I went to have a nuclear stress test this morning.
I was scheduled for the test at my regular cardiologist’s office at 7:45. I got there at 7:33, but felt I let my reputation down. The little young lady in the red blazer was not at the elevator to greet me. Was she running late again? Or was she taking a break after just getting there, to get her breath?
I knew this morning in their office I was to go to “The Gold Room” which I dutifully did. The reception behind the desk told me to have a seat.
She was talking to a elderly man with a country accent that I suspected he lived in rural Georgia. After a while he said he lived in Canton and only had a small garden this year. He was more interested in talking about his two grandsons. The oldest grandson loves to eat. “You just mention ‘eat’ and he is at the table”, he said with a chuckle.
While the oldest son was in the house watching TV and eating the elderly man and his youngest grandson were out in the garden, the boy was playing in the dirt on the edge of his grandpa’s garden while his grandfather tilled the soil. They both got pretty dirty he said.
Then his wife made them take off their dirty clothes and put on something else. He then took the dirty clothes and put them in the laundry room by the washing machine. He forgot to take the things out of his pocket. His wife washed the clothes and nothing in the pockets were damaged except his Medicare card – it was completely soggy and broken up into pieces.
He said his wife got mad at him but he told her it was not his fault but her fault because she didn’t check the pockets before putting them in the washing machine.
Then he capped it all off, by telling the receptionist, “And that is why I don’t have my Medicare card – how do I get a new one?”
I was hoping if she asked him did he fast for the past 12 hours he wouldn’t have another yarn, they might call be back anytime and I wouldn’t want to miss anything.
I had to fast with the exception of water all morning, and they told me which medicine I could not take until afterwards. And to even make it worse, I could not have coffee either, not for 12 hours.
The nuclear stress test ordeal is done in a very efficient way. Not unlike an assembly line at General Motors.
First a lady called me in and a little thing in my vein in my right elbow to hook up at the right time. She was very friendly and happy looking.
Then she sent me back out in the lobby to drink two cups of water, then after drinking the water she instructed me to go in “that” room, which I did and saw her and a big chair-monster sitting there waiting on me…. It had little lights on it like it was waiting. I put arms and head in the position she told me and the big monster chair slowly turned clock-wise, one notch at a time, and it would sit in silence for about 45 seconds and rotate clock-wise another notch. In think the 45 second intervals I was being checked out by some type of x-ray machine… it knew all and sees all, just like the gypsy mechanical fortune teller at the carnival.
Then, I was sent back to the waiting room to be called again. The next phase was my treadmill endurance. I walked and walked and the young lady increased the speed and elevation every do often. We carried on a conversation about dogs (she has two Doberbermans(s)?) and the city of Smyrna. Her husband is a policeman in Smyrna. I told her one of the books I am reading is PAPER BOY by Charles “Pete’ Wood, which is about all the early citizens of Smyrna and their genealogies, one house at a time… she was interested wrote down the name of the book.
When my heart rate reached a certain point another lady came in and plunged into my vein via the little tube the first lady installed some fluid. After I walked one more minute that phase was done. Then, another break back in the waiting room, where I watched CNN.
Next another nurse came and carried me back to the monster chair. We did the same procedure again. She was in her 40s and smiling with every word, and not a down-to-earth humble thing about her. She was good and she knew it. Back in high school we would call her “Miss Goody Two-shoes” or “Cheese Eater” … but in that room, I was glad a professional was checking out my heart.
And I was told I was finished, I could go and eat a big breakfast. With this assembly-line-like procedure I half way expected to be sprayed with paint as a final step.
At the elevator another red-coat elevator door greeter was standing waiting for the elevator door make the “ding” sound. I wonder where the other girl is. Break? Off Day? Personal leave day? Greeting at Wal-Mart?
I left… I was within two blocks of Brandi’s Famous Hotdogs and it was 9:55. Thirty-five minutes until they open. Nah! I entitle myself to a splurge from time to time, but I am just getting off a splurge from A Taste of Marietta only two days ago.
However, I still wanted coffee. So, I treated myself by driving through Dunkin-Donuts and ordering a regular black coffee… and no donuts – just the Dunkin.