Wednesday, June 06, 2007


I thought I would share my experience with a stress test I had. Last week I was scheduled to have a stress test which on my list of things I'd like to do, is right up with root canal and being shot in the foot.

So I get to my appointment and I am notified that the doctor is running late and will be in at an undetermined time. I didn't really care as it is the technician that is doing the test and not the doctor, but then I hear..."So we cannot start the test until he is here, as he must be on site in case we need to use the defibrillator"! Right, the defibrillator...okay I'll wait then. So I am sitting there for the next hour thinking what the hell type test is this that I may or may not require a defibrillator intervention. So my anxiety is kicking in overtime which is the whole reason I am even seeing a cardiologist. As I sit and stew, finally the doctor arrives and the test may start!

So I am ushered into this little room in the back hall which is smoking hot due to the massive window with no shades and has a smell similar to that of a jock strap. The technician with a strong Polish accent asks me to remove everything from the waist up! What! I was specifically told to wear something comfortable (yoga pants and a tee) so why remove it.

Tech: Yes, must remove shirt and bra
Me: really, remove my bra?
Tech: yes, yes, bra too and put on paper apron and she leaves the room

So I am thinking to myself, no bra on a treadmill with triple D tits. This should be interesting.

Now I have this apron on and of course it does not close, because it is made for A/B cup person and the Tech returns.

Tech: Oh, ah, yes, this not close. What we do....ah I know. She runs out and runs back in holding a roll of bandaging tape. I put this on to close front, like buttons haha.
Me: I say you know what would be a better idea is if we took that tape and strapped my tits to my chest!
Tech: I don't know what you speak of...okay apron closed.

So she takes my blood pressure and discovers that the cuff is torn and is not holding well. So she wraps my arm and cuff with several passes of the tape and says, there we go. I questioned if she had another cuff or machine, but she assured me it was fine. So she proceeds with taking my BP and concludes that it is high.

Tech: Oh number is high. You have high blood pressure?
Me: No
Tech: you nervous?
Me: Yep...Inner thoughts, Well I just signed a waiver as 1/1000 have a heart attack during this test. I am standing here bra less and hooked up to a dozen wires about to meet my nemesis and you have the BP cuff taped to my arm. What number did you expect?
Tech: okay you get on treadmill
Me: I should warn you, I have serious motion sickness. I do not cope well with things moving not under my own power. I am not a fan of treadmills.
Tech: no worry get on.

So I am going along and she starts talking about my work and what I do and being back to work and my heart rate is going up.
She tells me that this is basic exercise heart rate should be normal. Then lets not talk about work.

For those of you who have not had the stress test there are four stages and you start at a leisurely walk and progress to a jog/run. Just to note all stages are uphill and the degree also increase with each level. I live in the burbs, there is not much up hill unless I hit the escarpment.

Tech: You exercise?
Me: No! Inner thoughts...of course it do, just look at this ripping body. I am a Gold's Gym junkie. What the hell type question is that.
Tech: You must exercise!
Me: Well I never had to until I got married. Now I am packing it on. I run after a kid and keep a house, that's my exercise.
Tech: 5...4...3...2...1...faster
Me: Inner thoughts....Holy fuck. How is this speed a natural progression? You go from strolling to mall walker on crack.
Tech: See you need exercise
Me: okay, I need exercise...established thank you. However, I am here to take this test to prove that I am having anxiety attacks and rule out that I am having non fatal heart attacks, okay.

So we are now kick'n it up hill even more and I guess most people are either loving this or having chest pain, but my neither. Instead I am experiencing the worst burning in my calves from walking uphill and the running shoes I am wearing are pinching my baby toes. I dug them out of the closet and actually had never worn them before...I should have worn my Birks!

Tech: Chest pain?
Me: No my calves are cramping.
Tech: See exercise
Me: Crazy giggle...inner thought, I swear to God lady, you say that one more time and I am going to tape you to this son of a bitch and take it to 11!
Tech: would you like to stop?
Me: Nope. Cut to inside my head. Would I like to stop? ummm options. Not can I keep going or do I need to stop. Would I LIKE to stop? Yes I would. I would indeed LIKE to stop. Seeing that I am limping and looking a lot like a woman with Polio on a treadmill, oh and lets not forget that my tits are sweating and completely out of my control and if she mentions exercise one more time I will no longer be able to guarantee her safety. Yes I would like to stop.
Tech: In 30 seconds we will be at level 3...much faster. Would you like to stop?
Me: faster, uh. Inner dialogue, Well that will take this wee jaunt to a full scale jog, which will be uphill of course. I have already busted through my tape "buttons" that situation can only get worse. I am hotter that hell and seriously my burning calves won't enjoy the jog. It would also scar my theory that one should only run went their life is in jeopardy and seeing that I don't see a bear in here.... Yep I am out. I have been here too long to get any of this time back and quite frankly my chest is not hurting and I haven't had the defibrillator intervention so I think my time here is done.
Tech: 15 seconds to faster. Would you like to stop?
Me: Yes, Yes I would like to stop.
Tech: Yes, stop?
Me: Yep
Tech: But you're not done, your chest hurt?
Me: nope, my calves kill
Tech: okay stopping

So it is over and I am happy. I put my bra and tee back onto my sweaty body and heading home for a shower as I should have been at work an hour ago. Just as I am walking out she yells...make sure exercise!

Seriously, that is one brave bitch and in the hall all alone I extend my arm above my head and toss her the bird as I walk out.


Heather said...

Oh Kate...this post was EXACTLY what I needed at this end of this day! I'm sitting here, giggling to myself, and being thankful that I'm the last person left in the office because I know they would think that I'm crazy for my insane giggling! But sweet bejebus, I can hear you telling this story in my head, right down to the alarming polish accent! And I know I say this after reading most of your posts but...this might have been the funniest thing I've ever read!

I'll definitely have to get you to tell me this one in person the next time we are at Montana's!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like great fun....anxiety that what the racing heartbeat is in uncomfortable situations? I think we share the same fate! The lack of exercise and the hatred of people and public places! We are very much alike! There's no place like Home....on the couch!

Jay said...

That's pretty crazy!

I'm so glad it was you and not me!

That whole thing sounds like it can't possibly accomplish much other than to say, uh, yeah, running is exerting.

But you made me smile.

barefoot wanderer said...

First of all - I have to admire your restraint - I would have been firing sarcastic comments at every opportunity.

if they asked me if i exercise, i'd have to have asked how long it was since they had an eye test

i do no cut an athletic figure lol(unless the sport you refer to is sumo, in which case i'm too small - can't win either way)

thanks for sharing this - much as i feel guilty at laughing at someone elses misfortune, still can't help but giggle at your inner thoughts in there :)