My computer can't spell the word. It has the jagged red line right under it!
Well, sphygmomanometer isn't a very popular word. If you're unfamiliar with it, then you either hate using seven-syllable words or too young to have high blood pressure.
This word is a contraption that measures one's blood pressure. I never paid much attention to it myself, not until I was recently told by my doctor to monitor my blood pressure. So between doctor visits, I had to keep looking for someone who had one. The search could take long—not too many people has even heard of the gizmo.
So JB brings an idiot-proof digital one for his dad and me on his last visit.
Opening the box, Tony and I alternately read the how-to-use leaflet. We are confident that with both our respectable IQs together, we should be able to make this never-before-seen modern gadget work.
The face of the sphygmo (nickname for this complicated word) has an initial reading of 135/85.
Connect the cable to the devise (check). Plug the same cable to the socket (check). Put the band around your arm (check). Push the “start” button (check).
The arm band inflates and deflates and then clicks off. Blood pressure? 135/85. A few more tries on me and then on Tony. Same reading: 135/85.
“This is a lemon!” Tony exclaims.
“JB should return it to the store!” I concur.
“He should get a replacement!” Tony adds.
“Or have his money refunded!” I say, reinforcing the issue.
When JB comes home that night, we whine about the faulty sphygmomanometer. “Both our blood pressure always came down to the same figures: 135/85!” we say in a duet.
JB unpacks the thingy, then patiently explains, making sure we both understand, “This here is a sticker, see? First, you have to peel it off.”
What?! 135/85 is a sticker?! A sticker?! A sticker?! I repeat in my mind. Tony's face tells me his mind is echoing mine.
Then our son, the doctor, who learned his ABCs from and shares his DNA with his parents, takes our blood pressure, then his.
I pay no attention to the results. I am more concerned over my new, more serious malady: Hypo-IQ.
When did it come about? How did it happen? Why were there no symptoms? Is there a cure? Is it terminal?
This digital age is driving analog people like us nuts. Oh, that we may be granted with an intensive dose of daily digi-grace!
Now, please excuse me while I go check my blood pressure.