Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Return to sender

Tomorrow morning, I will place a package by my front door, for pickup by FedEx, and doing so will fill my breast with joy and with delight.

The package contains a heart monitor that I have worn for two weeks. The monitor, and the wearing of it, were ordered by the cardiologist who saw me at the hospital after my fall.

Receiving it and attaching it for the first time scared me a little. The fact that a cardiologist thought my heart needed to be watched was a little worrisome (it was bad enough that the cardiologist had used the word "pacemaker" a couple of times at the hospital). But after a point the darn thing just became annoying.

A rectangular box, perhaps 2/3 the size of a pack of cigarettes, with a greyscale screen, the monitor has a port on the right side for plugging in a cord with two leads, one red and one white. The leads attach to patches, one of which goes on the upper right breast, the other below the lelft breast.

I was supposed to press a button when I had an "event," - i.e., an episode of dizziness. I never did: at one point, while sbopping, I straightened up a little too quickly from bending over, and had a dizzy couple of seconds, but I didn't think about the monitor until well after the moment.

Anyway, what was supposed to happen was that when I pushed the "event" button, the monitor would begin recording my heart rate and who knows what else. Since I never pushed the button, the monitor automatically did recordings every couple of days.

The next job was transmitting the recordings. That required calling a certain number, answering a few questions, then pressing the event button and holding it down until it generated a sound like a fax machine. Then I had to hold the box near the mouthpiece of the phone, to transmit the sound. It felt like I was using technology from the 80s. I half expected it to croak, "Greetings, Professor Falken. Would you like to play a game?"

So doing that was no fun, and just wearing the darn thing everywhere except in the tub was a pain. That pain is gone now, so hurrah and huzzah!

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