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2005-03-02 12:01 AM
i'd rather wear a halter...
...than a Holter.
The good news is, I am finally taking my health into my own hands. I’ve been getting on the treadmill four or five days a week, to try to get in the kind of buff shape I was in while pregnant. (Ironic, isn’t it?)
The really good news is, I feel great about it. I have so much more energy now, and it’s good “me” time. And it turns out one workout is the perfect amount of time to watch two Daily Shows. (Assuming I only watch one of the interviews, which is usually about right.)
The strange news is, I’ve started having some little heart-thumps a few times a day since then. I don’t know if they’re related to the exercising—I’m not exactly overdoing it. They’re short, and small, but annoying. And OK, alarming.
The freaky news is, my doctor is sufficiently… cautious? conscientious? paranoid? to refer me for an echocardiogram (heart ultrasound), which I haven’t done yet, and to put me on a Holter monitor for 24 hours.
So yesterday morning I went in and got hooked up with five electrodes, lots of tape, and color-coded wires snaking all over my torso, feeding into a recorder the size of a walkman circa 1986, that is, big and barely disguised by my large fleece sweatshirt. Best part is, the readings are recorded onto an actual cassette tape and powered by a 9-volt Ray-O-Vac. Yes indeed. Vital information about my heart is being compiled using the same medium I once used to listen to the Pretty in Pink soundtrack, again and again and again…
Please, please, please,
let me, let me, let me,
let me get what I want this time.
“Come back tomorrow after the 24 hours are over,” the nurse said. “Believe me, you’ll be really glad to see me.”
Yes. I was a disaster all day with this damn thing on. It didn’t restrict movement—it might have been easier if it had—it just threw me off ever so slightly. I spilled an entire saucepan of soup on the kitchen floor. Oh! The homemade chicken broth, simmered for hours, now seeping into the crevices of the hardwood floor! The slippery orzo languishing in absurd glistening piles! The peas clinging implausibly to the side of the cabinets and fridge!
Later I dropped a lightbulb while changing it.
But did I give up at that point and go to bed? Oh no, Gentle Reader. I persisted, and somehow the house is still standing. But therein probably lies My Problem. Often when I need to, I stop. I’m better than I used to be. But sometimes, I’m just that stubborn. I don’t stop.
And the good, really good, strange, freaky news is that I am going to stop, somehow. I don’t know what the outcome of all these tests will be, but as I told ChicagoRev today, I sense that I am being prepared for a radical shift, somewhere, somehow. The fact that this is all happening in the midst of the wilderness of Lent is not lost on me.
Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us.
I went back to the doctor late morning today to have the blasted thing removed. The nurse was right about being overjoyed to be done with it. She apologized for the ripping-off-the-bandaid sensation, but by then I was just One Big Itch, so it felt good. Then I went home and took a shower. I drove back to work, wondering how I would be able to wait on the results (early next week) without going too much crazier than I am by default, and trying to think about a good excuse for coming back to the office in a completely different outfit than the one I had worn that morning.
I, along with the rest of the church staff, had been invited to tea by a couple of retired women, who have been bringing tea to folks recovering from surgery, or people who just lost a loved one. It’s a nice ministry, eh? A little elegant hospitality right there in one’s own living room. They had decided to serve tea to the staff to show us what they were up to, and were already set up in one of the classrooms when I arrived.
Well. This was the Babette’s Feast of high tea.
Five varieties of brewed tea. Tomato bisque soup. Scones with Devonshire cream and lemon curd. At least six different varieties of tea sandwiches—chicken salad on cinnamon raisin bread, egg salad with olive tapenade, red pepper and hummus, Cajun crab, and of course, cucumber. Tortillas rolled with cream cheese, walnuts, dried cranberries and apricots. And desserts—white chocolate mousse in a dainty chocolate cup, petite squares of orange cake, cute mocha brownies, palm-sized raspberry linzer tarts, white-chocolate peppermint hearts.
I cannot express what it was like to step into that space, given the fretful clumsiness of the previous day. Only I knew about the tape marks, the angry welts that encircled my heart. They did not know. They do not know, what this hospitality truly meant.
The reign of God is like two little old ladies cutting crusts off bread, smoothing white tablecloths, arranging trays of sweets, saying, “May I refill your cup?”
this cranberry-dotted scone, this wedge of rye—
this is the bread of heaven, given for you.
this warm cup of lemon and ginger, clear and fragrant, poured unhurriedly into a white china cup—
this is the cup of healing.
Drink in God’s promises.
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