Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The affect of gamma rays

On me (not Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, although I do remember that book/play from my high school days.  I don't think I ever read it, but I liked other books by that author, Paul Zindel, specifically My Darling, My Hamburger).

Remember these?  There was another one to go with this one that
had a picture of a nuclear power plant thinking "no cows"
I had a nuclear stress test last week.  Interesting stuff.  Especially interesting because I came of age during the "no nukes" era, and I was big into no nukes. Went to protests and everything, and had lots of buttons and pins (that I still have somewhere in the depths of my basement) that I wore with zeal.  I was also a card carrying member of the question authority brigade. Those were the days. But, I digress.

On to what affect these tests had on me.  For starters, it was kind of scary.  Everyone was really kind to me, but it was stressful.  Maybe that's why they call it a stress test?  For starters I had an echo-cardiogram of my heart.  It was awesome.  I had a screen right in front of me, and I could see my heart the whole time.  Have you ever seen your heart at work?  It was truly an incredible experience.  Spiritual even.  I have been having some irregular heart beats for quite a few years and it was really wild to see them happening.

Next, I went to see Mary and she injected me with something radioactive.  She assured me there was no danger, but it was kind of freaky.  I had to sit and wait while the radioactivity worked it's way to my heart, and then she took me in to the "gamma" camera to lie still and have pictures taken of my heart.  I actually almost took a nap.  The cameras are all around you and it would be hard if you were claustrophobic, but I'm not really.  The pictures were really pretty.

Next, I had to go do the treadmill.  They hooked me up to all kinds of monitors and the doctor, a technician, and Mary were in the room with me.  I am not in great shape, but the exercise part went fine, and I had no chest pain. They kept asking me, but I was fine.  When I got to my target heart rate, Mary injected me with more radioactive stuff and then after a minute or two I could stop.  I went  back downstairs and got to nap again while she took more pictures of the radioactive stuff in my heart.  I worked up the courage to ask her if I could get some pictures of my heart -- they were so pretty and I thought it would be cool to make some art using them.  She actually told me I could get a whole cd of my heart images.  I'm so excited!!!  When I filled out the paperwork for it I told the lady I was going to make art with it.  She stared at me like I was nuts.  I laughed nervously and said I was sure she heard it all.  She continued to stare at me like I was nuts.  Maybe she doesn't hear it all.  Haha.

And now for the affects this testing has had on me.

Well, I'm trying harder than I ever have before to treat my body as a temple.  I don't think I ever really thought that much about that concept, and I've always taken my health for granted.  As soon as I get the all clear, I've decided I want to be a runner.  Not a fast runner.  I really was the last person chosen in elementary school when the "captain" got to choose relay teams.  But I want to run.  I crave the freedom that running represents for me.

Another affect is that I'm trying, really hard, to give other people a break.  I had gotten really intolerant of people doing what I felt like were stupid things.  Specifically people in cars, but not necessarily.  I've decided to work even harder to see the good in everyone I meet or see.  It's not easy, but this experience makes me want to try harder than ever.

I've also been humbled by my health.  Spending time in medical clinics is really eye opening.  You see people going through great personal crisis and trauma, and it makes you more aware of the many blessings in your life.  Well it did me, anyway.

Sorry I'm so wordy tonight.  This isn't even all I wanted to say.  But I'll save the rest for another time.

I caught this happy virus last night while singing beneath the stars. It's remarkably contagious. ...So Kiss me!