Friday, January 25, 2008

From The Depths of My Heart

Lest you think that all I think about these days is snarky socio-political commentary I thought I'd wax ponderous about my yearly reminder of mortality.

Yup, it's time for my echocardiogram again. Once a year I go in to see how far my heart has progressed toward blowing a gasket. Since last year my cardiologist has switched partnerships and tied himself more closely to the hospital next door. Part of what this means, evidently, is that the sonographer who used to do my yearly echo is no longer around. I had to go to the hospital's cardiology department and have them run the tests.

You wouldn't think that it matters who does your exam. It actually does. The technician wasn't familiar with the machine and needed a supervisor or vendor rep next to her to help. The bed I was on didn't have the nifty drop-away panel they use to get easier access to your chest. And she kept having me exhale and hold it, and either take forever getting the image or forget to tell me to breathe again.

The former technician would give me pillows to support my back during the odd positions they'd have me lay in.

See! I dropped the socio-political stuff, I just can't get rid of the snarky part. I realize if the low point of my day is discomfort during a 45-minute exam I really need a change of perspective. I'm just saying it makes a difference who does your exam, something I'd never considered before.

Anyway, the other down-side to this is that I'll need to wait until next week before I can get with my doctor and see what the prognosis is. Last year I edged closer to needing valve replacement surgery. It would be nice to know right away, like I used to. Oh well. Life goes on.

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