Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The great circumnavigation of the boob

It's certainly not what I was expecting, but when I went to the Cardio Lab to get fitted for a heart monitor today, I was asked by the efficient young male... er, what would they call him? Doctor? No. Student? Shit, I hope not. Cardio Boy? It's the best I can come up with, although probably quite derogatory... to strip off my top half entirely to the waist. And put on the gown with the ties to the front.

I had that momentary flash of alarm grip me, thinking quickly, "What?! Why? That means he's going to see every single solitary stretch mark left by that LGBB and the saggy..... AAAAAEEERGHHHH!! Abort mission, abort mission." But thankfully in the next moment, I gathered my senses - for how else did I think he was going to attach the electronic nodes to my skin to measure my heart activity? - stood upright and got to the task of stripping off. Rather uncomfortably, I must say, as you do when you're taking your clothes off in front of a boy called Chris who you met only 8 seconds before you walked in to an office that is clearly not even his.

Next thing I know, I'm lying on the bed, ties to the front, being instructed to keep my arms at my sides while Cardio Boy sticks the ECG things all over my chest. Circumnavigation of the boob (and a little beyond), if you will. Not exactly your most natural pozzy.

Now, I'll admit here that I'm not the most ideal patient. I tend to make stupid jokes when I'm a tad nervous or feel vulnerable in a medical setting. Particularly when (and did I mention yet?) the ties are at the front. Or when they're even at the back, for that matter, which is where most of the openings of any hospital gownage have been in my vast experience of hospital interiors. And theirs of mine. Oh dear.

I didn't break the ice much when I asked if he even worked here, pointing to the name on the desk that wasn't his. Then I made my dork status worse, I think, when I casually mused that if I were 26 and not 36, I reckon I might be much more affronted by his request that I disrobe completely on top - while he was still in the room, just shuffling papers beside me.... >Awkwarrrd<..... - and I also didn't win him over when I kept getting my arms in the way once he had begun the test and he had to keep instructing me, robot-fashion and very efficiently - because they kept going up into that sort of half-bent Defend The Girls position, rather like a man does across his frontal region when he's playing wicket keeper during backyard cricket and an overly zealous toddler is not in complete control of the bat and swinging to hit the ball(s).

So Cardio Boy is attaching these things and doing a baseline something-or-other. And then he's attaching wires and the whole process begins to feel long enough that I wonder, as I stare hard at the ceiling, whether he's trying to work out why my nipple is under my armpit (hey.... breastfeeding, it's a miracle but it sure leaves things more in a state of whimper than baZOING-a... for me, anyway). To break my unease, I quip, "I s'pose if you ever tire of this, you could always be useful to the bomb squad."

It may have been that he was deep in concentration, it may have been that he is too young to have seen the countless references to the nail-biting action scene where the hero is agonising over the red-wire, blue-wire scenario to save the day.

But all I got was a titter.

I should say before I go that, yes, I've got myself a bit of a heart issewe. Something I've noticed for a couple of years now but growing noticeably more persistent lately. Nothing much else to report because I don't want to list symptoms here and do all that. If there's anything I need to let you know, you'll know when I know. And thank you to those of you following along who have been so caring about it, it means a great deal to me :)

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