I Just Wish I'd Notified Myself


Somewhere during the course of this last year, I apparently died. And I really wish I'd known when it was, so I could have stopped spending so much on utilities...

And maybe have taken a few days off.

See, it's like this. I went to the doctor's on Friday morning, just to have my blood pressure checked. Because, I guess, without the meds they put me on, and careful monitoring, I could explode and take out half the city.

So the assistant brought me into a cold, sterile room and proceeded to cuff my arm and pump the thing like an uninflated Goodyear.

I waited, as my fingers lost all sensory abilities, and then I heard the blood pressure cuff sigh...

Also the assistant.

Pretty soon, she was pumping it up again. Again, I waited. Again, the fingers said "sayonara." And again, the blood pressure monitor and the assistant exhaled irritably.

"I can't get a reading."

So she decided to try the other arm. More pumping. "So long, fingers." And...

Nothing.

"I'll get the doctor."

So the doctor came in-- an intern probably not quite half my age, but about the size of a large Shirley Temple doll. "I hear the assistant was having trouble getting your blood pressure. They're usually very good about things like that. Has this ever happened to you before?"

Have I ever been dead before, you mean? "No," I told her. The irony being that pre-medicine just the very thought of going to the doctor's could have my blood pressure jetting off at 10,000 feet. Now I just don't give a flying fig, and it's been great.

So, on with the cuff again. Once more with the pumping. I waited. I heard the air go out of the cuff. I looked at the expression on the doctor's face...

She had a vague, puzzled little smile.

The doctor said, "Are you feeling any pressure when the cuff fills up?"

I looked at my purple fingers. "Er, yes."

She then took my wrist. "You have a pulse," she said. And I think the moment she said it, she realized this was probably not something she uttered very often.

"I also saw my reflection in the mirror this morning," I said helpfully. I wonder if she wrote that down in my chart.

She decided to try the other arm.

No dice.

"I'm getting 120 over nothing. I'm going to call in the attending."

The attending physician, a cheerful mature lady stepped into the room.

"I really am alive," I greeted her. "I am unnaturally pale, but I'm pretty sure I've been living all this time. I know because I'm still getting paychecks."

Two times more, they took my blood pressure. And two times more, I had no reading. At this point, we were all laughing and they decided they had to let me go.

120 over nothing was as good as it was going to get that day. They sent me out into the world of the living.

The thing is, you know, I kinda thought being undead would have more perks than this.

Like, I'd get to sweep around in dramatic clothes with other pale people and act angsty. I'd have better hair, and get to hang around in an old mansion with interesting antiques. Or at the very least, I could have a little excitement in dodging guys with cricket bats.

But here I am, back in the grind, apparently deceased but still putting in a 9 and a half hour day.

What's appropriate under these sorts of circumstances? I don't really know.

Maybe I'll send myself some flowers and a nice sympathy card.

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42 comments:

Chat Blanc said...

haha! "you have a pulse." hilarious!

i do feel for you. i too was under the mistaken impression that the undead wouldn't have to work or pay bills. what a raw deal you got! :)

Jenn Thorson said...

Chat Blanc- It really is a bummer. I was hoping for more glamor than this. What's the point of being dead, if I'm still middle-management? :)

SimplyForties said...

Did you at least get to go off of your blood pressure medicine?

Jenn Thorson said...

SimplyForties- Strangely enough, no. I am dead, and yet I am still taking medicine.

There is no justice. :)

Princess of the Universe said...

Did the thought occur to any of them that it might be the machine and not you?
I would start writing my own obit...

Jenn Thorson said...

Princess- Well, I guess because they use that machine every day and it works on other patients, they couldn't quite admit to themselves it was the machine. I'll have to get writing on that.

ReformingGeek said...

120 over nothing and you're in middle management? How did you manage that? Maybe you've been taken over by aliens or something.

Jenn Thorson said...

Reforming Geek- Nah, I think I'd've remembered the probes.

Only in corporate America could you die, and still have to do customer service.

Karen said...

I like the 'saw myself in the mirror this morning' comment. Just assuring them you weren't a vampire, were you?

Shieldmaiden96 said...

I always get lectured because my BP is 'borderline' or 'creeping up', despite it always being completely normal when I go to donate blood. I don't know how to tell my Doctor, "No, it isn't creeping up, I just don't like you. In fact I'd rather be stuck with a large gauge needle with no other reward than a couple of store-bought oatmeal cookies and a sticker than be sitting in this room talking to you." Cause she goes to my church and whatnot. Its awkward living in a small town.

Jenn Thorson said...

Karen- Heh, I was actually, yes. :) I do wear a lot of black, and I am pale, so I figured I wanted to ease any potential concerns in that way.

Shieldmaiden- Ah, yes-- I absolutely hear that and am right with ya on it.

Kathy at The Junk Drawer said...

I'm as close to being a ghost myself without being dead. Happens every time I use remote access software to take control of a client's PC. I am now known as Casper to some people. My ghost-like "clicks from nowhere" apparently freak a lot of people out.

I'm still very curious about why your reading was so troublesome. Eerie!

Jenn Thorson said...

Kathy-- er, "Casper"- Well, I imagine it has something to do with that particular cuff PLUS me. I haven't been in that particular room before, so I'm guessing maybe that cuff isn't as sensitive as some of the other ones? Just guessing.

Hey, can we call you Casper? :)

Da Old Man said...

You got such a bad deal. All the downside of living la vida zombie, and none of the perqs.

About the only upside--you are the ultimate zombie blogger.

Ken Armstrong said...

You have a pulse?

That makes you fair game.

Wanna dance? :)

Jenn Thorson said...

