They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me

Borg For A Day

Or two.

Two of my errands had to do with the same thing -- the ONE instance of a heart arrhythmia that I had when I was very sick in the Butterworth ICU back the first week in hospital, May 2013. They slapped me into the cardiac ICU for a day or two and put me on a bunch of heart medications. Which I am still on. Of course the cardiologist doesn't want me off them. I do -- especially the blood thinners which have made me SO cold this winter. Their logic was that I needed to be on them because of my previous cardiac history. What cardiac history? Oh, no? No -- does that change anything? Uh, no, we want to keep you on the drugs for about a year. Why? Uh, because. So why did you care if I had a cardiac history? (crickets) (Technically, there's more, but you can see where I'm going with this.)

Anyway, back in December or so, we scheduled a chemical heart stress test for Spring Break -- to determine the ACTUAL status rather than rumor and innuendo. The coolest part is that this is an outpatient nuclear medicine procedure that uses technetium, an element that was a pesky hole in the middle of the periodic table for a long time. Element 43, the lowest numbered element with no stable isotopes.

Last Friday they called and said that I needed to come in before Wednesday's procedure and get a portable heart monitor for 48 hours. So I got that on Monday afternoon. I had electrodes stuck on me for some two months in the hospital, hooked up to a wireless transmitter that tucked into a pocket of my hospital gown. For the record, the only abnormalities detected was when one of the electrodes came off.

I told the tech he was going to have to shave around the contact areas or the electrodes would never stay on. He did on two of the five patches, but not enough. You can see where this is leading. The data recorder was programmed to shutdown after 48 hours. You could put it in your pocket, really?, but I opted for the neck strap. They gave me a storage box and five replacement adhesive pads. Also a sheet to record any events I would have. Oh yeah, I don't have those, do I.

The plan was no food or drink, other than little sips of water, for 24 hours prior to the Wednesday 10am appointment. The wires were uncomfortable and the unit hanging from my neck smelled of disinfectant. I kept a shirt on to sleep to try to keep the wires and electrodes in place.

Before I went to bed at 3:15am Monday/Tuesday, one of the pads had already come off and glued itself to the shirt. A second pad had to be replaced on Tuesday. The first site needed a second replacement Wednesday morning at 11.

Of course by then it was all moot. A call late in the afternoon on Tuesday had to cancel the procedure because their one tech was sick. Since they have to order the nuclear medicine a day or two ahead, wonder if it got wasted. Anyway, we were out on Wednesday because I had to take the monitor back and Mrs. Dr. Phil and I got a play date because she'd already arranged the time off.

No doubt the data from March will be no good in May or whenever I reschedule, so I'll have to go through all this again. With all the snow and snow-ish days, I am not taking more time away from class.

Meanwhile, the ol' heart keeps time... time... time...

Dr. Phil

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