26 May 2023
Several years ago, I had a heart attack, which surprised my family and friends, who didn't know I had a heart. I was not sure I had a heart either until that day it attacked me.
What my heart had against me to attack me like that I still have not figured out.
Two years later, I have to go in for some tests, including a stress test.
The date was set for my test, and I wasn't supposed to drive myself because of the procedure, so The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage drove me to my appointment in her Sissy Van.
That alone was a stress test. Just riding in that Sissy Van prepared me for my stress test, and I don't believe the doctor could do anything more stressful.
I went to the cardiac place and prepared for the procedure that would last more than an hour.
The first level of stress, which I considered the most severe level, I was not allowed to have any coffee for 12 hours before the test. I don't know about you, but I live on my morning coffee.
"You do know," I said to my doctor, "that without my coffee, I will be a mess?"
"That's all right, I've dealt with many people like that, and I plan to strap you down, and I will have a needle in my hand that I'm sure will direct your attention from your caffeine."
I was then escorted into a room with a nurse who told me I needed to remove my shirt and T-shirt so she could prep me.
I was nervous and told her, "That will cost you one dollar."
"What are you talking about?"
Looking at her seriously, I said, "I do not strip without getting paid."
It was then that my real stress test began. Nurses don't have a sense of humor.
I very cautiously removed my shirt and T-shirt and sat in the chair, and she came over and put all kinds of tabs on my chest. According to her, these tabs will be hooked up to lines that go to The Machine that will begin the test of my heart.
Getting all those tabs stuck on my chest in the right place took her a while.
"You don't plan to electrocute me, do you?"
She looked at me with a sinister grin and said, "Time will tell."
Now my stress went up another notch.
This was just the beginning. According to the schedule, I had at least another 45 minutes under some machine that would be doing another level of stress testing.
I was escorted back to the room where this would occur and introduced to two young guys who would set me on this machine.
"I'm going to give you a shot of some medicine, and you might feel a little dizzy or lightheaded. Don't worry. It's part of the process."
That sure was easy for him to say he didn't have to go through all this nonsense.
"Just relax. You might hear noises, see things, lights, and so forth, but you're okay; everything is under control."
I love it when a plan comes together, but this wasn't part of it.
I was put on the table, and then all of these cords were attached to the tabs on my chest. I was getting ready to go through that tunnel that was just behind me.
"You're going to be all right, and we have everything under control. Just relax, and maybe you even want to take a nap."
Right. I want to nap when somebody has hooked me up to cords I'm not sure what will happen. It's not that I don't trust doctors; I just don't trust doctors.
For the next 45 minutes, I was going through this machine, and I heard noises, saw flashes of light, and heard someone on the outside say, "Just breathe normally, and you might even just want to take a nap."
Then the stress test was over, and I could put on my shirt and T-shirt. They said everything went through just fine, and the doctor would get to me sometime next week with the results. I was then ushered to the outside, where The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage was waiting to take me home, which was the last level of my stress test.
As I walked out, a lot of people in the lobby area were waiting for their doctor's appointments. As I walked out, everybody looked at me, which brought me to another level of stress.
Feeling slightly dizzy, I looked back at them, then pointed both hands to my face and said, "I've just had a facelift. How does it look."
For some reason, all the air was sucked out of the lobby, and even a couple laughed. Someone looked at my wife and said, "Is that your husband?" She smiled and ushered me out of the room to the waiting Sissy Van.
Stress can be very stressful; at least, that's my experience.
I couldn't help but think of a verse of Scripture. "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you" (1 Peter 5:6-7).
I can try to handle everything on my own, or I can cast all my care upon the Lord. The choice is mine.