Da Old Man- Gosh I KNOW, it's a total drag. Well, at least we know what my whole fascination with horror films in general and zombie flicks in particular has been about. Unfortunately, I have killed a whole lot of my kind in House of the Dead 4 recently.

I'll probably have to pay for that one.

Ken- Ah, what girl could resist a tried-and-true cliche like that? :)

Lynda Lehmann said...

This is very funny! Good, imaginative writing!

I commend you. Chuckle.... :)

Mulled Vine said...

My suggestion is to eat lots of beans. That's a sure fire way to increase your pulses. Arf-arf.

Jenn Thorson said...

Lynda- Thank you! Even we undead appreciate blog support. :)

Mulled Vine- Hmm, well, that's certainly a new option I hadn't considered. :)

Jonny's Mommy said...

This is going to sound weird, but this happened to me once. Twice actually. They did finally get a reading, but I swear they were contemplating calling the coroner to pronounce me. I knew him too. He would have been very shocked. Poor man.

Poor me.

And poor you.

But it made for great blog material, eh?

rj said...

Wow, almost everyone else has high blood pressure for the holidays.

You must be the undead. Or at least the unfazed. Or, your arm is too small for the cuff they used on you.

Jenn Thorson said...

Jonny's Mommy- That sense they were one step away from calling the coroner is VERY familiar. We really did start laughing about it, though. Which is lovely because I was unaware my health care providers actually had a sense of humor. All I could think was, "Well, there's my blog post for Monday!"

RJ- Heh, any one of those three will do. :)

Adullamite said...

You are living in the US! Sue them for losing your blood pressure! Sue them for the grief, the heartache, the funeral bills! There's a million (or thirty)in this!

You look OK in the Santa hat.

Jenn Thorson said...

Adullamite- Actually, I got off quite cheaply on the whole funeral thing. In fact, that sorta got glossed right over. And I'm not really morning the loss of my Living Person Status. In fact, friends and folks at work haven't even noticed.

Of course, a rakishly tilted Santa hat can make even the most undead of us look peppy. :)

Da Old Man said...

Just had to come back to let you know Shawn of the Dead was on Comedy Central today.

ettarose said...

If my blood pressure did not register I would say the machine cannot read through FAT! The fact that I was even at the Doctor would have definitely proved I was alive, fat but alive.

Jenn Thorson said...

Da Old Man- "Sean" is one of my very favorites. The whole set-up of him going through this mundane routine and not noticing half the world was zombiefied-- brilliant!

EttaRose- Well, I certainly don't think of you as FAT EttaRose. And you sure do blog THIN. :)

LittleJ said...

:D
if you ever learn how you managed to pull this off, could you explain to me/the blogging world how to do this? I HATE getting my blood pressure taken, but I'm sure being able to freak the nurses out like this would make me feel better about it.

Babs (Beetle) said...

Hey, you know JD is always looking for some undead to play with! I'll send her over!

Jenn Thorson said...

Babs- Are you saying JD herself is also undead, or she is an undead-smiter? Because, um, in the last case, maybe I need to stop being friends with JD. :)

Chaotically Calm said...

LMAO, I would think becoming immortal would have many perks as well, like super cool reflexes and the ability to live under the radar but do so so glamourously that everyone else is green with envy. Ah a girl can dream.

Oh and you know the doctor wrote in your chart something really dry and generic like:
Patient exhibits no distress by lacking blood pressure although her pulse seems to be in tack.

Happy Holidays!

Jenn Thorson said...

Faith- Heh, yes, I can actually envision something like that. Also, I don't know if just no one jokes with them, or what. But I actually DID have to say, "Yes, I'm just teasing you, I don't really believe you think I'm dead." Etc. (Shakes head.)

Drowsey Monkey said...

Gosh, I hope I'm mentioned in the will.

Listen - never joke to those medical types ... they write everything down and next thing you know they're drilling holes in your head. I read that somewhere. Or maybe it was a Seinfeld episode.

Jenn Thorson said...

Drowsey- Your advice, as always, is golden. :) And Happy Festivus to you!

Deb said...

I believe death becomes you!

Funny post! Defy all medical odds with your 120/nothing and freak out the entire medical community! Hey, your blog could be featured in the next New England Journal of Medicine!

Jay said...

What with Christmas, and the shoulder and all, I'm a bit late getting round the blogs, but can I just say ...


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

(I know an undead person! Cool! LOL!)

Jenn Thorson said...

Deb- Heh, maybe I need to stop watching so many Tim Burton films and wearing so much black. :)

Jay- I do hope you're feeling better!

JD at I Do Things said...

That's awesome. The main thing is, you were able to come up with some good quips and get a hilarious blog post out of the whole experience.

Isn't being dead worth it?

JD at I Do Things

Greg said...

I'd skip the sympathy card - after all, you already know how you feel, eh? But yes to the flowers...LOTS and LOTS of flowers!

Alas, poor Jenn. I knew her, Horatio...

Jenn Thorson said...

JD- It is! In fact, it's really helped me develop more empathy for the existentially-challenged. :)

Greg- Well, somehow I would expect you to say that, wouldn't I? :)

chyna said...

Your lucky they didn't bring in that automatic arm cuff that if it can't get a reading it inflates up even more to the point you are sure your arm is going to be cut off and it will act like a tourniquet. The medical profession is really a nasty group of people I tell ya!!!

Hey welcome to the land of the dead. Can I have your fairy collection? ;)

Jenn Thorson said...

Chyna- Vultures! :) I'm not even cold and in the ground yet and you're eying up my stuff. (shakes head) Well, guess what? I'm taking it all with me, baby!! :)