If You Give a Girl a Stress Test…

There’s really nothing that starts a doctor’s visit with more flourish than to get to answer this question on your paperwork.

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And no, I wasn’t consulting for a boob job. Or an anti-boob job. Or even a Mammogram. It was for a stress test.

And, I suppose, making a woman write her bra size in full view of a waiting room stocked with 67 year old men looking angrily over the top of their trifocals at the 31 year old woman who is clearly invading their gang territory (I believe they go by “The ‘Rhoids”) is a great way to get off on a stressful foot.

Or boobs, as it may be.

And let’s talk about the wording.

Who says “What size bra do you wear?”

Shouldn’t it be “What is your bra size?” or “What size of bra do you wear?” or even “What bra size are you inaccurately wearing because did you hear that only 10% of women know their true bra size? And even if they did know it six months ago, it has probably changed by now because boobs are a constantly fluctuating force of nature. Oh – and don’t forget that if you want to support the girls in a proper way that won’t cause you to have back and heart problems and land you in a waiting room with 67 year old men staring angrily over the top of their trifocals, you really need to spend at least $75 on a good bra, which will only be accurately fitted for six months. So what size did you say you think you wear?”

But oh. If that had been the only invasion of my chest space for this Stress Test. If only.

Next, a nice young man (Again. Why are all Nuclear Technicians young, unmarried males?? I guess it doesn’t really matter since they’re usually treating 67 year old men) took me to my private spa room and did this to me.

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And those are only four of the ten – because they’re the only ones visible to the unnaked eye.

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While he applied my patches and hooked me to his Villainous Control Panel, I desperately tried to put out a subliminal Batsignal. Or Superman signal. Or whatever the heck hero would save me from The Evil Doctor Boobcutioner. When that didn’t work, I distracted myself by thinking about how much easier I had to be than his usual clientele.

Because the first of three times I’ve been hooked up to an EKG this month, I actually did have a rare female nurse, and she told me all about the typical EKG hook-up.

“Oh girl, you jes’ have no idea. These men come in here so hairy – all over their chest!! I try to part the hair to make a big enough spot for the patches, but sometimes partin’ just doesn’t do it. Then I have to get in there with the razor and shave crop circles all over ‘em. This one time, I had a man that walked right out on me! He refused to let me shave him – said he was goin’ to the beach the next day. I just said “You have fun!! And don’t you go havin’ a heart attack.” But I guess at least he’d have his chest hair in tact.”

Thankfully, no shaving was required.

After Dr. Evil got me hooked up to the EKG and blood pressure cuff, he called in a lady tech to spear me for an IV.

Because that was where he drew the line on invasion of my feminine privacy?

Once everyone had their shot at me, I looked like this.

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I know. You don’t have to say it. I clean up real nice.

And before you ask, let’s talk about the blue jean shorts.

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I knew that this stress test would involve treadmills and running, so I planned to dress accordingly, mentally making a note where my tennishoes were collecting dust. But the night before, as I was attempting to fall asleep, I realized something terrible: I had zero athletic shorts.

Zero!

How could that even be possible?

I exercise! Don’t I?

No, I guess I don’t.

There was that one walk with Chris. What did I wear there? Oh yeah – I felt like an idiot jogging in blue jean shorts.

And so again, I felt like an idiot showing up to a stress test in denim.

(You will be glad to know that I have since rectified this situation and plan on running a weekly marathon now that I have the proper attire to inspire me.)

After a long passing of time while attempting awkward conversation with Younger Male and Older Female Nuclear Technicians, a doctor finally arrived. Another young male.

He explained to me what the test would involve and reassured me that he didn’t think I’d have a heart attack while running, then started the test.

And he stayed.

And worse than staying, he leaned on the doorframe, arms crossed, staring straight at my every leg thrust.

Did I mention that the doorframe was behind me?

So yeah. Female IV Controller was in front of me, staring. Male EKG Manager was to my right, staring. And young doctor was behind me, staring and asking the occasional question as I was busy wondering whether I had thoroughly shaved behind my knees.

“Do you smoke?”

“Are you an exerciser? Because some people who exercise can go FOREVER on this machine.”

“How many kids do you have? Tell me your entire life story while I stare at your thighs at point-blank range. Speaking of which, I’d really love some Peach Jell-O right about now.”

The treadmill started out flat and at a walking pace. Every three minutes, the incline lifted and the speed rose. Had I not been wearing enough medical equipment to safely allow the cutting of a baby out of my abdomen, it would have been an easy enough endeavor. And even so, it wasn’t hard. I mean, I was only walking.

Yet at around 7 minutes, they exclaimed how great I was doing.

