Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Much better now

For those who asked or just had a prayer and a good thought, thanks.  I'm over the congestion.  There's a little backstory, which I hinted at but didn't elaborate, until now.

As for the other doctory things:

The tech who gave the echocardiogram was a pleasant guy, born in Spain.  He attached me to what seemed like forty leads and had me lay on my side in the classic first-aid recover pose.  (Worst. Swimsuit photo.  EVER.)  Somewhere behind me, he got the terminal up and running, and then reached across with his one arm to move the sonogram wand across my torso.  So, yeah, real awkward.  And he kept saying stuff like, "Beautiful!  Wonderful!" in his classical accent.  I tried to be fierce, peeps, but it was difficult.  New spot - whooosh whooosh behind me, and then "Booteefool!" followed by a click and a beep.  He was either happy about the cardio or got a top score on Minesweeper, I can't tell.

Next, the stress test.  Since I didn't want to fool with my BP before the visit I had been taking exactly nothing for my sinus complaints, so I wasn't feeling my best.  Luckily the actual jogging wasn't so bad.  Hockey pays off.  They took my BP every three minutes, and the machine went up a level (really, it said so right on the screen).  The hardest part was not pulling too much with my arms and just using them to steady myself.  I got up to level five and still hadn't hit the target heart rate yet. 

"How many levels are there?" I asked.
"As many as it takes," said the doctor.
"So, Level 6.... the machine starts throwing things at me?"
"Knives," he replied.  The laughter finally got me to the target.

Why was I taking a stress-echo test?  Basically, a couple of days before Christmas, I was woken by a great deal of discomfort in my chest.  I also felt dizzy and had tingling in my hands, much worse on the left.  Freaking out about said conditions didn't help all that much, either.

Don't ask why, because I have no good answer, but I didn't call anyone, nor tell anyone.  I rode it out.  That tingling certainly wasn't my brain working.  I suppose I had a mental line of demarcation, where I would have just woke up the Ladybug and gone to the hospital, and my symptoms never crossed.  Had they done, though, I may not have been in a place to ask for help.  It was, in all respects, incredibly dumb.

A couple of weeks later, a milder form of this happened again, and then again a few days later, and again, and by the last week of January it was almost a daily occurance.  Mind you, I'm still playing my weekly hockey games at this point,* and the funny thing is that my symptoms NEVER occured during or after games.  I'd feel like crap driving there but be fine once I started.

* (I'm intensely stupid, he explained.)

Finally I got fed up with it and checked myself in for fun tests.  They took very good care of me.  Better still, my wife declined to kill me once I told her the whole story.

The upshot of it is that all my EKGs and my stress-echocardiogram were fine.  Cholesterol and components were excellent.  The only thing to watch, oddly, was my B-12 level, which is (marginally) low.  I wonder if that's a contributing factor?  Maybe the illness had something to do with it.

In any case, I'm keeping a close eye on things.  It looks like you're stuck with me for a while longer.

update: beat this, techie!


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