My Journey - Testing 1 2 3...

Now that we've gotten the basic sciencey stuff out of the way, let's talk about the tests that got me to surgery time.  After a fairly standard visit to the cardiologist and an acceptable looking x-ray, my doctor requested an echocardiogram because it had been a while since I had been in for a visit.  I didn't think much of it because I've had an echocardiogram done before and I didn't have any of the concerning symptoms, such as shortness of breath or dizzy spells, which you commonly have when there are cardiac issues.  An echocardiogram, or echo for short, is basically a sonogram of your heart.  Theoretically the procedure is painless.  The technician will run the transducer, or magic x-ray wand, over your chest and side taking video and measurements of your heart.  To get clear images the technician will have to push the wand firmly into your chest, and frankly there are some angles and areas where the technician has to use more force and to go over and over and over...You will be sore.  While a bit painful, I am lucky that my doctor requested the echo because it showed some areas of concern.  These question marks meant more tests.  Yippee!

The next round of tests included a MRI and a transesophageal echo, or TEE.  Now the MRI is fairly simple, you just lie there while this loud clangy tube circles around you.  The interesting part is when they inject you with a dye which generates a warming sensation in your extremities, in particular in your special area.  The technician warned me prior to the injection that it was probably going to make me think I was peeing, but no one had ever actually peed during the test so not to worry.  And oh my goodness it really did feel like I was peeing and it made me SUPER paranoid!  For the TEE on the other hand, I was under anesthesia for the bulk of the test.  A TEE is basically a sonogram of your heart from inside your body.  The doctor will feed a transducer down your throat while you are asleep which enables them to get more detailed images of your heart than an echo.  While you would think that the test that I was asleep for would be the less embarrassing one than the one where the tech has to warn you before hand that you're going to feel like you're peeing but you're not actually peeing so make sure not to let your bladder go, it was not!  I managed to make a total butt of myself in the short time before and after I went under.  Yep, way to go Beth!  I have decided that it is completely unfair for doctors or medical professionals who are going to be standing over you while you are only wearing one of those embarrassing hospital gowns and being subjected to potentially embarrassing tests to be good looking.  In my case the anesthesiologist and TEE tech were both good looking and I was able to say "charming" things to both.  It all started with the anesthesiologist asking me if I snored and things went down hill from there as I launched into a story about how the Bro once claimed that he could hear me snoring through the wall at our parents' house and that I kept him up all night.  Yea, awesome story to be sharing with the SUPER cute anesthesiologist!  And in vivid detail!  But wait, it gets better...Once I woke up after the procedure the poor tech was alone in the room with me trying to pack up his machinery.  You would think that my first question would be about how the test went, but no, my first question was if I snored.  I hear myself asking if I snored and the little voice inside of me is telling me to shut up.  Oh, but I kept going...
Me: So did I snore?  (What?!?  Wake up and stop asking stupid questions.)
Tech: No, and most people who snore normally will snore while under anesthesia.
Me: Ha, that's great!  Now I get to tell my brother that he can suck it.  (Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!)
Tech: Yep.  (Avoid eye contact and pack up the machine faster.)
Me: Cause my brother likes to make me paranoid and is always saying that I snore...  (You've already told this embarrassing bit of personal none of his business, so SHUT UP!)
Tech: Mmhmm.  (Come on, pack up faster!  Faster!)
Me: Yeah, so now I can tell him that he's wrong and suck it!  Ha ha...(WHY!  You already said all of that, just stop talking!  No, don't you do it, don't open your mouth again...)  I think he just says those things to make me paranoid because our father sounds like a freight train at night and we could never figure out how our mom shared a room with him and actually managed to get any sleep and...(Seriously, if you don't shut up I'm going to have to literally reach in your mouth and hold your tongue.  Is that what you want?  Do you want the cute tech to think that you are even more of a loon than he already does?)
And thankfully the nurse walked in at that point and I managed to shut up about the snoring long enough for her to wheel me down to the recovery room.  Yep, awesome visit to the hospital and way to make an amazing impression!  By the way, the parenthesed bits are what the little voice in my head and what I can only imagine the one in the tech's head were saying.

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