Wednesday, March 22, 2006


My Cardiac Doc had me busy yesterday, with an MRI and a stress test. Stress was easy as the whole thing was in Dallas, starting in the morning. Which means that I had to GET to Dallas, in the morning. With no coffee allowed. Details like no coffee allowed explains why hospitals don't allow guns.

I had my work done at Medical City, in north Dallas, there are a lot of places closer, none better. We started with the MRI, my Doc wanted a look at the clot in my aorta. He has me on this rat poison stuff, Coumadin, that is a fancy name for Warfarin. In large doses it makes a rat, or a person, bleed to death with no holes in him. The dose I take is not that strong, the hope is that the clot dissolve without the Docs having to go in with a vacuum cleaner and wire brushes or whatever they use. I am rooting for the rat poison, the carotid artery that they opened up in the hooraw after that stroke is still sore.

The MRI was the standard thing, they put me in this very skinny "bed" and slid me in to this big white sewer pipe and then had a crew of blacksmiths beat on the outside of it with humongous hammers and sound giant buzzers, somehow this gives a picture of my innards. This is the fourth or fifth time I've had that done, every other time has been my head and neck, though. The breathing instructions were different, otherwise I found no other difference. Oh, and this time, instead of earplugs they gave me headphones. The woman running the test got mad when I asked her to change the radio station, for some odd reason. It's weird, we've been going to Med City for years, this is only the second unpleasant experience I've ever had with the people there. The other one was back in the early '90s when some Intern couldn't find a vein on Linda Lou, I was looking around for a stick. I know interns have to learn, give me a Nurse who knows how to make a stick, anyhow. Let the Interns learn on each other.

The it was time for the stress test, as if I wasn't already stressed enough, just from driving into Dallas. With no coffee. In the morning. Here they put me on another skinny bed and shot me full of some kind of radioactive juice. Later that night I turned off the light in the bathroom, my pee did not glow in the dark, that was disappointing. Then they slid me in to this other kind of camera that rotated around shooting pics of my innards from a hundred different angles one was done with no giant blacksmiths with humongous hammers and buzzers.

Then we went to the treadmill and I had to run like a gazelle, trying to get my heart rate to 137. Unfortunately my sciatica kicked in and we could only get my heart rate to 105 before my left leg gave out. So, instead, we had to do a chemical stress test, they injected two giant batches of some kind of chemical in, no one told me what they were. They did give me all kinds of warnings about what the meds might do, all they did to me was make the inside of my arm cold. Well, they did something to the way the EKG worked but I know nothing about that, it's just a bunch of squiggley lines to me. The not smoking was a big deal, I was not particularly winded.

After the treadmill I was supposed to have a repeat of the series of pictures in the rotating camera, since we couldn't do the treadmill well enough I had to go eat and wait an hour. There is some kind of medical reason, though, that I was told to eat something with a lot of fat. It was to help absorb the stuff they shot in to me. So I had fried chicken, french fries and two, count them, two donuts, plus my morning coffee, six hours or so late. I am going to have to ponder on whether being allowed to eat fat is worth the delay in coffee. Ahh, the copay on a fake heart attack would probably make it not worthwhile just for donuts and fries.

Anyway, that was it, then into my car and start the drive home. I made a stop at Wally World and then, home. Speaking of Wally World, they are opening a new Wal Mart in Quinlen, the nearest town. Only ten miles to do the shopping, instead of twenty-five. Hooray!

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