Today was my day to see the cardiologist. Fun times!
Hub went with me. The nurse was very nice. No comments about my weight–which went up since I was there two years prior–and had a really nice, fun, attitude. She took my blood pressure with an automated unit, which of course came back high. I explained why (white coat syndrome and automated unit), and she said they would take it again. She did an EKG, which she seemed to have trouble with, then did the BP again with the same automated unit. The reading was even higher. She left us and the doctor came in about five minutes later.
He was the same nice man I remembered. Even-keeled, to the point, but listened when I spoke. He asked what I was there for and what had changed recently (like stress). He listened to me breathe, listened to my chest, neck, and legs. Then he said he wanted me to wear a halter monitor to make sure it was just PVCs happening. He also said they wanted to run another EKG because the first one seemed to have some “artifacting” on it. (“Static” said Hub.) He also said if the halter monitor said it was just PVCs, he didn’t see a reason to do another stress test and/or echocardiogram that had already been done two years ago. He also took my BP manually, and it came back closer to what I normally have at the end of an appointment (not quite as good as at home, but not as bad as when I initially arrive to a doctor’s office).
So a different nurse came in and said she was going to re-do the EKG and also do a rhythm strip (I almost asked if the rhythm was going to get me, but she didn’t seem to have much of a sense of humor and Hub later said he thought she was too young to get it). I asked what a rhythm strip was, which she said checked the rhythm of my heart via the same EKG machine. So I thought she was going to do the two tests at one time, but she ripped off the EKG paper and said, “Let me go show this to the doctor!” and disappeared. I gave Hub the stink-eye and said, “She’s freaking me out, you realize that?” He told me not to worry yet, that he didn’t think she sounded concerned as she left the room. In the hallway I heard her mumbling and overheard the doctor say, “looks normal”. So when the nurse came back in she said the doctor said the EKG looked normal and he didn’t want to go ahead with the rhythm strip. But still yes to the halter monitor.
So I told the nurse, “You really freaked me out.” She told me I should have been more freaked out over the first test, which came out pretty squirrelly. FAB-U-LOUS. But apparently there was some issue and the machine reporting those artifacts. She said that sometimes happens when you move or something. Which I did not do, but whatever. She outfitted me with the halter monitor, told me to put my bra and shirt back on, then said I had to wear the same bra for the entire 24 hours. Even to bed. I nearly gagged, because I hate this bra, but I worked it because I knew they want me to take my bra off for the EKG and this was the easiest one to take off. So now I’m stuck in this piece of crap, which is uncomfortable and rubs me. Plus, the pads for the EKG leads are in TERRIBLE places. They hit my underwire area every time I move or breathe, and the one in between my breasts is kind of up on one breast and it itches every time I move.
WTF people, this thing is so uncomfortable, how are you supposed to be normal wearing this thing? Plus, I have to press a button and record information on a piece of paper every time I feel “anything related to my heart”. For the first six hours of sitting around doing not-a-damn-thing, I got nothing to write down. In the last 2 hours, I’ve had to record seven times. I find it somewhat stressful to not pay attention to the potential PVCs, and yet be prepared to grab the little unit and press the damn button when I DO feel the PVCs (or anything). I have to find the stupid little button, press it, then check the time on the unit to record on my paper. UGH.
I have no idea how I’m going to sleep. A) stupid bra and B) stupid lead wires and C) stupid sticky EKG pads. I get to wear this until 10:30 tomorrow morning, then I get to rip it off. And then I can’t return it until Friday because their office is closed tomorrow and Thursday. Sheesh. And if I don’t return it on Friday, they charge me $2000. Not. Going. To. Happen.
Yeah, so our plan of going to the doctor this morning and going to the movies this afternoon (Hub took the whole day off) was a bust. No way I was paying $10 for a (matinee) movie ticket while being all kinds of distracted by this damn machine and it’s stupid wires and sticky pads. Ech. We watched a movie at home just to try to help me pass the time, which I guess it did. But the thing is, wearing this thing makes me feel sick. Not literally as in ill, but as in there is something wrong with me. Like the power of suggestion? I didn’t want to move around or do anything, and I started feeling not so good. My stupid brain.
Did I also mention there’s a timer on the halter monitor thing? So yay, I only have 15 1/2 hours left. Woo.
(Also, I’m hella tired from not sleeping well last night, and I’ve had a headache all damn afternoon.)