My friend Enzo has high blood pressure and has had to confront all the scary possibilities it presents. Medications have not helped to bring it down. His doctor sent him home with instructions to use a blood pressure monitor and take his pressure daily. He says he has really disliked having to do that at home. He doesn’t like fitting the cuff onto his arm, doesn’t like sitting still and trying not to worry about the results, because “of course that all just drives the pressure up”!

Enzo said he decided to make the monitor his friend. Thinking about it he realized the little machine is not his enemy, even though he has been thinking of it that way, and that it only exists to help him with his health. So now, each time he passes by it on his dining room table, he greets it with, “Hi pal, how you doin’?” Or “Hi buddy, having good day?”

Enzo’s a mostly retired contractor, a former U.S. Marine, a guy who has worked with his hands and managed some big jobs. He is not an airy-fairy fan of “woo-woo” stuff; he just wanted to change his mind about the business of taking his own blood pressure.

He says that after he shifted how he sees his monitor, his pressure readings dropped by about twenty points. And while he says he doesn’t quite know how to understand that, he’ll take it.