“Most people only make it to about six minutes before they’re done!!”

Seriously? People can only walk for six minutes? No wonder they’re at risk for a heart attack.

By nine minutes I had to start running, and the slope was fairly uphill. They kept reminding me every ten seconds,

“Don’t forget to tell us when you’ve only got a minute left. We need to inject you with radioactive dye that probably won’t cause any problems. But still be sure to drink a good amount of water for the rest of the day to flush your system of the carcinogenic poison.”

Okay, they didn’t say it quite like that, but they might as well have.

They were getting a bit frantic for their smoke break or their lunch break or something, so at 11 minutes, I told them that I had a minute left.

(Which was a lie. But who am I to keep medical professionals from smoking.)

(And eleven minutes of having three people watch you as you try not to trip over the dozen cords coming off of your every inch is enough stress for any test to detect.)

She inserted a syringe the size of a small wiener dog into my IV, and I felt the cool tingling of Chernobyl pulsing through my veins.

I ran for another minute and a half and told them I was done. I could hear their collective sigh of relief.

The doctor said, “Next you’ll spend 15 minutes in the scanner, but I’m pretty sure it won’t show anything. I’ve only seen one or two people run longer than you did today.”

That’s right, folks. My 12 minute and 25 second run was almost record-setting. And it could have been the record – if only I hadn’t been sensitive to their impatience.

Because my heart is FANTASTIC.

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And I still have no idea what that has to do with my bra size.

Leave your comment below!

Comments

  1. 1
    Abigail says:

    Oh my word – you are too funny :) your posts always make me laugh, and since I’m usually at work while I’m reading them, that’s not actually a good thing…. Glad your heart is ok :)

  2. 2
    Jennifer Paxton says:

    I’m sure it asked you’re weight as well. But, I bet it was either a subtle way of finding out if you are lying about your weight or has something to do with placement of the electrodes. I guess they need to know ahead of time if they will need an assistant the hold up the ladies for electrode placement….lol

  3. 3
    Becky says:

    Oh my goodness!

    I do have to say that I appreciate your positive attitude regarding your random health issues! Do they still think it’s adult onset asthma? Anyway, I just prayed that God would give the (young male) doctors wisdom and an accurate diagnosis and that you’d be flooded with peace that comes from Jesus. And, that you’d get a girl technician one of these days ;)

    • 3.1
      Rachel says:

      Thanks for the prayers! No, I was always skeptical about the Asthma diagnosis, as were the doctors. Not sure what’s going on yet.

  4. 4
    Leanna says:

    Wow that is a strange question to ask. Sorry had to go through that. You should try a sleep study. They hook you up to a ton of wires too all in your head, chest, legs then expect you to sleep comfortably. Worse the stuff they stick the things on with takes forever to get out of your hair. I had to wash mine like 3 times. And I had to do it twice because you do one sleep study to see if you have a problem I did have sleep apena so lucky me I had to go back and do it agian but this time along with all the wires stuck to me I go to have a C-Pap machine too so I looked like Hannibal Lechter, to get the right setting for me.

    Though I can’t complain to much having the machin on at night is helping me actually get real sleep.

  5. 5
    Laura W. says:

    I’m so glad your heart is fantastic!!! Also, I was almost in tears laughing at that nurse! (And the peach jello). WOW! Do they know you’re a blogger? Did they “set you up” with all their best characters?? Hahaha!!! What a funny post!

    • 5.1
      Rachel says:

      Not that I know of.

      Oh wait! I just forgot about an entire part of the story that I meant to include.

      The IV Tech had a Student Nurse (Young Female) watching her prick my fantastic veins (If everyone in the world hates me, I can at least know that Phlebotomists everywhere adore me). They were making conversation, and they asked my kid’s names.

      “Ali and Noah.”

      Then I watched the student’s face. I just knew it was coming.

      1…2…3…4…

      “OH! You named your kids after The Notebook!!”

      “No. In fact, I just blogged about that.”

      So yes, they know now that I’m a blogger. But I didn’t give them my card or anything.

  6. 6
    Stephanie says:

    Wow, you’re like the third person I know (well, Internet-know, at least) whose had a stress test this week. Is it wrong that I kind of want to have one to see how long I could go? I’ve really been working out lately and would love to see if I’m in the six-minute group or the record-setters.

    Hope all of this testing is giving the docs the answers they need, and you are feeling better!

    • 6.1
      Stephanie says:

      Not “whose had,” good grief. “Who’s had.”

    • 6.2
      Rachel says:

      I’m positive you would do fantastic. I’m still puzzled that everyone falls into the six minute category. They must insert some slowing drugs into their IV so they can get to lunch quicker.

