Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Stressed for Success

This morning I had a stress test. Since I’ve had two before, I more or less knew the drill. Last night, I packed a separate outfit (including towel and deodorant) for after the test. I knew I’d sweat profusely. I knew I’d be in lousy shape afterwards. I didn’t even bother to do my hair, just tied a bandana around it so sweat wouldn’t run into my eyes. I knew things would be bad.

My first stress test was in 1992. I thought I would die. Later, I learned I had mono during the test. That could have explained the excessive sweat, the weakness, the shakiness.

The second test in the late 90s was better, but I still poured sweat and was exhausted afterwards.

So this morning, I expected—and was prepared for—the worst. The only good thing was that I could have the test at Franklin Memorial instead of having to go to Roanoke. (One of these days, I’ll blog about Roanoke hospital experiences, such as Lewis-Gale’s staff not even bothering to wash the red mud off John before he got the pins in his hip the time he flipped off Melody and fractured several bones, or my having to tell a Lewis-Gale nurse to get the air-bubbles out of the IV tube before she inserted it in my vein. Stuff like that.) But I’m digressing.

Anyhow, I didn’t have to walk far going in, John paid my co-payment (my birthday is next Wednesday, so this was my present), and I didn’t have to wait long. My heel spur wasn’t hurting too much, but every time I awoke last night, I’d stretched my leg muscles, so that helped.

First thing they checked was my blood pressure—128 over 78, which is pretty good for me, and a heckuva lot better than what I had this time last Friday. When I was hooked up to the computer for the echocardiogram, I got to see my heart actually beating. It was the coolest thing! The grainy black-and-white picture on the screen sort of looked like a monkey banging on a drum. The technician pointed out all the parts and said they looked good.

Then she punched a few keys and color pulsed along with my heartbeat. Too cool! Then it was time for the treadmill part. I hit the desired heart rate after only a few minutes, but I was walking fine. I didn’t hurt. I didn’t sweat. Then I had to quickly lie down for another echocardiogram, which I did without screwing the procedure up. This time the monkey beat the drum much faster on the computer screen.

Wow! Thanks to modern technology, I got to see something that none of my ancestors had ever seen, had never dreamed of seeing—my own heart beating.

And I felt good, energized. Turns out, I didn’t need that change of clothes after all. But I always try to prepare for the worst.

Thank goodness I’m a pessimist! Had I been an optimist, I would have missed the chance to be as surprised and delighted as I was today.


Blogger Amy Hanek said...

Stressing over a stress test. Good one! Just remember, Pollyanna would have been glad for... something! Hang in there!

8:10 PM  
Blogger CountryDew said...

I'm glad that went well for you. I was so stressed when I had a similar test this same time last year that I cried before, during, and after the thing.

I hope this is the end of such events for you for a while.

4:09 PM  
Blogger Debi said...

Glad to know you're healthy since you're starting to print pictures of your tombstone now.

11:04 PM  

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