Friday, April 11, 2008

While having a stress test...

For various reasons, it was decided that I should have a cardiac stress test yesterday.

I meekly acquiesced.

I will not bore you with all the details. This is a nice, literary way of saying I will bore you with some of the details.

They injected me with some radioactive joy juice and then, after a respectful interval, positioned me on a bed about the width of a balance beam, there to take a 15 minute film of me lying still.

I'm guessing this is some sort of Zen thing.

"Hold still," the nice young lady technician instructed me, "but you don't have to hold your breath."

For 15 minutes? No wonder they call this a stress test!

Then various portions of my chest had to be shaved and patched and wired up with various electrodes. The different lady technician who performed this operation seemed not to need a wiring diagram.

Now it was time for the 'main event' of the procedure.

The cardiology resident came in, followed shortly thereafter by the cardiologist. Someone in authority must sign the death certificate if you die on the treadmill.

The young resident came in carrying a large cup of coffee.

This, I told him, was unnecessarily cruel, inasmuch as I'd not been permitted to have my morning coffee because of the test. "You'd rather have me awake," he said. I considered his assessment. I decided I'd rather have my coffee instead. But I kept that to myself.

Most people in the world know how to use a treadmill. I do not. Personally, I can't see the point of walking or running while standing in one place. It is not walking I reject (running being another matter entirely) -- if I have a need to go somewhere, and it's not too far distant, and I'm not carrying too much, I am perfectly willing to walk. But walking is a means to an end, in my philosophy, not an end in itself.

I gave this patter as an excuse. But the fact remains that, because I had never used a treadmill, I wasn't very good at it. They tried to teach me how during the course of the procedure. "Well," I said, "if you must. I suppose it is a teaching hospital."


Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

sarge had to do that too. i got to sit is the waiting room and drink coffee. that's better. really...

smiles, bee

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

ps: tyvc!

Shelby said...

well, how'd you do? Did ya pass?

Linda said...

Okay ... so after you learned how to use the treadmill then what? Obviously you didn't keel over from a heart attack or you wouldn't be writing this but still ... where's the rest of the story??

landgirl said...

Oh, Cur, metaphorically aren't we always on a treadmill? Just trying to be a spanner in the works. I've had a stress test and even tho I knew how to do a treadmill I still found it awkward. It is just part of the whole stress test thing. I recently had an ECG--just ythe simple sitting down and getting things stuck on you. I like the way the nurese described it-- "I need to take a tracing of your heart." That sounded like Valentine's cards and frilly lace. So what if they called a stress test something like a look at heart in action or something like that--something more heroic. But I do think it was prudent to have the guy doiung the test be awake--you;d hate to have to do it again, wouldn't you?

The Curmudgeon said...

Nothing to report on the outcome of the test at this point... obviously, though, they let me go home. I'm assuming that that's a good sign....

Kacey said...

Be grateful that they allowed you to do the treadmill test. They have a variation of this called a Dobutamine or Persantine test. They hook up an I.V. and shove the drug in; your heart rate immediately goes soaring and feels like it will hop out of your chest by way of your mouth. It is not fun, but just as good for diagnostics. By the way, you are allowed to ask the cardiologist how you did while he was observing the EKG strip. It's awfully hard to wait for the results, when they could give you a few comforting words. Here's hopeing you are as perfect as you seem.

Patti said...

I really don't know how to use a treadmill either.

It sounds like all is well. I doubt they would have released you to the custody of Long Suffering Spouse otherwise.