- posted 11 years ago
I reported to Unity Hospital today for an ultrasound, followed by a
nuclear stress test. Spent most of the afternoon there. Far as I
know, both procedures were prescribed as a routine cardiac followup.
The nuke stress test is where they introduce some radioactive stuff IV
and then take pictures with a device somewhat resembling an MRI
except that the sensor here is picking up gamma rays from my heart and
coronary arteries. It's a servo-driven arrangement that skates
scarey close for one who is mildly claustrophobic as I am. Imagine
being the piece of work on the table of a CNC mill.
I thought the "stress" part would mean that I'd have to run uphill
thru ankle-sucking mud with 80-lb combat load wearing a gas mask and
delivering live fire ... or at least a treadmill or elliptical
experience of comparable discomfort and respiratory distress. Nah,
they did the stress part with drugs because of the ICD. They
plugged a horse syringe into my IV tap, said syringe driven by a
plastic outer enclosure clearly battery-powered and
microprocessor-controlled to advance the plunger at a prescribed
rate. I'd have loved a peek at the actuator in that gadget. The
nurse asked, "doin' OK?" I said sure, but "aren't you supposed to
ask me if I have any last words at this point?" as the device ticked
away driving that plunger home as in an execution.
I felt slightly gaspy briefly but it abated within a minute. That's
my new norm. I can get slightly gaspy walking to the end of the
driveway and then go 3 more miles, some of it uphill, with no problem
at all and could do another 3 if I could get motivated to do so.
I actually had three gamma ray scans, with a visit to the caf
permitted after the first one. I was hungry, having fasted since
previous midnight. No morning coffee. Arrggghh!
Read the labels on the sandwiches available, put up by the hospital
food service according to the labels. Italian deli wrap looked
good. Read that label. 2130 mg of sodium. That one sandwich
exceeds the entire daily allocation of sodium for me, and pretty much
anyone who cares to pay attention. I am not on a draconian
sodium-limited diet. That's worse than McDonald's or Wendy's, a
freakin' sodium bomb in the hospital caf!
I found another selection. Mary had brought a Fuji apple so we shared
that. She eats an apple like a normal person, I must dissect it with
my pocket knife, the stainless Gentleman's Folder recently rescued
from Lake Minnewaska. Presentation is important to me, screw you
if you can't take a joke! There's a sign on the door of the
hospital prohibiting guns but they don't say nothin' about blades.