fear-based diseases? Do people suffer from “Attorney Heart Failure” or “Librarian Hyperventilation”?)

I’ve never had a real disease before, unless you count the chickenpox, and I suppose as far as diseases go this isn’t a bad one to have.

The diagnostic process was relatively simple. I just took my blood pressure at home and then they took it in the doctor’s office. It was 15 to 20 points (Degrees? Steps? Inches?) higher in the office so it was decided that the doctors were the problem.

And it’s not fatal. I don’t even have to take medication. I just need to stay away from the doctor’s office.

As someone who went twenty years between physicals, that treatment suits me just fine. I’m happy to avoid physicians entirely.

I can probably use it as an excuse too, like an allergy.

Instead of “I’m sorry but I can’t eat that guacamole because I’m allergic to avocado” I can say, “I’m sorry but I can’t come in for a yearly checkup because I have White Coat Hypertension.”

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