Friday, August 15, 2014

Oh bittens n bytes

Mama's big baby - Smokey Joe
Day whatever of the declutter challenge. I have lost count but I have managed to get rid of something most days. One day I trashed a stack of 40 or more old washcloths which were so disreputable I only used them to clean the cat's bum.

Leads me to wonder if I didn't have a washcloth fetish at some point in my life? I've used a puff for years so all I need are a few washcloths to use for the aforementioned cat bum duty and for cleaning rags.

I am beginning to wonder if all is well between my ears, but this morning I explained a very complex biological process to a newly diagnosed patient, so I think it's more a case of my brain simply not processing information when I'm really tired.

My appointment at the Connective Tissue Clinic was both a disaster and an excellent experience. Since my fingers and brain seem to be no longer reliably connected I wrote down the wrong dates for both the echocardiogram I was supposed to have before seeing the cardiologist and the date and time for the cardiology appt. I missed the echo appt, but the clinic called and re-booked, as sweet and kind as could be.

The day of the cardiologist's appt I was almost an hour late. Again they were totally sweet, never even commented on my tardiness. I did call ahead and apologize profusely at 1:00 when I looked at the letter they sent me with directions to the Clinic and realized I wrote 2:00 in my diary when the letter they sent asked me to be there at 1:00. But it didn't seem to matter. The cardiologist and his student were wonderful, unhurried, funny, relaxed and very thorough.

Now I have to have a thallium stress test, which I've had before and am not anticipating with any excitement. I was in an iron lung as a toddler and quite aside from the test I am very averse to small tight spaces. (You may read this as, "She panics and wants to scream and claw her way out".) I cannot have anything with caffeine in it for 24 hours prior to the test, including my pain meds. I can't take anything by mouth after midnight the night before the test and it's scheduled an hour and a half before I am even awake most days.

I am going to start the test weak and in pain. My grumpy hip is going to roll out of its socket on that bleeding treadmill, and after they have run you into the ground they inject you with a radioactive dye and put you in a tight totally dark cylindrical container with your elbows bent and your hands tucked under your head (this will cause my shoulders to roll from their sockets).

The cylinder is 1/2" from the end of your nose, you have to lie absolutely still because it rotates. The earplugs they give you do little to dampen the noise. Sounds like a bush hog in a clear cut. Hopefully they will have sped up the process since the last time I had it done. There's a camera associated with the cylinder, the whole apparatus looks like it's attached to a big C-Clamp, so the camera rotates around you. In between heartbeats it takes a picture of your heart from every angle and you have to hold your breath every time it takes a picture.

This process takes roughly half an hour, but the entire testing procedure runs to about four hours. I've never like having my picture taken to start with and this studio is run by Lucifer and his attendants. Or at least cooked up by him. I'd cry if it would do any good but I've learned that sort of thing is useless, so I'm mentally preparing myself to do what I did last time. Meditate on a moving stream of water surrounded by ferns and dappled sunlight.

Oh look, there's a minnow now. Smokey and I are going to follow him and see where he goes...


Linda P. said...

I can sense the dread in your words and very real concerns. I always pretend that the sounds are a kind of music with a rhythm different than that to which our ears are attuned, music from another time or place.

Victoria Howell said...

Just imagine that beautiful Smokey Joe cat purring against your heart'll be fine. He is gorgeous!