Except now I feel a wee bit under the weather (or as my mother would call it, "peakid"), and the blame probably falls on the irradiated isotopes that are coursing through my bloodstream. Yep, folks; I'm irradiated. Like Spiderman. Except instead of climbing up walls or having super sensitive hearing, I have the chills and managed to puncture my frakkin' tire coming out of my driveway this afternoon AND snap at my kid. Yeah, I'm an awesome superhero.
The testing was weird. With confidence I can attest that I was the youngest patient there by at least twenty years. This resulted in more than a few sideways glances and "What is she doing here?" looks in the waiting area. My first test of the morning was vascular, like an ultrasound for my legs. The results were mixed; I don't have any clots in my veins, but I am indeed, for reasons yet unknown, retaining fluid. After this fairly painless venture, I was whisked into a cubicle where I was instructed to remove my bra (GOOD TIMES). A nurse came in a few minutes later to stick an IV in my arm and shoot me up with the aforementioned isotopes. In this same little room was a posted sign warning of travel by train or plane for three days after testing. Apparently, the levels of radiation in my body could be enough to trigger alerts at safety checkpoints. (AWESOME)
Once enough time had passed allowing the isotopes to reach my heart, I was escorted to a half-breed MRI machine. I laid down on a small bed, was covered with a blanket, and instructed to hold my arms over my head. Then what can only be described as a giant Pac Man attached to a robot arm floated over my chest and took some pictures. I kind of dozed off and on, but I think the whole thing took about 15 or 20 minutes. These were images of my heart at rest, and so logically the next pictures would be of my heart after exertion.
I was taken to a curtained area with a treadmill where a cheery, chatty nurse attached a bunch of electrodes to my bra-less chest. (Nothing like flashing your tits in the face of a stranger. I almost asked for some beads.) She took my BP, and in a rare moment of good news proclaimed that my pressure to be right at 110/60, just slightly above corpse levels. All wired in, I got up on the treadmill and proceeded to walk briskly as the nurse slowly increased the incline. Only a few minutes in and I was already having an episode: shortness of breath, chest pounding and tightening. The nurse was practically squealing with joy at the amount data coming so quickly from my electrode-studded chest. Meanwhile, it's 10:00 a.m. and I had not eaten or drank a single thing. Compounding my palpitations is the fact that I am on the cusp of having a blood sugar episode, potentially resulting in a face plant on the treadmill. Thankfully the torture lasted only a few more minutes (Another nurse came over and shot me full of some more irradiated goodness while I was still jogging.), and I was rewarded with a bottle of orange juice. Then I was off for some more time with Robotic Pac Man. As I laid out underneath the slowly moving Pac Man mouth, the thought, "I took out all of my earrings for this?" ran through my mind.
Final stop on the Cardiac Testing Train was to get outfitted with a Holter monitor. Yes, one of these. But at least I got to put my bra back on. The Hollter monitor was a wee bit bulky and the tape was itchy, but it wasn't too terrible. I had five electrodes stuck to my chest which were connected to a box that hung around my neck. I had to wear this charming device for 24 hours, including while sleeping, and keep a log of my activities and when I felt symptoms. I was totally bringing the electrode hotness, hence the title of this post, a quote from my dear husband regarding my robotic appearance.
Well, there's the story in a nutshell for those of you interested in my medical (mis)adventures. I go back to the doctor next Thursday to discuss the test results which will either show a biological issue with my heart or that my ticker's A-OK and the cause of my palpitations is something else, more than likely hormonal or chemical in nature.
Thanks again, dear readers, for your kind words and prayers of support. I can't describe the sheer awesomeness of having a this network of people flung about the world who care about me.
You are all Teh Rock Saurs in my book.