Monday, March 7, 2011

24 Hours On The Monitor

Murphy’s Law: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

“Mrs. O’Hare, I need you to wear a heart monitor, get a heart echo and undergo a stress test. Just as a precaution of course.”

Completely ignoring his last two recommendations I consider what he’d said. A heart monitor, that doesn’t sound so bad. “Okay, where do I get one?”

“Just go up front and the nurse will take care of everything.”

“Thank you doctor.” I approach the checkout desk where I’m unacknowledged. “Excuse me, I’m Mrs. O’Hare and I need to pick up my heart monitor.”

The nurse looks down her long pointed nose through half glasses at her computer, then at me and then back at the computer. “Let me see here. Mrs. O’Hare, yes…well it seems we just gave away the last monitor a few minutes ago. We can schedule you to come in and pick one up on Monday.”

“But it’s Wednesday! Don’t you have one coming in tomorrow, or even Friday?” Pointy nose glares at me over the half glasses and sets my appointment for Monday morning.

Monday morning rolls around and I shower before leaving to pick up the monitor. The phone rings. “Hello, Mrs. O’Hare, this is *Tina from *Dr. Spock’s office. I’m sorry, but we accidentally gave the last monitor away this morning.”

“What? I’ve been waiting since last Wednesday! Why wasn’t one set aside for me?”

“Like I said, I’m very sorry and there is no excuse. I can get you in tomorrow at 2:00.”

I was beginning to wonder if this was the stress test the doctor mentioned. The next day I was fitted with the monitor and told to push a button whenever I had any symptoms and record it on the journal I was given. Oh and by the way Tina, thanks for leaving the lead wires in a bird’s nest knot. I’ve always wanted to look like I have an alien under my shirt!

It annoyed me that I had to park at least three-quarter miles away from the doctor’s office, but it never occurred to me that I would be walking back the distance wearing a heart monitor. The jog back to my car left me huffing and puffing and my heart racing a bit. I push the button and record it in the journal.

Arriving home I let Max the beast-dog out to play. His new favorite toy is an old chewed up Frisbee. His favorite game to play with the Frisbee is to put it in the flowerbed upside down and then dig it out. I went outside to check on him to find that he’d dug up the entire bed…onto the front porch. As I swept away the loads of soil from my front stoop let’s just say I had another cardiac episode. I push the button and record it in the journal.

Later that day I picked my son up from school…all is good…nothing to push or record. Until, that is, we decided to go outside and enjoy the gorgeous southeast Texas weather we’ve been blessed with over the past few weeks. As the kids and I stroll around to the backyard, Max the beast-dog hones in on a small woodland creature with the gall to traipse into his yard. Like a round shot from a small caliber weapon, Max takes out after the trespasser. Halfway to his destination, Max falls to the ground and yelps as if he’s suffered a mortal wound. My son would later liken it to the sound of an elk during the rut. As a result my daughter and I take off in a full out run to check on the smallest member of the family. My mind goes straight to a compound fracture and my heart goes into another cardiac episode. I push the button and record it in the journal.

Did I mention my husband has been out of town for two weeks and my two children have taken up residence in my bedroom? Later that night, while sleeping with my daughter in my bed and my son on the floor at the foot of the bed, I find myself with no covers, hmmm. The chills set in as the subsequent nightmares ensue. I don’t quite remember the dream, but it had something to do with a dog and two children holding the strings of a redheaded, middle-aged marionette. I woke up shivering, my heart racing and pounding out of my chest. I push the button and record it in the journal.

At six o’clock…a.m. my daughter woke me to say that we didn’t have any water. I had forgotten to turn on the pump. When we run out of water the pipes start gurgling and burgling until they fill back up with water. After my daughter’s shower I went into the bathroom to get cleaned up. I turned to get a towel from the cabinet when the toilet decided to BURP, sending water flying through the air. I have to admit my heart jumped inside my throat. I pushed the button…but I refuse to record in the journal that my toilet scared me so bad that I had a cardiac episode!

And that concluded my 24 hours on the monitor. I can hardly wait to see how the stress test goes!

*Names changed to protect the innocent