Mondays–V2E37–DIY Heart Monitoring

Last month while we were at the lake, I began occasionally to feel like my brain was “wavy”. That’s about the only what I can explain it and at the time, I chalked it up to a vertigo-type thing since our room was right on the lake and we heard constant waves crashing. Because the resort is in a cove right off the main channel, about the only time the lake is calm is in the early morning.

But after we got home, I kept having the “wavy” feeling on and off to the point that I thought I should get it checked out. I really like my “EP” doctor (electrophysiologist–long word) but trying to get through his gatekeeper is something else. I never have a problem when I call the office and speak to the receptionist, she’s always friendly, but, unfortunately, if she can’t help, she transfers me to, dum dum dum (key the gloomy music), THE GATEKEEPER. I often wonder when I talk to her if she hates everything, hates her job or just hates me. So the receptionist transfers me and of course, I don’t know that even though the receptionist has been talking back and with THE GATEKEEPER she either doesn’t know why I’m calling or it takes too much effort to speak. So the convo (don’t you just love these popular shortened words?) goes like:

Gatekeeper: This is “Gatekeeper”
Me: Hi, this is “Patient”
Gatekeeper: Silence
Me: Uhh, did the receptionist tell you why I’m calling?
Gatekeeper: No.

So I explain things again and she finds an appointment but manages to make me feel that I am really putting her out and I should apologize for bothering her.

After seeing the Nurse Practioner (you rarely ever see the EP unless you have an appointment scheduled several weeks in advance), I agreed to wear a heart monitor for a week. What the NP told me was I could come in the next day and have it put on or I could have it mailed to me. I said, sure, have it mailed. That was all that was said.

Two days later, I get a message from THE GATEKEEPER that my monitor should arrive the following Tuesday. The next day, I get a message informing me that I have an appointment scheduled for that Tuesday. I go to the appointment, only to be told that I really didn’t have an appointment, that it was something that had to be put on their books because my heart monitoring was supposed to start that day. Pretty hard to do when I hadn’t received the monitor. The nurse informed me that once I got it, I should open it up right away, read the instructions on how to achieve the DIY heart monitoring and get it started. The only good thing about this wasted visit to the doctor’s office is that I was refunded my co-pay which I hadn’t paid. So they paid me for wasting my time.

So, me being me, when UPS delivered the monitor that evening, I left it sitting on the counter, till I felt good and ready to tackle it. I’ll show them. The next afternoon, I got a text message reminding me to immediately activate the monitor so I decided I’d better open it up and figure out how to make it work. I opened the box and three other boxes were inside. Great. Now, I’m pretty tech savvy, just ask the Great Hunter. He bellows at me from his room down the hall each time he screws something up on his computer so I can fix it. But, I’m not good with reading directions. My hands always get ahead of my brain.

Lucky for me, it turned out to not be as difficult as I thought it might be, but that still didn’t mean that I didn’t miss the instruction to charge the monitor every evening. I needed to keep the monitor with me at all times and not go more than 30′ away from it or it would stop monitoring. So in keeping with that instruction,  I put the monitor (which is actually just a Samsung Galaxy S3 phone) in my back pocket and went out to work in the yard. Of course, I forgot it was there, went to the bathroom and it promptly fell out of my pocket into, you guessed it, the toilet. This type of phone is not like the newer Galaxies that are water-resistant, so it promptly stopped working.

So the monitoring is done and shipped off by UPS pick-up. Now I just wait to see what if anything came from my almost weeklong wearing of the monitor.


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