Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Test - Part Two

When I was called to come into the testing area for the chemical stress test, I greeted and was greeted in return by the two ladies there.  We remembered each other from the times before. Very simpatico.

I was immediately hooked up to the EKG stuff, and a blood pressure cuff was put on my right arm, followed by their beginning to monitor my vital signs.  Then the chemical was injected into the iv needle, and I had to begin describing how I was reacting physically to it.

At once there is a constricting warm feeling in the throat, chest, and arms. They give you a cup of water to drink, with instructions to do so. At once, you feel nausea, have difficulty swallowing, and have a headache. Then the feeling begins to subside. My arms were hurting, so they gave me an injection of a drug to counteract the drug to simulate the stress. I can't remember the name of the counteracting drug.

They gave me a small bottle of orange juice and some peanut butter and crackers.

They could tell from the monitor when the pacemaker I have took over the beating of my heart. It actually does two-thirds of the heart beating.

After more rest, I repeated the fourteen minute picture taking session that I did at first. The needle was removed and after clipping the two arm bands, I was given the opportunity to say goodbye to the place until I return next Tuesday for the pacemaker check and to see the Doc and hear the results.

All my testing took about three hours or so.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


For those of you who have never had a chemical Stress Test or an Echocardiogram, this is how mine went yesterday.

After being checked in at the Heart and Vascular Center, you wait til your name is called. Then you proceed to the first room where you have an IV needle placed in a vein, after which they inject a radioactive isotope and  you drink a cup of water.  You then sit awhile and wait for the isotope to circulate to the heart.

Next step is going to another room where you lie on your back for fourteen excruciating minutes with arms above your head, while a machine makes a very slow circuit over the chest, taking pictures of the isotope circulating in the heart.

That was painful to me because of the spinal stenosis I have. I got up with numb feet and legs.

The next procedure is an Echocardiogram. In this procedure, electrodes such as are used in doing an ekg are placed on the chest. Then after donning a beautiful paper shirt or gown, open in the front,  the patient lies on his (her) left side and the technician has an instrument such as sonograms are done with. The Tech applies a gel to the head of the instrument and proceeds to place it in various spots on and under the left breast of the patient and the action of the heart is registered on the machine that is operated by the tech.

Thirty minutes later, the patient is released to put their blouse or shirt back on, then head back to the waiting area.  Ten or fifteen minutes later, after sitting in the waiting area again, the patient is called to have the stress test done.

Tomorrow, I will relate the procedure for that, because this is already longer than I thought it would be!

Monday, May 11, 2015

What Next?

The A to Z challenge brings on such a "high" that afterwards, I have to consider, What next? Another story, just chit-chat, or what? 

This morning, I am headed towards getting a chemical stress test done (the first in two years). Pretty sure the results are not going to be what I would like to hear, but also pretty sure there's nothing I can do about it. 

No gloom and doom here, just plain truth. 

Anyhow, I've been thinking about my next story and I do have plans to write one. A few thoughts have been rattling around in the old noggin, and pretty soon, I'm sure they will begin to take shape. In the meantime, I reckon maybe I'll just go on talking...


Saturday, May 9, 2015

Is She a "Linus" Cat?

I have a soft, cream-colored blanket that I used to put over my legs in cold weather. It is kept on my short couch in the living room.

On mornings after the nights that my cat, Bella, is yowling to know where I am, I come into the living room and see that blanket stretched out in the living room floor.

Has it become a security blanket for her, such as the one that Linus drags around?

Friday, May 8, 2015


Is that not really a word?

No matter! For more than seventy some odd years, I've loved hearing and after the advent of television, seeing commercials.

They were on often enough for me to commit many of them to memory to such a degree that I still can sing the ones from my childhood, such as the "Cream of Wheat " ditty that sponsored "Let's Pretend",  which portrayed fairy tales back in the 1940's. The stories they acted out introduced the world of fantasy to me.

There were commercials that promoted cigarettes, such as the fellow named Johnny, a little person who had a big voice, and shouted, "Call for Philip Morrrris!"

Among the commercials that I have really enjoyed over the past few years are those promoting the insurance company called GEICO!

Some people find commercials irritating and time consuming. I just consider them to be another form of entertainment.

What about you?

Thursday, May 7, 2015

A Symbiotic Relationship

Right now, my life is a very sedentary, quiet one. No great upheavals or drama. That is the way I enjoy it right now. Recently, I took my four-year old cat, Bella, a gentle Tabby with blue eyes, to the vet's to have the front two paws declawed. I left her there for a week until her paws were healed.

I went to visit with her every day, except for the last day, Sunday, because the office was closed that day.

After I picked her up and brought her home, a three minute trip, I fed her, only to have her throw it up almost immediately.

She had been traumatized by the whole week, being away from me and going through the surgery.

Since coming home, she has not been more than six or seven feet away from me except to use her litter box. So, I have stayed home all week and just sat with her.

I'll be going out to breakfast with a good friend this morning. We'll see how that goes.

Bella is always waiting near the door when I come home.

Do you have a pet? Or are you their pet? It is, after all, a symbiotic relationship, is it not?

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Goals in Life

Yesterday, I mentioned in a comment an essay written by a man that is called "The Station". The person who wrote it was Robert J. Hastings. 

Now, without the express approval by his estate, it is not supposed to be published, so instead of breaking the copyright law (after all, I would not want someone to publish my work without my approval, would I?), I will simply refer you to it. It is easy to find on the internet, simply enter "The Station by Robert J. Hastings" and you will be taken to it. 

Please do so; you will be pleasantly rewarded. It is an excellent piece of work. Since it was good enough to be used by Ann Landers Or Dear Abby, you know it's gotta be good.

When we begin our lives as babies, the only goals we have are being fed, diapered, kept comfortable and loved. Those are mostly the goals of our mamas, actually, if we are fortunate.

As we grow older our goals change, according to our lifestyles, and needs.

But, as the essay I mentioned tells us, we are always looking ahead.

Sometimes, depending upon one's situations, the goal is just to survive to another day.

What are your goals?

I like to make people laugh and enjoy being around me.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Measurements of Life

Sometimes it seems as though our lives are spent in measuring.

"What time is it? How many days til my birthday? How long until Christmas, or when does school let out for the Summer? "

The last question applies to teachers as well as parents and children.

We measure ingredients for cooking, for scientific formulas.

We take measurements if we make furniture or if we sew.

Then there is the question we face many times in life, "Will I measure up to expectations?"

The big question is, will we, like Nebuchadnezzar, be weighed in the balances, and be found wanting? (Not be found worthy)