Tuesday, May 01, 2007

This post brought to you by my cyborg alter ego:

Robotic Ultimate Troubleshooting Humanoid

Get Your Cyborg Name

I mentioned that I haven't been feeling well for the last few weeks. Like most households with small kids (not to mention pediatrician parents), ours is inhabited by a stream of bugs, of both the insect and germ varieties. I finally called for a doctor's appointment, after being encouraged by DT to please ask someone other than him for medical advice sometime. (Sample conversation:
Me: Oh, my heart is doing that weird thing again.
Him: Racing? Pounding? Palpitations?
Me: I don't know how to describe it. Do you think I'm going to die?)

Yesterday, I saw the doctor, a nice internist, probably five years younger than me. I'd seen her once before, when she suggested that my elbow might be hurting and my hand tingling because it was just about damn time that I made Rocco walk somewhere instead of carrying him, for the love of God, woman! She also offended me by telling me to come back if it wasn't better in a couple of weeks, and she "could tell" I would call if it didn't improve. I literally haven't seen a non-OB physician in over five years, yet she made me feel like a doctor-abusing hypochondriac. I probably am a hypochondriac, I just usually rely on DT to keep me in check. Anyway, she's in the clinic directly across the street from my office, so she's convenient, which is of course the number one priority for physicians of working parents.

I arrived for the appointment armed with advice from DT on how not to seem like a flake ("Say 'fluttering' and she'll have to take you seriously") and promptly felt like a flake anyway, because young-ish women like me are not supposed to complain about heart issues. The nurse did an EKG before the doctor even came in the room. (Note to self: don't pre-read the EKG sheet without knowing what you're looking at, because the words "cannot rule out anterior infarct" will not seem like good news.) The doctor was thorough, said my EKG looked fine but she ordered further cardiac testing. (Another note to self: don't take the EKG printout home for DT to look at and say, "Hmmm...." over.) She also ordered a bunch of blood tests, thyroid, is-this-vegetarian-eating-healthily, etc. (Another note to self: just because you had 16 tubes of blood drawn that one time at the RE and lived to brag about it does not mean you won't feel funky when you have five tubes drawn.) The good news: the nice doctor called me herself last night to tell me my blood work all looked fine, although my red cells were a little high and she thought I should be conscious of drinking enough water. (Last note to self, I promise: do not tell DT this and listen to him say, "Hmmm....")

Today, I went to the cardiologist's office for follow-up testing. I had an echocardiogram, with no immediate feedback from the tech on whether everything looked okay. She didn't call a cardiologist in to actually look at anything, so I'm assuming there wasn't anything obviously worrisome. (Coping mechanism alert!) Also, I get to wear a Holter monitor for 48 hours, which is like a continuous EKG. Here's a picture:

Only, it's more obtrusive than that. I have wires all over, this machine stuck in an attractive black velcro waist case that has been used by I don't even want to think of who, and itchy tape all over. For 2 days. I can't shower, which would have been nice to know. I'm not even sure I'll be able to dress myself because really, what can you wear in 85-degree weather that's going to cover that? And if all of this is stress and sleep-deprivation related, which I'm starting to think is likely, then it's only going to get better by being hooked up like this until Thursday.

So, I'm trying to embrace it. I'm a cyborg. Life is weird.

1 comment:

Anne said...

Hope you feel better soon! The only thing I've found that works with Holter monitors is overalls (with icky fanny pack over a t-shirt). Since it's 85 degrees, and you likely don't have overalls, I'm sorry that's not terribly helpful. :)

On the other hand, you have the perfect excuse to stay at home, for tomorrow at least.