Cardiac Carnival

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is for everyone whom has had to endure going through our medical systems to try to diagnose a cardiac related problem... Written from a womans point of view about my own experience, and how to find laughter, in some of the most chilly and sterile environments...

Submitted: July 19, 2007

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Submitted: July 19, 2007

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Well, I have arrived in the office, andI sit here in what is a not unpleasant environment, but one which is stereotypical of physician offices across the land.... Monochromatic decorating, chairs that match the floor, floors that match the border, the border in turn compliments the framed artwork on the walls, and the scattering of plants - synthetic mostly - to try to soften the corners and increase comfort of the always ever so uncomfortable seating.

The fish in the tank across the room, well, one of the fish in particular, is disconcerting in some intangible way. It’s like the pictures on the wall in a haunted house portrayal - the ones that "watch" you as you go. . . something a little creepy that is just beyond the line of direct vision that makes you tingle with an un-nerving sensation as you pass by. He is a big ugly thing, similar to one of those bulbous eyed gold fish, but without the cuteness or the personality.....

Ok, now I am in the room, having just had another EKG done because my blood pressure was good when I was sitting (124/80) but when she had me stand it changed immediately (118/88) and so apparently coupled with the fact that Dr. Bairds office sent over the heart monitor report and not the previous EKG, I got to do it again ($$$$). I am now in a lovely new ensemble consisting of having been debloused - and debra’d so that I could don this lovely paper towel "vest" which opens in the front for easy access to the ta -ta’s area, no wait that’s my date shirt description . . . . this one is for easy access to my heart, a cold and withered thing by reputation, but not nearly so as others would have it believed. IT has the wonderful posture enhancing effect of 1 inch seams on the outside which protrude upward giving it that squared off Michael Jackson Star Trek Bolero jacket fashion appeal, rather comical it is, and I get to see my self in it quite well in the huge big ass mirror in here . . I mean WTF? Doc got a reflection kink thing going on in here or what, ?? wooo hooo twice as many ta ta’s !!!!! On the bright side of it, it is my favorite color Pink - hooray!

Ok, consultation with second nurse for full medical history of myself and immediate family. I have now been stripped of my socks and shoes as well. Once again I am left alone with the great big image of myself to ponder the complexities of moving about in paper clothing without having a "wardrobe mal-function" Janet style....

Met the Doc. A small framed man, plain but delicate facial features bespectacled in round rimmed glasses, almost bald- but pleasantly so. Soft spoken with a kind friendly voices you warm instantly to. In his white lab coat he very much resembles the stereotypical science guy. He listened patiently and did not at all exhibit the arrogance of many dr’s today. We talked about all the issues at hand and discussed the many variables and the potentials, and then we came to an agreement on a game plan for the day.....Which begins with a lets listen to your heart beat from a dozen different locations some rather unusual, but well, whatcha gonna do? Now I am alone in the room with the big ME for social entertainment. I await the next carnival ride. . . The EKG.

Nurse comes in, speckles my chest with these electrode stickum tabs that must have just been removed from between the waffles and the popsicles in their kitchen freezer, talk about instant "perking". . . I think it actually embarrassed the nurse. Hey I got no control over that though I cannot be held responsible..... EKG done, and I am advised it will be a moment before going to the next arena, to go ahead and get dressed and wait..

DIVERSION

Rerouted to the ultrasound room for a cardiac sonogram. Eeeeew, frigid cold KY, interesting graphics though. That completed, next ride, different room.

New location, very warm room, walls with some straw matting hung like wallpaper, tacky as can be like some third world country decorating. . The injection of "harmless nuclear reactive dye" (meaning radioactive) has been performed without dramatic incident. Am I the only one that feels there is something fundamentally wrong with the association of the words "harmless" and "nuclear reactive/radioactive solution" and "injection"??? I mean it just screams ‘that ain’t right" to me. I have to wait 30 minutes until I have reached my "saturation" point, kinda like a ribeye sitting in some glow in the dark marinade, and then I go for the first of two photo sessions, and glamour shots it wont be. .

Please keep your hands above your head and outside the vehicle at all times.

That part is over, 14 minutes of inch rotational imaging snapping shots at 25 second intervals on rotation. I sure could have used a few more penguins in there to keep me warm. . .at least the wind wasn’t blowing. Now it is time to climb up that frigging hill to get to that castle in Ireland that didn’t look so far away to begin with either....

Gasp... Pant pant pant, whew, gasping for air, mouth parched, I give up. . . Just zap me back to life.... that was awful, my calves hurt, and I have been injected again with more of that "harmless" solution.

I have been given a glass of water, and some pnut butter cheese crackers, where is my dang oxygen mask I wanna know? Now to wait again to my next chance to lie exposed to the elements of the antarctic in the imaging room (where again by the way I get to observe myself postured as though tied to the stake on an iceberg thanks to the room size mirrors here as well... I just don’t get it)

Last stop. The "Prince of Hearts" . . . . sounds like the romanticized tunnel of love of the cardiac carnival doesn’t it? Sadly it is just a monitor, one that I do have the ability to removed for periods of time, but must continue to wear for the next 30 days. It has two electrodes and the unit itself is about 3 x 3 inches. Anytime I feel an "event" (chest pains, heavy pressure, irregular rhythm etc) I push the button. It records the 15 seconds prior to me pushing the button and the next 45 seconds and stores the cardiac information. I transmit that over the phone like a fax machine sound, and on the other end it is read immediately by EMS services provider, if it shows something which requires immediate attention, they call my dr’s on call staff and we proceed from there. In addition to my activating it, it will also automatically activate if my pulse drops below a certain point, or speeds up above a certain point, or if there is more than a 2 second interval between beats. I go back in two weeks for the results of all the other things done.

That instructional session done, I am ready to go home. Exhausted and weary now. Back to work at dawn.


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