I spent the day doing the doctors' bidding.
Actually, the past two days. I wasn't allowed coffee or chocolate from 7 a.m. Thursday until around 3:30 p.m. today.
Can we just say I was, at best, unpleasant to be around? And we won't even mention the at worst, because it would be too ugly for the eyes of you delicate readers. Trust me on this one. And I think Son can bear me out when I say you ain't seen ugly until you've seen me go over twenty-four hours without coffee or chocolate. And when you put them both together, well, we won't even mention the utter ugliness of the whole thing.
Suffice it to say it's UUUUUGGGGG-LEEEEEEE. And then some.
Add to that the fact that I had to be at the doctor's office at the ungodly hour of 7:45 ayem in the morning before the CHICKENS even get up, without any breakfast, and OH, DID I MENTION THE LACK OF COFFEE??? and you get a small idea of the mood I was in.
I was there to do the Dance Of Torture For Fat People, otherwise known as a Stress Test.
Oh, it started out innocently enough. They started an IV and added some sort of thermo-nuclear (or nuecular, as our dear President is wont to say) radioactive liquid with a half-life of the next two lifetimes to my veins, then had me lie perfectly still and repent of all the sins I'd ever committed during my lifetime as they spent twenty minutes taking pictures of how I glowed in the dark.
And then I was sent off to play for the next two hours. I'm not quite sure why they couldn't just go ahead and do the next part of the test then, but apparently they wanted me to think about it in fear and trepidation and repent some more before administering the ultimate punishment. So I went upstairs to another doctor's office and got an asthma shot, then took a nap in the car.
Something tells me I should have spent the time on my knees instead.
At 11:30 a.m. I dutifully reported back to the office as ordered for the next phase of Fun With The Fat Lady. In Round Two, I strip to the waist and get electrodes stuck all over me. Personally, I think they went a little overboard on this part. The woman sticking the electrodes on me would give a little cackle after each one, knowing what was in my future. In the end, I think there were more electrodes than skin showing. They gave me a lovely designer gown to wear, and I was ushered into the Gates of Hell. They attached all of the little electrodes up to wires, plugged me into the wall, started a saline drip into my IV, and told me to mount The Beast.
The Beast was a state-of-the-art treadmill.
"Piece of cake," thought I. "I am a cham-peen walker. I could do this in my sleep."
And so the torture began.
First a regularly paced walk. Easy. No sweat. Then the angle changed. A steep uphill. More speed. Then more speed. I'm almost running now, something I haven't done since....have I ever run? I'm out of breath. My thighs are burning. I can barely put one foot in front of the other. They tell me to pick up the pace and to stop relying on the handlebar so much. ARE THEY KIDDING??? The handlebar is what is keeping me from flying off the end of the (#$%*&*#$% thing!!! Do they see I'm DYING HERE??? And then the road gets steeper still, and the pace even faster. I'm breathing so hard my throat hurts, and my legs are falling OFF OF MY BODY.
It's been four minutes.
I cave. Manage to tell them through sign language and eye signals and whatever other means I have that I CANNOT DO THIS ANYMORE AND I'M QUITTING NOW, PLEASE. They refuse. I'm getting lightheaded. They're telling me to breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth to keep from hyperventilating. My heart rate is up to 137, and they need it at 144. And once it gets there they promise they'll slow it down ...a little.
Yeah, and I'm 132 lbs. and 5' 8" tall, too.
Finally...FINALLY, they tell me I've reached the summit. They slow the Instrument of Torture down to a mere 25 mph, and I huff and puff and blow their little house down for the next two minutes. It gets so bad they start telling me every ten seconds how many I have left. They're taking my blood pressure and talking and all I hear is this buzzing in my ears as The Beast finally grinds to a halt.
My legs are like jelly and I still can't talk, which is probably a Very Good Thing at this point. They help me into a nearby chair and I collapse into a quivering, huffing mass of gelatinous flesh. After I have recovered sufficiently, I am allowed to get up and lie down on the bed of the machine which again takes photos of my poor, overtaxed, sweat-laden body.
Now THERE'S something to picture in your mind.
After the photos are done I peel off all of the sticker thingies, along with all the hair attached to them, and get dressed to go to the next test. Another IV, more photos, and dye in the veins this time instead of the radioactive stuff. Gee, wonder if I glowed in that one?
By the time all was said and done, so was I. I crawled across the street to the local Starbucks for my first caffeine in two days. I ordered the venti iced mocha nonfat w/whipped, and was delighted to hear the barista say, "Would you like FOUR shots with that?" Heck, yeah! Not only that, but I DESERVE four shots with that after all I've been through today.
And so I sat, all by myself, and enjoyed the quiet that was Starbucks for an entire hour. I listened to a book and drank my drink. I thought great thoughts. I relaxed. It felt so good I think I'm up for more of it tomorrow.
After I sleep in as late as I want, that is.
Gotta make up for today.