Saturday 29 August 2015

Sonic Pings and Sheldon

This week's adventure was an Echocardiogram. 

I will be receiving a treatment soon that could cause heart problems, so my heart needs to be monitored. I received my appointment letter for the Echocardiogram and it made me giggle. Strange you may think, but the opening paragraph was so random, it had to be written by Sheldon (Big Bang Theory). This is how it went....."Dear Mrs Bond, Ships use very high frequency sound waves". Feeling bewildered? So was I. It continued "projecting down into the sea to monitor the depth of water and to look for moving objects in the water". Yes, Sheldon's still explaining. "Recording equipment picks up the echoes bounced back from objects below the water enabling their size, shape and movement to be monitored". OK Shelley, what are you wittering on about? Ships? Water? Sound waves? Where is this going? For a moment I felt I was in work reading an engineering working instruction! Then Sheldon became a little clearer, "This procedure can be used to study the anatomy of your heart". Ah ha! So I need a ship, some water and some sonic pings? My brain was a little on the side of confused, whilst giggling to myself that this was the strangest appointment letter I had ever received! Wait, wait, Sheldon almost manages to talk a bit of patient speak "The Doppler Study uses changes in the frequency of reflected sound to measure blood flow through your heart". So it's just a fancy scan!   Now I know we all crave more information from the medical world, so I will not be critical and heck it did make me laugh!!! Hubbie and sons inform me that ships send sonic pings down to hunt for submarines, so it did occur to me that the odd sub may well be found floating around my heart, but the type with ham, cheese and tomato!!!!

My wonderful MIL (Mother in law) collects me and off we go for my sonic ping adventure. The Cardiology waiting room is full, as all waiting rooms are, but we are good at this now and are Kindle ready. We sit down, the MIL manages to sit on part of another lady patient's bag, which she tries to whip away quickly. Apologies given etc, the lady says "Don't worry it's only an Echocardiogram!". We smile and make the right noises, but I'm thinking, why have you got an Echocardiogram in a carrier bag and just what does one look like? The object in the bag looked to be the size of my Sky Hub. Very confused and with so so many questions I wanted to ask, I did the right thing and said nothing. I did think, I may have my own soon to transport around in a carrier bag!  Not enough time to resort to the Kindle as my name is called. The Cardiac Physiologist (lady doing the pinging), takes me into a room and tells me to strip to my waist, it crosses my mind how easily I do that these days, will I be stood in Sainsbury's one day and over the tannoy I hear "Shelf strip down in aisle five please" and before I know it, I've released my boobs to the unsuspecting pickles, sauces and tinned goods customers? Back to the pinging, I put a gown on and lie on the bed. Sticky pads get applied and wired up and lashings of lovely lubricating gel gets slowly smeared all over my chest. Steady boys, steady, if only it were going to be that much fun!!!  I'm told to lie on my left side and my Pinger says "I'm not really hurting you but I have to press hard". Oh dear Lord but you are!  Ouch and double ouch!!!  She is pressing the Doppler doodah very hard into my left boob, right on the site of my surgery. This is not good I tell myself, I'm not liking this.  It's pressing down right onto my ribs.  She finally releases the pressure.   Then she tells me to breathe in, in, in and out and...... hold it!  I'm holding, holding, still holding, s..t..i..l..l.. holding.   I start rolling my eyes and pursing my lips, trying to stop my brain from thinking "Hello, I am not breathing!".  And release. Praise the Lord, I grasp a few quick breaths.   Uh oh, the Doppler Pinger is on the move, she plops my boob out of the way and attacks me in the side of my rib cage, I mean right in my rib cage, this hurts!   She does apologise though and I understand she has to push or the pings wouldn't work.  More deep breaths in and out and hold.  Oh no, more eyeball rolling, lip pursing.   I am going to expire. My brain is screaming "breathe!!!".   It also occurs to me at this point that I should never seek an alternative career as a deep sea free diver.  At last she says "Oh sorry, release"!!!!!! She forgot to tell me!  She then says "just hold it for as long as you can".  A little late in the day for that important message don't you think Cruella De Vil??   Then the door opens, a man says "Hello" from the other side of the curtain.   Please don't come in, please, my boobs are spread all over the shop, dignity where have you gone?  Cruella kindly pulls my gown half over one boob.   Thankfully he doesn't come in any further, they exchange a few words and off he pops.  Sometimes I just hate the helplessness of undignified hospital body bits exposure.  So a few more rib cracking thrusts from Miss De Vil and she tells me to move onto my back, she Dopples my tummy with the same manoeuvres and then sticks it in my neck.  Any other situation you would be wrestling someone off who purposely tried to throttle you!!!!!  Throughout all this I did hear the occasional sound of blood swishing through my heart, which was reassuring. I didn't hear any hatches being battened and calls for "Dive, Dive".  Also reassuring.   All done.   My lovely lady Cardiac Physiologist (can't call her Cruella anymore, once the Doppler was out of her hand, she stopped being a sadist), then told me my heart was all good, it was all balanced and everything was working normally.  So it's official I have a good heart!!!!   Gel wiped off, clothes back on, back to the waiting room to interrupt the MIL from her Kindle, which did look like it irritated her a bit, has she found a legitimate escape from the FIL?  As she also has a good heart (huge one), she packed away her Kindle and drove me and my good heart home.

Overall a positive day, but I hadn't been given my own Echocardiogram, just what was in that woman's carrier bag?

Loves to CB xx

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