Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Doctor's Visit

I went to the doctor today to get to the bottom of my recent fainting incident. The whole process took about three hours: one hour to get there, one hour to be examined, and another to get back. (I also took an hour for lunch. I got piroshky again.) The doctor was almost scary in her perkiness. "Oh, that's SUPER-DUPER common..." but decided I needed to have my heart checked up. I now have four electrodes running from my rib cage to a box clipped to my waistband. These will come off on Thursday at noon, and since sensitive electronic can't get wet, it's no showers until then. Every time I feel like something isn't right (like I stand up too fast and get dizzy) I'm supposed to press a button on the side of the box and write down the sensation and what I was doing when it happened. So basically I'm going to be walking around for the next 42 hours with greasy hair and wires sticking out from under my shirt.


Mollye said...

Wear a really bright color or obnoxious pattern and people probably won't notice your hair or the wires. Its the box I have no idea how your going to conceal.

Dan Adam said...

You should wear a robot costume to work.

Dan said...

The box should be about the size of a pack of cigarettes. It's a Holter Monitor, to record every heartbeat. They used to use cassette tapes and 9-volt batteries, but now are mostly solid-state. They were a bitch to repair, because testing them after alignment took hours. We always sent them out to the manufacturer.

There is a computer system called a Holter scanner that reads the heartbeats, scanning the recording for arrhythmias. Interestingly, one of the only devices I encountered that had a real Y2K problem was a Holter scanner. The manufacturer 'patched' it for Y2K, and actually inserted a Y2K problem with it's patch.

I'm sure everything will be fine. Back in the day, when I did direct patient care (on the Dixon) it was way common to see otherwise healthy, young, athletic women with episodes of syncope. Usually just a drop in their already low blood pressure. Did they tell you your blood pressure?

You should be able to wash your hair in the sink, or go to a salon to get it washed, if it's an issue. Just don't get the electrodes wet, or they might not have a good connection -- then you have to do the test again.