When the voice identified herself as “Cardiology”, I wondered why they were calling me. In rapid fire English she informed me that my doctor had scheduled a Nuclear Stress Test for me in two days.
I informed that I do not walk, especially on a treadmill. She told me that I would not be required to walk, It seems that the word “Nuclear” makes all the difference. Instead I would be a quiet recumbent participant of the three hour test.
I find the process of aging with its many ramifications very interesting. Each indication of new challenges gives you pause to get acquainted and decide how to cope with each with grace and dignity.
I showed up at the required time and was soon rigged out with an IV in my arm before we went into a room with a machine half the size of my dining room. They injected a dye into the IV and had me put both arms over my head while lying down. This position was maintained for 15 minutes while the machine (camera) lowered itself to within 1/2 inch from my face. It slowly revolved around the upper body while I forced myself to think of sailboats on a quiet sea with seagulls calling out to me. Conversing with seagulls is not easy and I truly find them noisy and greedy creatures, so this subterfuge really didn’t help the time pass any faster.
When this test was over, They took me into another room where a nurse with a lot of authority took charge. After explaining the process she injected me with another drug and began the test. I could tell she had done this before because suddenly I experienced everything she had mentioned. You become a bit panic stricken and want to end the test. She asked me what I was feeling and being an honest person I told her I really wanted to throw up. Her answer was to inject me with even more drugs as the test progressed. This test lasted a half hour after which the nurse suddenly asked me if I wanted a milkshake; either vanilla or chocolate. Obviously, no one wants to be vanilla so I took the other one. One stipulation of these tests was no caffeine for two days, so chocolate was the obvious choice.
After returning from my reclining run, the nurse told me I “looked very good for eighty-eight”, which gave me the boost to move back into the original room with the large camera. The original routine was repeated while the camera slowly rotated over me.
With the test over, we now wait for orders from the vascular surgeon who hopes to be able to do a bypass of my legs.