Having a mystery illness has become a rather odd adventure. Maybe it just seems that way because I've become an invalid recluse so even a trip for more tests at the Doctor's office is interesting. Husbandman and I are discovering that the term "specialists" just means you'll get the same experience, it'll just cost a whole lot more. Our visits to the General Practitioners office have become pretty routine. Go in, wait, get weighed, check blood pressure, wait, see Doctor, confuse Doctor, make Doctor laugh uncomfortably because my type of humor makes him nervous, wait, have the lab withdraw vast amounts of blood. If we're lucky they'll throw in an EKG. Husbandman and I have come to the conclusion that before they can diagnose this I will die of blood loss because of how much I've had drawn lately. If that does happen let this be the record that I promised LAEL my record collection, most importantly my David Bowie vinyl. Here's a random tidbit of information, it is a shockingly long wait to get into see specialists. It's like, "Oh, hey. You are seriously ill and getting progressively worse every day? OK cool. We'll see you in two months. If you die before then don't forget to let us know so we can fill your slot."
On a more serious note I do get a little nervous before the tests and appointments with the different specialists. The EEG actually turned out to be weirdly hilarious and fun. It was a sleep deprivation test so things got pretty weird. The tech did tell me I was her funniest patient ever but that was probably only because I have no filter when I'm sleep deprived and was telling her embarrassing moments from my life. Other people's humiliation is always funny. Always. Also, Husbandman took pictures. I look awful. What a wonderful memory to cherish. I looked like an escaped mental patient who had taken a bad fall and cracked their head open after being electrocuted. I think Husbandman's favorite part was when I told the tech that the strobe light "is like wheel of fortune on my eyes." Anyone who's had the test can probably vouch to that. It's a fair comparison. The judges would also accept "price is right bonus wheel on my eyes".
Today was our first visit with the heart dude. He prefers Cardiologist or Dr (insert last name I can't remember here). I prefer heart dude. I felt very shy from the moment we walked in for a few reasons.
1) I can't walk very far unsupported anymore and the walk from the car was surprisingly far so Husbandman was propping me up as I wheezed like a chain smoking monkey.
2) I was easily the youngest person there by 50 years besides the socially inept receptionist. This made Husbandman and I a sort of novelty I assume because the old geezers in there would NOT stop staring which was a tad shocking because I assumed they all had horrible eyesight judging by the size of the Reader's Digests in there. I have never seen magazines that large of print in my entire life.
3) It smelled like watermelon jolly ranchers and poo. You know old people. They love their hard candy and Depends.
Once we got called back into the exam room things weren't as bad. The nurse was nice. How nice I think people are is in direct correlation to how much they laugh at my lame jokes. Technically I think this makes them empathetic or pitying but I like to think that I am witty and they are nice. After checking all my stats and laughing at all the appropriate moments the nurse very bluntly stated, "Judging by your vitals you shouldn't be in here." Tell me about it lady. We know. That's why I'm a mystery, duh. Husbandman, nurse lady and I got into a very nice discussion about my Syncope and how it's better to call it Syncope rather than just fainting. At least with Syncope it sounds all cool and official and not like some spoiled southern belle who belongs on a plantation. Nurse lady and I prefer Syncope for that reason. Husbandman prefers fainting or passing out because he says Syncope makes me sound like a psychotic serial killer. Oh that Husbandman. If he really thought that he wouldn't fall asleep so readily with me nearby *shifty eyes*.
I was just getting into the good part of the mandatory exam room People magazine story about Kate and 8 and their life after Jon and all that crap when the heart dude came in. This dude was really serious. But when he did laugh it was a very contagious (not the sort of thing you want in a health facility) real laugh. The only weird part was how random it was. He did not laugh when I tried to explain to him that it feels like my heart is an old fat guy, probably with back problems and my lungs think it's funny to scare him by yelling "SURPRISE!" at random times. And with the back problems and old fatness and all he can't race away but he can stand there out of breath clutching his little heart chest going "Gnuh! Gnuh!" over and over.
I'm just glad heart dude didn't mention the apparent immaturity of Husbandman and myself. Normally we can hide it. Kind of. OK maybe not at all but we can usually keep up appearances for a little while. Not with heart dude though. When he was using the stethoscope thing to check my pulse in millions of places I've never had my pulse checked before he accidentally kinda boob punched me with the stethoscope. I wanted to look at Husbandman to see if he had seen the accidental boob shifting or if he had been distracted by the weird posters on the wall that make different parts of the heart look like bum holes (no joke). So I made the mistake of looking at him. He was doing is rapidly darting gaze thing that means he trying not to laugh which makes me want to laugh. But we were doing good. We were stone. Until he smiled. Then all bets were off and Husbandman and I laughed like 6 year old kids laugh at a fanny burp (see that mom? I purposely found a different phrase for fart because I know how much you hate "the f word" as you call it).
So heart dude paused trying to find the pulse in my toenails while Husbandman and I shook with uncontrollable immature laughter. Then it was back to business. Heart dude says I am "too young, too healthy, and too chronic" for this to be an easy solve. So we have to start the process of elimination. This isn't going to be an easy diagnosis and all that jazz. First up was testing my blood for tiny clots. Yay. More blood getting drawn. That was fun. Next up is a meeting with Dr Wang (no joke, and heart dude thought we laughed about boobs a lot!) Dr Wang will be giving me a tilt test. Heart dude was a little reluctant to tell me what that entailed but I got it out of him. They're gonna strap me to a table (is this a ruse to get me committed?) and then tilt the table in weird ways and inject me with adrenaline to induce Syncope. A week or so after that is my treadmill test. I hope they have a helmet I can wear considering I can't even just sit somewhere without passing out sometimes. Even if I don't pass out on the treadmill and crack my head open I know I'm going to fall off somehow. I'm not graceful or coordinated in the least. Remember the Segway incident? Yeah. I have a feeling this is gonna be something like that. The treadmill test section of the visit did give heart dude and I a chance to bond over the fact that pretty much anytime a treadmill test is shown in TV or movies it is a comedic adventure. Good times heart dude, good times.
I felt pretty lame when we left the office because one of the other heart patients who was about a million years old held the door open for Husbandman and I because I am freaking Scarlet O'Hara. I think that's her name anyway. Come to think of it, this lady was old enough to BE Scarlet O'Hara. I should have asked for her autograph. Dang it! When Husbandman and I got out into the parking lot it was horribly obvious that a nearby sewer pipe was having issues. The whole time Husbandman was dragging/walking me to the car I was dry heaving and gagging. There is no way to gag pretty. Especially when Husbandman starts chanting "please don't puke on me, please don't puke on me" the whole way to the car.
So that was my adventure for this week. The rest of the week I should probably spend my time making reminder cards to hang around places Husbandman frequents reminding him to stop yelling, "BOO!" at the heart patient. If any of my crafty friends want to help with that I will be sure to reward you with some heartfelt wheezing of gratitude from my couch.