I slept fitfully last night (as is the custom whenever I have to wake up for an early appointment the following morning), waking up at 4:00 a.m. and then trying to fall back asleep for another two hours before giving up and getting up. Today, of course, was the day of our annual check-ups and Akemi and I left home before the sun had even risen, stomachs empty (for the blood test!) but bladders fit to burst (in preparation for our ultrasounds, although mine was delayed by approximately an hour after the staff fell behind schedule, leaving me to squirm uncomfortably in my chair while an upbeat Akemi – first up! – breezed through her appointments).
The ultrasound portion of my visit always makes me nervous, especially when the technician spends what I feel to be an inordinately long time in one section, say the gallbladder. My concern is compounded whenever they squint at the screen and offer that quizzical “That can’t be right.” look. Whenever this happens, I try to lighten the mood with chitchat that is really more of a test to see if they engage in a jovial manner (Nothing to worry about) or deflect and refuse to engage (This is no laughing matter). Today’s techie was a hard read.
The doctor tested my shoulder, had me run through a series of moves – none of which I could accomplish – and informed me I had a partially torn rotator cuff. Physio is in the cards.
Following a battery of tests, we saved the best for last: the EKG that involves me running on a treadmill at an impossible incline while a machine records the electric signals from my heart and monitors for “issues”. Last time I did this, I was informed there was a slight irregularity that was really no cause for concern, This time, I was informed there was a slightly more defined irregularity that was really no cause for concern – but they were going to send me out for an echocardiogram all the same. It will involve me running on an impossible incline while a machine records the electric signals from my heart and monitors for “issues” AND something called a transducer measures my heart muscles and valves. The doctor reassured me it was probably nothing, but my family history of heart issues, and the fact that I was exposed to a fair amount of second hand smoke growing up makes him feel the precaution is warranted. Hopefully the echocardiogram gives me the all clear and I can redirect focus to other non-health-related worries like writing and fantasy football. IF, on the other hand, the echocardiogram results prove problematic, next up is the angiogram (aka nuclear test) that involves me being injected with radioactive dye which, to be honest, doesn’t sound all that safe. But, of course, I’m not a medical professional.
Once done, we went out for lunch. Akemi had soup. And I had a schnitzel sandwich.