Tuesday, February 13, 2007


It was an adventurous sort of day. Remember back, some weeks ago I landed in the ER? The doctor on call (who has become our new family doctor) was suitably horrified by my wonky EKG which often sends ER personnel into a tailspin. So, today we went off to Penticton so I could visit a cardiologist (heart specialist) and have some appropriate tests done.

The last few days have been three or four degrees above freezing, so the ice and snow we've had on the ground since November has finally almost disappeared, on the valley floor anyway. The mud is drying up and the trees and bushes are sending up tender new growth in a rainbow of colours.

Penticton is 30 miles (43 km) from Oliver, and all along the route we saw the delicate golden green of new willow fronds, rosy-coloured shoots in the orchards so thick that they looked like pink smoke, and along creek beds the cranberry glow of coral dogwood branches. Not a leaf in sight, though the grass in the occasional vineyard or field is greening up.

It was a pleasant drive, if you ignore the 18-wheeler that sat on my back bumper at 90 km an hour in the long no passing section. I was doing over the limit which was not enough for him. We finally hit a wider spot, I pulled to the shoulder and let him fly past, where he sat in front of me, going no faster than I had been, until we came to the government way station and he was forced to pull off the road to weigh his load.

We found the hospital easily. The young cardiologist was very pleasant, and I passed the BP test 110/80, aced the echocardiogram, and managed five minutes on the devil mill. I could have gone ten minutes if need be, at a moderate speed. But when they turned it to "roadrunner" my legs quickly forgot how to work my feet.

The cardiologist asked, "What do you mean you are having trouble making your legs work?"

"I can't coordinate them this quickly! They simply don't work this fast. I sort of have to think about walking anyway and I can't think this fast!"

He pushed me to keep at it 20 seconds more, which I did by hanging onto the bar and supporting part of my weight on my arms. But it was my legs and not my heart that stopped my walk.

My heart is fine, according to him. Like I said, I have a wonky EKG and when my potassium gets low my heart muscle complains that it isn't getting the blood it needs. I have no chest pain with exercise under normal conditions.

Once I was finished we found a restaurant which had been recommended and we had lunch. Then we retraced our steps, enjoying the scenery in reverse. I think my arms will be sore tomorrow but the drive wasn't hard.

The cat wasn't even upset when we got back, which he usually is when we leave him for any length of time. He probably slept the whole time.


SMM said...

An outing, a lunch and a walk in the indoor park.

A lovely day indeed...I know the only thing your heart knows is it loves to keep beating.

Glub Glub!

OutHouse Capital of Canada said...

I am back from the sunny south, now to post some pictures of my trip. Glad you enjoyed the trip to Penticton, it is a nice drive, anytime of year. Just think, we live here full time, tourists come for a few days in summer for a look at our wonderful scenery.

Deb said...

Looking forward to your Palm Springs pics Dave, and yes, we are lucky to live here full time. Oliver lives up to its postal code acronym V0H 1T0, Valley of heaven in the Okanagan!