Thursday, March 26, 2009

Nothing an EKG couldn't fix


It happened again: I began having chest pains, dizziness and an impending sense of doom. Two years ago the same things happened (along with sweats, serious dizziness and tingling pain down the left arm) and I spent a night in the cardiac unit, after which they told me it was only stress and that my insurance would require me to put up $1000 as my share of the total bill.

So I was a bit sanguine about all this. Stress, I said. You have a history in both maternal and paternal male lines of heart disease, Mrs. said. It will pass, I said. You need to go get it checked out, she said. And then Mutti said it. And then Dear Father said it --well, not so much said it as barked it ("..but Dad you're increasing my stress by yelling at me to go to the doctor." "And you're increasing mine by not going and putting my granddaughter's father at risk.")

I gave in and took the morning off to go see my practitioner. Stress increased when I was made aware that my new insurance plan did not cover office visits. However, I'm not paying an additional $75/month to lower an annual or semi-annual visit by $30, so feh. He leveled with me: he would feel better if I underwent an EKG. "But Doctor, I am a Hairy-Chested He-Man!" "Well, you can pull the 'trodes off yourself when we're done so that it hurts less." Ow.

Even so, the EKG revealed what I already knew: I had suffered no cardiac event, everything was normal, I'm probably having stress coupled with reflux. Reduce stress and tomatoes (!). Xanax optional. And the EKG was only $25 extra on top of the office visit.

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