Alright, I am about to do something I have never done yet on this blog. I am going to show you a semi-sexy picture of myself. I am really nervous about posting it. but I want you all to get what I am saying here. Please be kind in the comments, at least about my body. Feel free to be dicks about everything else.
After every heart surgery, and still at random intervals even now, I have to wear a portable heart monitor. This thing looks like a baby robot octopus attacking my chest. It’s how I have always imagined it.
The first time the nurse tried attaching it to me, I wrapped the cords around my neck and pretended it was choking me. I was shouting and fighting it off like a hero.
She was not amused. She was a tough older Russian lady. She was clinical, cold, and very unfriendly. I was a little bit intimidated.
Until I turned around to assist her in attaching this thing to me. Apparently, I was the first person to ever help her attach it to me. I was dumbfounded. I was just being courteous. I mean, she wasn’t my servant, she was my nurse. But after that, and ever since, she has always been very kind to me. She still doesn’t think I am funny, though.
The way this thing works is that there is a small box, about the size of a deck of cards. It has a green light and four leads that come out of it. The leads are wires with snaps on them. The snaps attach to half dollar size stickers that attach to your body.
The real issue is that you can’t shower while wearing this. And you have to wear it for 24-48 hours. I work a pretty physical job, in Florida. That means lots of sweating.
Not only do I smell bad, but the leads can come unstuck. The trick to keeping them stuck to you is two things: sandpaper tape to rub off the top layer of skin and hair, and a skin safe epoxy to keep them extra stuck.
The problem with those two options is that I have EXTREMELY sensitive skin. I have a mild form of dermatographia.
Also, as mentioned here; I am allergic to everything. This means that by the time the leads are attached, my skin is angry and irritated like a huge blotchy rash. It also means that when they are removed I have giant scabs, like I really have been attacked by an octopus.
So they rub my skin raw, coat the raw skin with epoxy, and then coat it with a lead patch. They take the actual device and put it either in a halter mount, for men, or in your bra, for women. I don’t know why they cram it in there, I mean, my bra is already being used to hold my boobs. But that’s where it has to go for some reason. And you can’t remove the bra to sleep either. That is super uncomfortable all night.
When wearing these leads, I have to keep a journal of everything that I do and also any symptoms I feel. I like to make that fun for the people reading it, which I suppose is my cardiologist.
Here is an example of what I like to put (just so you know, all these examples are true things that happened):
6:30pm-7:00pm eating dinner (I eat really fast and food excites me, don’t be surprised to see palpitations here).
8:00pm-8:15pm sponge bath (bow chicka bow wow).
10:30pm-10:40pm I thought I saw a roach and freaked out, but it turned out to be a very roach realistic woodgrain pattern in my new wood floors (definite palpitations).
3:27am-3:45am I had a dream I was in an abandoned construction site fighting a zombie horde (definite palpitations).
7:00am-7:05am really hot guy smiled at me and I accidentally punched myself in the face trying to put on my seatbelt (possible pounding heartbeat).
After the allotted time, I would go back to see my nurse and she removes all the leads. She tries to do it carefully, but it doesn’t really matter. I usually remove my bra while still in the office. It peels off like a used band-aid. Then I drive immediately home and shower. And wash my bra.
The giant sucker marks generally go away after a week or two.