A recent appointment with my heart doctor in Chardon meant one thing traveling into the 'Cardio Zone.' A place of high technology and serious analysis.…
A recent appointment with my heart doctor in Chardon meant one thing traveling into the ‘Cardio Zone.’ A place of high technology and serious analysis.
During a past exam, my physician discovered a flaw in my central pump that could have proved fatal. Except, it had, inexplicably, not caused any ill effects. Thus, he concluded “If it has not killed you already, you are probably OK.”
It was a judgment I accepted with gratitude.
My new adventure seemed sure to produce a wealth of ideas for future writing projects. Carefully, I kept a diary of details as the morning unfolded:
@HeaderML:Monday, March 10th
7:30 a.m. With little sleep and no coffee, I still manage to arrive early for my appointment. It is unseasonably warm. I use the extra time to catch up on iPhone text messages.
7:45 a.m. Attempting to enter the building, I find that their doors are locked. Briefly, I walk around in the cold. It feels good, like a bit of natural wake-up therapy. Eventually, a pair of ladies realize that I am waiting, outside. They open the door and attribute this snafu to the ‘spring ahead’ time change which occurred on Sunday.
8:00 a.m. The waiting room is nearly empty. I appear to be the second patient scheduled for care. Quietly, I wonder how they gained access.
8:10 a.m. I select a magazine and begin to read about the new selection of pickup trucks available in America. A road test on the award-winning Ram 1500 sounds impressive, but does not sway me from wanting a new Ford F-150 4×4.
8:45 a.m. After getting an IV installed in my arm, I assume the position of a Roman couch model, for my first set of nuclear test photos. The machine looks suspiciously like something Gerry Anderson would have created for Space: 1999. Or perhaps, a rejected construction from Star Wars.
9:00 a.m. Back in the waiting room, it becomes apparent that at age 52, I am the youngest visitor of the day. Almost everyone else has a cane or a walker. I also note, with reluctance, that they are all in better physical condition. The experience reminds me of having breakfast at McDonald’s.
9:15 a.m. I pick up an issue of Car and Driver. Inside is a review of the Cadillac concept car called ‘Elmiraj.’ At first, due to my sleep-deprived state of mind, I read this name as ‘Elmira’ which is a city in New York State, notably, the home of Tommy Hilfiger. I ponder that GM chose to honor this place with a vehicle. Then, my eyes focus more clearly. Later, I observe to car guy and fellow Maple Leaf writer Josh Echt that the company should put their Elmiraj into production, immediately.
10:00 a.m. I return to the cardio lab for my treadmill run. The staff note my inability to walk normally and wonder out loud if I will be able to complete this part of my health assessment. I assure them that, despite arthritis, bad knees and a hip injury, my stamina is unaffected. Somehow, I manage to complete a five minute and thirty second run. They are astounded. After the exercise, I am out of breath and near collapse, but feel victorious!
10:45 a.m. Once again, I assume the Roman couch model position. The scanning machinery completes an arc around my body. I note that everything in the room has the stamp of General Electric, a company notable for paying no federal taxes.
11:30 a.m. At long last, I meet with the cardiologist. He concludes that my heart function has improved by four percent over results recorded in 2008. This places me just above the borderline of acceptable statistics. I conclude that his assessment means many more years to scribble new installments of ‘”houghts At Large.”
12:00 noon After a four-hour ordeal, I escape the cardio clinic. My first thought is to get coffee at McDonald’s, along with chicken sandwiches from the Dollar Menu. A lingering fear is that my company health insurance will not cover the tests I have just survived. But for the moment, I feel relieved.
1:00 p.m. Having arrived home, I fall asleep in my clothes.
6:00 p.m. I wake up and it is still daylight, outside. Amerigas has delivered a load of propane to our storage tank. My black lab and pomeranian are growing restless. The ambient temperature is around fifty degrees. On the nightstand, my iPhone is chirping with text messages. Everyone is curious about my medical encounter.
7:00 p.m. I use a promotional code to score a free pizza from Papa John’s. My day ends with a BBQ Chicken pie and thoughts of better health, going forward.
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