Under Pressure

7 Oct

Under Pressure….

In a world of instant everything; IM, email, FB, Twitter and the like, some of us have developed a little tendency to react to things without thought. Every day, there are Twitter wars, posts that go viral on YouTube and yes, while there are many obvious benefits to making instant connections, we have also adopted a mind-set that sees us ‘jump the gun’ on occasion.


The last few days in the Hensley household of Virginia, have been comical, to say the least. My Mom has a great little morning ritual which includes weighing herself, checking her sugar levels and taking her blood pressure. She diligently records her figures, rarely mentioning what they say, because frankly, she really isn’t that bothered by it all. With a firm belief that she is destined to live out her allotted number of days here on earth, she is careful with her diet, maintains a wonderful attitude towards life and her experiences and she laughs…a lot! As far as the numbers go, “she really don’t pay them no never mind!”

A few days ago, Mom had left the blood pressure machine on the table and had gone back to her bedroom to start getting ready for the day. My pressure has always been low; low to the point that 120/80 would be cause for alarm in my body. I saw the machine sitting there and decided to check my pressure out, just for fun. What seemed like an eternity passed as the little cuff nearly squeezed my wrist so tight that my fingers began to tingle and turn white. Finally it beeped…and my heart nearly stopped. The figures glared up at me as I grabbed my glasses to be sure that my eyesight wasn’t playing tricks on me. But there it was…167/110.

I began to sweat just a little, my heart rate reacting to my shock. I ripped the cuff from my wrist, repositioned it and tried again. This time it was worse! I was dying right before my eyes! Saying nothing, I went about my business and tried again a few hours later. Shockingly high, once again, and again and again. For the next couple of days, I reeled in silence over the fact that somehow, my once incredibly low blood pressure readings were now those of someone who was fit for the morgue. I spent three days contemplating, scouring my mind about changes that must immediately be made in my lifestyle and I became a person with high blood pressure. I simply couldn’t figure it out. I wasn’t stressed, I felt fine (well, at least I had until then), I was walking several miles a day and eating salad and veggies with little to no trash.


I finally couldn’t stand it anymore and decided to say something to my Mom. Of course, she was immediately concerned as I disclosed my fears over my impending stroke or heart attack, when suddenly she chimed out with,

“Well my blood pressure has been the best it’s ever been the last few days.” Really.

Hmmm…. “Did you write those numbers down, Mom”?

“Sure”, she replied, handing over her trusty, little notebook.

I started to laugh as I looked over her readings. 110/47, 98/41, 89/37 …you get my point.

Mom should have been clinically dead or at the very least, feelin’ mighty poorly! As she took another reading, ERROR appeared on the monitor’s screen. I checked mine again and what do you know, I had the same…ERROR. The machine had given up the ghost.

My thoughts were suddenly swept back to a time about a year ago when I was attempting to book a flight to America. I was on the phone with the Travel Agent and had now been told for the third time that my card had been declined. She assured me that nothing was wrong with her machine as she had just put through a sale only a few minutes earlier. I had to work in Dublin later that morning and the calls I had placed to my bank manager had not yet been returned. I drove the entire way to Dublin a pauper. I had allowed my mind to go crazy with thoughts of how I would buy petrol, groceries, and Oh Lord, the rent! I was nearly sick to my stomach as I pulled into a parking space outside of my office, an hour and a half later.

Just then, my phone rang. It was my bank manager telling me that there had been a glitch in the system and all of the bank’s cards were being declined at remote terminals. It had been corrected and all would be fine. He assured me that I had plenty of money to cover the flight and that I was free to go ahead and try the booking again. And yes, it went straight through.

The long and short of these ridiculous little stories is obvious, I hope. The mind is a powerful thing. Instant access to information and knowledge is an amazing tool. It can also be a catalyst for destructive behaviour, when common sense and thoughtful reasoning are cast aside. Don’t always believe all is lost just because someone, some social network, or some machine, in my case, says it’s so. Take a deep breath, gather your senses and evaluate as an observer rather than from a fearful space or like some emotional basket case! We’re all human and we’re all prone to the great roller-coaster ride of emotions that make incarnation so interesting. This is simply a little reminder to stop for a moment and take a quick evaluation. You may be right on track. Or maybe, just maybe, ERROR, ERROR is flashing on your own screen and you need to slow down, throttle back and reset that hair-trigger!

Until Next Time…

Shine On!



One Response to “Under Pressure”

  1. Ruth Biafora October 7, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

    Hi Mary Helen,   I have already sent this blog out to others. Fantastic, as always.   Sending tons of love to you and mom, you are never far from my thoughts, and sending goo energy for Apotheosis.   Love, Ruthie

    >________________________________ > From: Mary Helen Hensley >To: ruth_biafora2003@yahoo.com >Sent: Monday, October 7, 2013 6:06 AM >Subject: [New post] Under Pressure > > > WordPress.com >maryhelenhensleyauthor posted: “Under Pressure….In a world of instant everything; IM, email, FB, Twitter and the like, some of us have developed a little tendency to react to things without thought. Every day, there are Twitter wars, posts that go viral on YouTube and yes, while there a” >

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