My Embarrassing Heart Patient Stories and the Giveaway Winner
Many people develop heart problems while they are still young, but trust me, I’ve sat in the cardiology waiting room enough to know that I am nowhere near the average age. Most people in there have a walker and an accompanying nurse.
In fact, the receptionists often assume that I’m there with an elderly patient that I walked in after.
“Wait. Are you with Mrs. Hammerstein?”
“No, no, I have a 3:00 appointment.”
Wednesday is my heart MRI. I’ve had an embarrassing number of MRIs in the past year, and I don’t expect anything bad to show up on this one. I wouldn’t even mind getting this MRI, except that the idea of dye coursing through my veins and my heart gives me the eebidy-jeebidies.
Yes, I reserve the right to remain a medical chicken. Yes. I am chicken. I’d rather skip this mess and hope these problems just go away on their own.
Some people totally don’t get that, and I don’t know how to make them understand.
“April, MRIs are nothing to be afraid of. The dye doesn’t hurt.”
“I know. It just sounds icky. It makes me feel queasy to think about it.”
“Well, ablations don’t hurt either. You don’t have anything to worry about.”
Yes, thank you so much for these comforting words of empathy. Doesn’t matter, there’s something about the idea about running a wire up through my arteries and into my heart that, yes, makes my legs tingle, my nose crinkle, and yes, it just gives me the willies.
I’m not unwilling to do it, but that doesn’t mean I have to be all happy about it.
This whole heart patient process has actually been rather comical to me. I laugh a lot inside my head. Some of this stuff is absolutely hilarious, and at the time, there’s no one there to laugh with me.
But don’t worry, I’ve been saving up my embarrassing patient thoughts, and I’m here to share.
All of growing up, having babies, and getting older is this continuous process of being stripped of all pride and dignity, isn’t it? You start out young and cute, strutting your stuff, and up until that first pap smear, people mostly let you keep the private things private.
Then that whole giving birth process happens. There you are, with a person on either side of you holding your legs, in all your naked glory.
For a few months, you remember that you have no pride or dignity left. You know that your husband fully witnessed what happened when you pushed that hard, how stress-ball you could become during a c-section spinal block, and just the blood and gore of it all. Sometimes I would sit there, days after, remember the pain, and accidentally find myself reliving it all and crying…..
But fast forward a few years, and I’ve sort of forgotten all of those things. But my body will never be the same. I’ve birthed four children, and I’m not even sure my stomach skin is still attached to me.
I’m okay with that. It was worth it, and I think I’m cleverly disguising the pooch with cute clothing.
I’ve moved on, until suddenly I became a heart patient and why are all of the techs who I have to be shirt-less in front of young males? Whyyyyyyyyyyy? Oh, the mortification.
First, it happened in the Emergency Room. At triage, my heart rate was 159. They rushed me straight back. I wasn’t even finished putting on my hospital gown, and they were hooking me up to an EKG machine.
Go figure the EKG man was my age. As he placed those EKG pads all over my boob, my breastbone, and my flabby-mommy-belly, I cringed on the inside. Sigh. Sigh. Sigh. Thankfully, he was very kind and professional.
But he came back to do several EKGs, and every single time, he would forget to cover my boobs back up. I was all covered in wires.
“Ummmm. Can you please put my bra back down?”
“Oh yeah! Sorry I keep forgettin’ that.”
But at least ER EKG man was in his 30s. I didn’t even feel all that self-conscious. I figured he’s seen worse.
That was nothing compared to the next few experiences.
First, there was the stress test. I had no idea that you have to wear an open-to-the-front hospital gown shirt for that, so I brought my ten-year-old with me.
THANKFULLY, I wore a sports bra and high-waisted pants. Yep. I was as covered up as you can possibly get for a stress test. That tech was, of course, also a male. Thankfully, he was my age or older, or he just lost his hair early. Hard to tell. Have you ever seen Gru on Despicable Me? This guy looked exactly like him.
He was extremely professional though, so I wasn’t completely horrified when I showed up for the echocardiogram (heart ultrasound) a week later and found out that Gru is in charge of those as well. Thankfully, I did not take any little boys with me to that one. Heart ultrasounds are nothing like pregnancy ultrasounds. Boobs are all flopping out there in the open, and it’s all very let’s-just-get-this-over-with.
But then there was the heart monitor. By this point, I should have known to be ready for humiliation, but it was far worse than the other tests. This tech was not Gru. He looked to be all of 15-years-old.
You see, that day I was wearing muffin-top blue jeans and had totally not thought this thing through.
“Unbutton your blouse,” he said.
There I was. Hot pink push-up bra, muffin-top jeans and the ol’ belly seemed 6 inches larger than usual. I shook my head at myself inwardly.
Dear women in need of jobs, could you please all go apply at your local cardiology office? Seriously, for the love of easily- embarrassed- women everywhere, for the cardiac patients like me.
When I went back to get the monitor removed the next day, it was the same guy. I very quickly started removing the pads and cords myself and fled the building…
Haaaa!!!! No, I’m kidding.
He said, “Here, I’ll do that for you,” and quickly came over and helped me. But believe me, I was working at ending the heart-test-embarrassment as quickly as possible.
There’s no one like the medical professionals to keep us all humble, eh?
Enough about my naked embarrassment already…..onto the giveaway announcement!
First off, I want to say thank you to everyone who participated in the drawing for a free copy of VeggieTales Puppies and Guppies on DVD! And thank you to the VeggieTales company for partnering with Stories of Our Boys.
And congratulations are in order to Diana of Utah!! Hope you and your kiddos thoroughly enjoy this fun DVD!