Saturday, February 25, 2006

Whinge: a dialect form of Middle English whinsen < O.E. hwinsian

Geekman and I both, in our separate yet sadly parallel ways, had crap days yesterday (although they don't seem so bad at all compared to the one ShrinkyKitten had on Wednesday). Geekman's was mostly caused by work frustrations; mine by a whole mix of things. Partly because I hardly got any work done at all. Partly because I think I've made a big mess of something to do with the conference workshop I'm organising (I'll post on that later when I know whether I have irredeemably screwed up or not). And partly because, when we decided to cheer ourselves up by visiting friends and getting Chinese takeaways with them for dinner, we turned out to have been talking at cross-purposes with each other, so that they thought they were coming to our place and we thought we were going to theirs. So we spent nearly an hour waiting outside their house on the other side of town (without the food, which they had volunteered to pick up), while they were sitting outside our place, wondering why we had invited them round and then gone out for the evening.

Oh oh, and then, when we finally managed to synchronise our time-space coordinates, it turned out that the shop had accidentally left out the nicest dish of the order, while still charging us for it. And by then, no one wanted to drive across town again to pick it up.

But mostly the frustrations of the day were due to a doctor's appointment for a minor but irritating injury to my hand that has been bugging me for about six weeks now.

The doctor was running 45 minutes late, something that no one seemed to think was worth mentioning when I checked in at reception, and it was, of course, the first time ever that I hadn't bothered to bring some work to do with me. So this put me in a bad mood right from the start. When I finally got to see her, and I mentioned that the injury originally happened at the gym, the doctor made it clear right off that she didn't think "girls" had any business doing heavy weights anyway. If it hadn't been for this, I mightn't have been quite so suspicious about the rest of the visit.

Since I hadn't been to her before, she also took a whole lot of routine information, and measured my blood pressure. I've had borderline high blood pressure for a while now, but since I don't have any lifestyle risk factors (I don't smoke, I eat healthily, exercise a lot and am not over weight) doctors have never suggested there is anything I should do about it. But this one sadly shook her head and said, "Well, I don't think weight lifting is a good idea at all for someone with high blood pressure."

We had a little back and forth about how I thought studies had shown that weight lifters generally had lower blood pressure than your average person (when not lifting, obviously) and she said that, yes, but the extra pressure of the actual lifts could be very bad for you, and I should "give up all heavy weights immediately". Little pink hand weights on high reps are still fine, of course. Anyone who has been reading this blog for a while probably can no doubt guess how I feel about that. (And if you don't, take a look here and here, for example).

So I really don't know what to think about this. She obviously had something against weight lifting to start with, but the bit of googling I've done since does turn up lots of references to the "fact" that people with "uncontrolled high blood pressure" should avoid "intense weight lifting". But does that include people with "borderline high blood pressure"? By "uncontrolled" do they mean "if you aren't on medication"? And what's the definition of "intense", anyway? I'm thinking I need a second opinion, which pisses me off too, because I really couldn't afford to go to the doctor in the first place, and I don't want to have to fork out more money for another visit.

Oh, and her solution for the hand injury was "no weight lifting at all for a month, then come back and see me."