You’re a mother. You’re always busy. It is natural to become consumed with everything happening in your life. You remember your children’s schedules. You remember your spouse’s schedule. You think about your grocery list, what’s for dinner, managing bills, and other daily essentials.
Everything is so urgently important. It’s easy to get into the habit of putting everything, and everyone, else before your own needs. So much so that remembering to schedule your own doctor’s appointment tends to fall further down on your list of things to do.
I forgot to take care of me.
Of course after having my son, I went to my usual follow-up appointments. My doctor gave me the sign off that everything is well. You know. The usual. After that appointment was completed, I got into the flow of my busy life. I was adjusting to my role as a mother, wife, and full-time employee.
I felt that I had everything under control. I was proud of myself for creating a system to stay on top of everything for my family. Until I realized, a year and a half had went by, and I hadn’t returned to check on myself.
What made me remember?
The smile on my son’s face and watching him play joyfully. I felt an immediate need to get checked up to make sure all is still well, as it was the very last time I had an appointment.
I remember going into my appointment and feeling fine. I figured not much could change from the year and a half that so swifly passed by. I sat in that nurse’s chair. She placed the blood pressure cuff around my arm, and it read 158/91.
Now, I don’t want for this to sound like those scary medical posts where you Google the symptoms of a headache and self-diagnose yourself with a brain tumor. But, with a reading that high, I could have been in danger of heart attack or stroke. According to the American Heart Association, a normal blood pressure reading should be 120/80. Obviously, my reading was way above that.
I’m 29 years old and I have hypertension (high blood pressure). I’m no medical expert, but that’s insane for my age right? The scariest part of it all, I never felt any symptoms showing that my blood pressure was elevated. It truly is the silent killer. Most people suffering from hypertension aren’t even aware of it. The only way to know is to get it checked.
But let’s be honest. Who walks through Target thinking, “I need to check my blood pressure” if it’s never been an issue before?
I remember the nurse staring back at me. She asked if I was feeling fine. No headaches. No blurred vision. No faintness. I felt like me. I felt fine, but what if I waited longer to get it checked? Going to that appointment helped me to learn what is necessary to keep my blood pressure regulated and under control.
It was a reality check that I am of no use to my family if I am not taking care of myself. I admit. I got lost in the hustle and bustle of my life. I assumed because I felt fine that all was well. But it took that one moment of watching my happy son to remind me that I need to be the best of me in order to enjoy that smile.
When you realize that life is consuming you too much, take a moment to slow down and make sure you’re well enough to keep up with the things that are most important.