When a girl (can you be 34.92 and still be a girl?) out-weighs an average offensive lineman (one more admission in the never-ending exercise in mortification that is currently my life) – she is forced to take a cardio stress test before participating in fat camp. I suspected this would not be a thoroughly enjoyable experience, but not even I could have imagined what I was getting myself in to.
I mentioned the need for this test to my doctor (who is so magnificent – I think she wanted to hug me when I told her I was FC-Bound) she wrote me up a referral right away. I faxed it in, and they called to make the appointment. While speaking to Stacy from MN Heart, located at Fairview Ridges in
, I was told to “wear comfortable shoes - - they’ll have you running and stuff”. I gave her a guffaw and a “yeah, right” and hung up the phone. As the date of the test approached, I became more concerned about what these people were going to try and make me do. Run? I hadn’t attempted to run since I was supposed to keep the book for Ken & Wendy’s softball team, and was forced to attempt to play. If you were there you will probably remember what a vapor trail I was, with all of my speed. Seriously - - running? Come on. This might kill me. Luckily, I’ll be in the hospital, so someone can save me when I go into cardiac arrest! Burnsville
The morning of the test I head to the hospital early (thankfully – because I couldn’t figure out where to park!) and head inside. I go to the cardio desk to check in, and am given an identification bracelet. Is this necessary? How long am I going to be here? Oh wait - - when I probably drop from over-exertion, they’ll need to know who I am. Good – we have our bases covered.
I am called into the testing room by my kind of crabby nurse (we’ll call her Sunshine) and told to strip from the waist up. Hold on! WHAT?!???!?! I couldn’t have heard that correctly. Strip from the waist up? Yep – including my bra. No lie. It is true. So I get to hop on the treadmill without my over the shoulder boulder holder? This is a nightmare!! I was given a gown (or a cape, as Mackenzie referred to it when she originally thought I had to do it without a cape. OK – that would have been worse….for all involved) that opens in the front. They put a strap, with a large pack hooked to it, around my middle (most commonly known as a waist – but I am not calling mine that, yet). Coming out of the pack are numerous cords. Sunshine proceeds to stick approximately 89 patches on me (the majority around my left boob), and hook the cords to those. Another bonus? I got to hear “please lift your left breast”. Sure – just let me grab that off my knee. Awesome. Anything involving lifting and your boobs is fantastic. Sunshine explains that the tech is coming in, and what he is going to do.
The tech, John (who is a total heart badge), comes in and has me lay on my left side on this bed/table. We do a series of shots of my heart with their ultrasound machine. Lots of: deep breath, let it out slowly, stop…..ok breathe. Some of the shots have blue and orange over your heart – which makes it look like your heart is on fire – scary. John tells me that we are going to get me on the treadmill, I’ll go until I can’t any longer and then I need to get back into the same position on the table so they can get “after” shots as quickly as possible. No problem. Right.
So Sunshine comes back in. She is at the computer, I am on the treadmill, then the bed/table, and John is at his computer. (similar to the photo on the right, with way less smiling) I get the low-down - - the treadmill starts at an incline, and every 3 minutes it gets faster and the incline goes up. Phenomenal. The treadmill starts, and so do my boobs. They are all over the place. This is horrible. There has to be a better way to handle this for women – right? Come on medical professionals! I am not going to get into how long I was on the treadmill – it is embarrassing. I know I am supposed to get onto the table as soon as possible when I am done. I can sit on the edge of the bed, and then kind of flip over to lay on my left side. I tell (or huff and puff at) Sunshine that I am done. I start to sit on the edge of the bed and the treadmill comes to a dead stop - - not a gradual stop like the ones at the gym. So my lungs are on fire, I am breathing heavy, and now I have to grab the handle on the treadmill so I don’t topple onto the floor. I am a vision of loveliness and grace. I finally get onto my left side, and it starts again: deep breath, let it out slowly, stop…… I extend a challenge to anyone reading this. Get yourself good and winded, and try and hold your breath. It is really fun. But I did it, and I am finally done.
I get dressed (I have never been so happy to have a bra on), and Sunshine says I can go wait in the waiting area for the doctor. I meet with the doc. Everything is fine. I am good to go. I am cleared for FC!