At the urging (demand) of my cardiologist, I went into Trinity for a stress test. As you probably know, no coffee, tea, chocolate or colas for 24 hours prior to test and no food for 12 hours before test.
Well, you drag yourself in and this chirpy little nurse accosts you with, “And, how are we this morning?” Evidently, she had had her Wheaties and coffee.
She joyfully puts me in a 4 x 4 cubicle and tells me to disrobe with instructions to open the door when I am through. Just as I got my jacket off, this happy little voice asks if we were through in there.
In she comes, a rope in one hand and a needle the size of a boom handle in the other. “Right arm or left arm?” she says. “This won’t hurt a bit.” Then she injects some foreign solution into my arm and directs me to sit in the waiting room and drink a quart of water to help the medicine take effect.
In several minutes, another chirpy comes and gets me, and she puts me on a table and runs this machine over me that looks like a rock-crusher. “Don’t move!” Did she think I would move with that thing hovering over me?
After 15 minutes, that monstrous machine tried to decide whether to crush me on the right side or left side, it gave up, popped open and spit me out.
Then chirpy rushed back in, wrapped me in a blanket, told me we are all through, and sent me back to the waiting room.
Well, by this time, the room is half filled with people like me sitting in a daze, and the other half are sitting there chomping cookies and slurping coffee.
About that time the urge to survive kicks in, and I am positioned to pounce on one of the slurpers to get their cookies. At that very moment, another one dressed in white grabbed my arm and guided me to the torture chamber.
This time the last vestige of decency leaves them. They place me in a padded chair, hook electrodes up to me and grab another needle filled with atomic-bomb-solution.
All the time this nurse is fiddling with the needle in my arm, the other chirpy is asking me questions at the staccato rate of a machine gun attack.
Then, she says, “Tell me if you feel faint, choking, nauseous or dying.”
She starts up the machine and the other torturer is adding more fuel, running around checking my blood pressure. The machine-gun-nurse is asking me if I am okay, and the torturer is saying, “Her blood pressure is such and such.”
By that time, I am almost unable to talk; however, I shrieked, “My throat has closed up, my guts are on fire and if my blood pressure drops any further, I will go into shock.”
They smile sweetly and say, “Here’s your coffee and cookies.” “Go back to the waiting room, drink your coffee; then, we will put you back into the rock-crusher.”
Finished with my coffee and cookies, she dragged me back to the rock-crusher. When the rock-crusher was finished with me, she took me back to the 4 x 4 cubicle and told me to get dressed.
After four hours of torture, she tells me that I was all through. On wobbly legs, I went out and retrieved my car. Carefully, I pulled out of the parking lot and into the street.
When I discovered that I was still alive and able to move, I decided to reward myself. I drove back through Five Points South, stopped at “Raymond’s Hot Dogs” and picked up two hot dogs all the way with extra onions and kraut.
Raymond handed me the dogs and said, “Hey, I know you.” Evidently, even though I was radioactive and had been crushed, bruised and nuked, I was still recognizable.
Thank God for modern life-saving equipment and capable doctors and nurses. Twenty years after a heart attack, and placement of four stents, I am relatively well and healthy.