12 May, 2009

Waving Away Stress

Monday, I decided to get an exercise stress test here because it is way less costly than at home and I am the age where a heart check-up would be smart. Even though I have a health plan at home that I pay $346 a month, it would cost me three times or more what it costs here. Plus, here you can walk in and ask for it, without a Dr having to first see you to order the test.

While waiting for the room, I saw a very handsome, and obviously well off African couple. The wife, looking worried, while her husband waited to see a Cardiologist. She was wearing a fine tailored silk dress, adorned with jewel-like sequins down the front in lines tastefully and on the cuffs all in great orange harvest moon color. But what made even more a study where how her feet were tattooed in ivy on the sole and up the sides, along with outlines on every toenail. My guess from a African Muslim country with her head-scarf in three stripes of raw silk. She looked proud and so beautiful I wanted to photograph her. But this was not the time and place to do so, but she is now in my memory. She stands out so much from the Arabic countries usually in Black silk, with that ugly face bondage that reminds me of medieval torture…a narrow, metal band on the forehead, and a wide metal band over her mouth, with a husband either in white silk kaftan or western clothes.

I got in within an hour, and the nurses started to put the electrodes on my chest and then tape them down so I could run. When finished she asked me to sit down, and I winced because the tape was so tight and pulling on my hair. She asked, “Are you having a chest pain?” Because most Thai’s don’t see a Dr until it is too late, she still could not figure out why I was there. I just replied, "No, just my hair being pulled by the tape." We did resting test for awhile until the Dr came out from ICU, then on the treadmill trying four increasing speeds on incline while monitoring my heart. The Dr just watched and took a couple of phone calls. It was pretty easy even in hospital clothes and shoes that were not mine. The blood pressure cuff on my arm messed up a couple of times because of how I held the bar, which I usually don’t do while running. The stress of my muscles bumped it too high so I changed position. The test was done in like a half hour, and my heart was fine. The doctor said my two small cups of coffee I had 4 hours earlier showed up as blips. I take no drugs besides allergy medicine in the spring. So he said to cut out coffee or have only a small cup a day. I know that coffee in me feels like speed, makes my eyelids twitch, and often makes short-tempered, so it was good to have him tell me to cut it out. Not bad for a bi-lateral stroke survivor. Damn, now I have no excuse not to exercise. Seriously, I want to keep pushing it to keep my body healthy and lean. Then out the door to see two more temples and back home to run.

1 comment:

T said...

More exercise?
Krav time! ;]

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