Since I was in high-school, I’ve been donating blood regularly. In high-school, I did it to impress a lady friend, but these days I do it for mostly Buddhist reasons. I usually do it about 3-4 times a year since you have to rest 8 weeks after your last donation.
Anyhow, earlier today, I went to the local blood donation center as usual during lunch break. As usual, they checked my blood pressure and pulse, but this time my pulse was too high. So, we waited a couple minutes and took it again. Same problem. Then I waited for 5 minutes and they took it one more time. Still too high. Also, my blood pressure had increased a lot since my last appointment 3 months ago. Not high enough to be medically “high blood pressure”, but definitely higher than before.
In any case, they said I couldn’t donate blood today, which was the first time in many years I had been rejected.
Lately, I’ve been pretty stressed out about some things (work, finding a way to live in Japan, etc), and I think it’s starting to affect me. For the time being, I can’t really do anything about either one, so I need to learn how to manage my stress better.
Last year, I was under considerable stress and that led to heartburn problems I talked about before. Lately, my heartburn has almost totally disappeared, and that’s good news, but it seems that my blood-pressure is getting affected too.
I think my problem is that I tend to internalize my problems too much. Take too much on myself, and just “bear it”. My wife has suggested I start exercising again and do it a lot. This is a very good idea, and I have been lazy about it lately.1
I suspect I also need to reduce sodium a lot more. I ate lots of good, tasty foods in Japan2 that had high-sodium and I might need to reduce this too.
Lastly, I need to work on the stress-relief methods. I find that practicing my Japanese and Korean hand-writing is a fun way to relieve stress, but I have also been neglecting this too lately. Guess this is a good time to start up again. :p
1 One great thing about Japan: you have to walk a lot to train stations and such. I got lots of excercise then, but not here in Seattle. Of course, walking in the heat, humidity and mosquitoes is not fun, but better than being overweight and with high-blood pressure.
2 McDonald’s in Japan is awesome. So is Kentucky Fried Chicken, Sushi, 7-11 snacks, etc. Compared to American versions, the difference is amazing. :p