Ellen’s blood pressure is out of control. This is baffling, because I have carefully increased and adjusted her medications. It is disturbing, because she has already had a small heart attack and has two stents.
“Ellen, I see that your blood pressure is still too high. Are you watching your diet?”
“Yes,” she says, “I don’t use any salt. No red meat.”
“Are you getting plenty of sleep?”
“Seven or eight hours.”
“How about exercise. Do you get out to walk?”
“Yes, I walk the dog at least a half mile every day.”
“Do you have any trouble taking the medicines?”
“Maybe a little. Sometimes.”
“What kind of trouble?”
“Well, in the morning, I have to rush. First, I get up and make the bed. Then, I have to shower. Then, pick out my clothes and get dressed. Make coffee. Bring in the newspaper. Walk the dog. I am often running late, so I forget to take my pills.”
“Everything you have been through, and you “forget” to take your pills?”
“Yes, I know its dumb, but, there is so much to do that I forget.”
I think about this a moment.
“Well, Ellen. You know, I have the same problem.”
“Really,” she responds, surprised at my honesty.
“Yes, absolutely. In the morning, I am often in a rush. First, I have to get up. Then, I have to shower, shave, and make the bed. Then, pick out my outfit and get dressed. Fuss with the tie. Find my keys. Check my calendar and messages. Kiss the wife. Make coffee. Bring in the newspaper. Walk the dog. And, very often, I feel like I am running late. So, you know what?”
“What?” Responds Ellen, transfixed at finding a kindred soul.
“I forget to wear my pants.”