Tag Archives: paradoxical pulse pressure


Today I started out the day in a rush but you wouldn’t have guessed it. I woke up 20 minutes before class and still managed to shower, blow dry hair, put on professional clothes for my first physical diagnosis lab, grab breakfast, drive to school in time to grab a parking spot, AND arrived just in time for the first embryology lecture! It was insane.

The rest of the day proceeded as normal. I had my first Physical Diagnosis where I learned to take my first vital sign, get ready (drumroll please): blood pressure! Seriously could it be that hard? Well, ladies and gentlemen, yes. This is where I learned the correct way to take blood pressure manually using a sphygmomanometer (that’s actually what real name is for the medical instrument that measures blood pressure… You know the cuff thing that is pumped up and squeezes your arm…anyways). After a couple of tries I got the hang of it and will definitely need some practice. I even got to learn how to detect paradoxical pulse pressure (a decrease if more than 12 mmHg in systolic blood pressure during inspiration) which can be indicative of cardiac tamponade. I had mine taken and as expected it was low (100/56). You would have thought that as it would have been higher due to the nervousness of learning a new skill and stressing about how much material I still had to study as soon as I got out of lab (which wasn’t scheduled to end until 5 pm) but no it wasn’t higher. I took that as a good sign that things are in order. I am learning how to cope with the stress of being a medical student.

Tonight I wasn’t as successful in my studies but I’m okay with that. No need to get all worked up about it. I went home and cleaned.

I really enjoy organizing. I cleaned up my room and then organized my desk. I then folded a couple loads of laundry (I usually don’t fold my clothes but this year I have found that it puts me at ease if in the morning when I open a drawer to get dressed everything is in its place and neatly organized.) Then I organized my lecture notes for this quarter. It took a while and a couple of new binders and folders later everything is in its place and I am beaming with satisfaction. Having my stuff in order helps me manage my stress. I know that when I’m having a stressful day I sanitize the kitchen or bathroom and as soon as the refreshing smell chemical cleaners tickles my nose when all is done I will instantly feel better. Order in my life is necessary, even if it is just my office supplies. 🙂

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