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ECHO Cardiogram: Part 2 The Day

Posted Sep 29 2008 12:24am

I had the ECHO Cardiogram done on Wednesday and came home in one piece. Can you see my proud smile? Everything went smoother than I feared. I regained confidence about doing things again. (Of course, with lots of preparation and consideration beforehand.)

As you can imagine, I was very nervous about the trip. Being a severe MEite, I hardly manage to go to the local supermarket. The thought about driving unfamiliar streets made me really nervous. However, I can handle driving much better than walking as long as I don’t face stressful situation on the road. Driving on motorway doesn’t worry me much, but thoughts of manoeuvring busy streets to get to the place scared me. If I start worrying about things that could easily go wrong, I would not be able to do anything. So I did the best preparation possible mentally and physically and decided to see what happens on the day.

I checked the direction to the hospital on Google map. I made myself imagine how I would be driving on the motorway and unfamiliar streets. I checked the photo of the front section of the hospital and imagined how I could find a parking section.

From the picture of the hospital entrance or Google map, I couldn’t figure out how long I would be walking form my car to the entrance. I felt nervous as I didn’t want to repeat the embarrassment on the Election Day back in November. If I break down, at least I’m at the hospital premises. And I hope hospital people know how to look after sever MEite broke down due to exertion. Probably NOT!

Despite of previous day’s hot temperature, Wednesday morning started with rain and temperature was comfortable. I thanked God and friends who maybe praying to make things easier for me. Due to the heavy fatigue, I left home later than I planned, but there was still plenty of time to get to the hospital.

I took a deep breath and the trip started. Driving the motorway was not too bad. Because of the rain, everybody seemed to driving carefully and stick to the speed limit. Even off the motorway, everybody behaved well for me. Although my view was blocked by a huge truck in front of me, each stop at traffic light gave me plenty of time to see where I was.

The hospital is a small sized one. I drove three raps in the car park to find spot to park my car. First rap was to study where the building entrance is and where disable parking spot is. I noticed there were only one disable parking spot and it was already taken, including other closest parking spots. I felt it wasn’t kind as there would be more disabled people visiting the hospital rather than shopping centres. During the second rap, I wondered into doctors parking area by mistake. During the last lap, I found an empty spot but it was reserved to Employee of the Month. Finally, I decided to settle into the closest spot I could find. I assumed it wasn’t too long to walk to the entrance and I could manage it as weather was not hot.

Elevator was located at the entrance hall, and the reception to Qld X Ray was close to the elevator. At the reception, I dropped my walking stick again. A kind gentleman picked it up for me. As usual, when he looked at my face while handing it to me, he stared for a while. He was still smiling, but I knew he was thinking, “You are too young for this, love.”

At the other end of the reception counter, there was a good looking young man smiling at me. I felt like dropping the stick in front of him as an ice breaker. “Not today, Rachel. You have things to do now.” I stopped myself. Well, I would never take such an action on purpose anyway. At least, feeling the cheeky side of me was a good sign. So far, things went well and I felt confident about myself.

I didn’t wait for long before a doctor or a technician came to fetch me. I apologised for my extreme slowness, but she was kind.

The actual ECHO Cardiogram was easy. I lied on the table on my side facing at the wall. My curiosity had to be patient as I could not look at the machine to see what was going on. When I lied down on my left, asthma (breathing difficulty/dyspnoea) started. After a while, my left shoulder and arm started mildly jerking.

After the session, she allowed me extra time to keep lying down as I was feeling weak from dyspnoea and I was very slow to change cloths and be ready.

They told me the image would be delivered to Dr TL on the following day. I was happy to know as I could keep the appointment on Saturday to follow up with the ECHO Cardiogram with him. The doctor/technician told me that there was nothing wrong with my heart. (Yay!!!) And that would be what I would hear from Dr TL.

This had to happen. I got lost on the way back. I couldn’t find the entrance to the motorway back to my home. So I ended up getting onto northbound and had an extra drive away from home. Getting lost is my specialty. I used to get lost many times and enjoyed it, even it wasn’t on purpose. It is a good way to see new places and discover streets. Now that I am very ill, I have to watch my limitation, even driving is less taxing than walking.

The whole ECHO Cardiogram session was less than an hour. Overall, it was a good day for me.

Filed under: ME/CFS | Tagged: ECHO Cardiogram

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