  7. 7

    Soooo, did you ask any of the techs or the doctor why they needed to know your bra size? (It sounds like you didn’t.) Because now I have to know the answer.

  8. 8
    Troy says:

    Ugh. I’ve had those “crop circles” shaved onto my chest several times now. And what’s nasty, is the tech just pulls out this old single blade disposable razor from their pocket and proceeds to scrape away at the hair. No new razor from a sterile package, no shaving cream, just an old half-dull razor.

    Also, they never shave enough hair for the entire electrode, just enough so they can get a reading. So what ends up happening, is the contact patch is over bare skin, with lots of chest hair stuck underneath the edges. When the test is done, they just rip that sucker right off, taking a nice chunk of chest hair. And because the area is freshly shaven, the bare spot usually starts to bleed from the trauma. Stress test indeed.

    Oh, and about the bra size. It seems more accurate to me that they would ask for a “Bust Measurement,” since there are many dudes out there with larger breasts than some women, who don’t wear bras. So what about those guys? I think the reason they ask is because if there are blurry images, it could be due to the thickness of breast tissue.

    • 8.1
      Rachel says:

      Seriously? They’re vigilant to be sterile about everything possible EXCEPT for a blade right next to your skin? Ew.

      And thanks for the bra explanation. I feel so much more informed now.

  9. 9
    Giann says:

    Glad to hear you passed the stress test! :)

    When I had to get my MRI a couple of years ago, the lady asked me what kind of bra I was wearing. And then, asked me if I could possibly be pregnant. THREE times. Apparently, I didn’t have homeschooler stamped on forehead clear enough to reassure her that I was, indeed, not pregnant.

  10. 10
    Darcy Perdu says:

    So funny! I love the lab tech’s reaction to the guy who wouldn’t let her shave crop circles on him before his beach day! You manage to make a trip to the doctor so funny!

    As for bra size, perhaps you could write down: “44 Double-Ds — what about it?”

  11. 11

    “Speaking of which, I’d really love some Peach Jell-O right about now.” OH MY GAH. I die. LOL not literally, but yeah.. you are hilarious.

    My father-in-law went to his stress test right after work, where he had been on a jobsite all day wearing jeans and steel toed boots. So, he ran on the treadmill in his steel toes. Pretty sure he wasn’t setting any records that day!

  12. 12

    I agree your response should have been something like “Ludacris fills cups like Double D’s.”

  13. 13

    This made me giggle Though how depressing is it that 12 minutes on a treadmill is near record setting?

  14. 14
    Koleta says:

    At least they just asked for your bra size. I had to have that same test done here in Africa & they made me walk on the treadmill topless, with no bra & absolutely nothing to cover me up. Not only that, but the treadmill faced an open door that opened into an office for all the clinic staff. I think every staff member walked in and out of that room in the 10 minutes I was on the treadmill & looked through the doorway towards my topless self. Definitely one of the most embarrassing moments of my entire life!!

  15. 15
    Christy says:

    At least you didn’t get in to find out that the tech was someone you went to high school with! I had that happen for an MRI when I pulled a disk in my back. Got dressed in the nice little gown and in comes a guy I had marched in the band in high school with. I guess it could have been worse….

  16. 16
    Jenni says:

    The Soviet Union wants to know if they can post your Chernobyl description on Trip Advisor. For some reason, it always gets such a bad rap!

  17. 17

    Oh, Rachel, I think this one might end up on your favorite posts list (I know it will for me). I alternated between chuckling and guffawing (so ladylike) throughout the entire post.

    And since I am always flattered when my readers quote portions of my post back to me, here are my favorite lines:

    “Speaking of which, I’d really love some Peach Jell-O right about now.”

    and

    “But who am I to keep medical professionals from smoking” (the hypocrites)

    Of course, perhaps the funniest part was that Della and Ezra saying, “Mama, what’s so funny?” And finally Della came over and said, “I wanna see.” So, I showed her the picture at the end of the post (the one of your heart rate read-out), and she stared at it blankly for a second and then uttered the fakest-sounding giggle you’ve ever heard (to humor me), gave me a look like, “Poor mama clearly doesn’t know funny,” and walked off.

  18. 18
    Katie says:

    This reminds me of the time I was at the lady doctor. I am being “examined” when in walks a girl I attended college with. She starts handed her all of the equipment and tells me I can leave in I wanted her to do so. At least she stayed up near my head! Eek! I can hardly wait until I get asked my bra size.

    • 18.1
      Rachel says:

      One of my doctor’s nurses currently goes to church with me. We catch up on church “news” while the doctor is down there. It’s just…lovely.

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