Baby Robot Octopus

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.

It actually looks like an iPod until it is attached.

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.

Oh god, it has me in it’s slimy grasp!

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.

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So, this is how it looks attached. Fun bonus for you guys, you can totally see my third nipple here.

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.

Mine is not quite this bad, but I do have a future story about it.

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.

 

 

 

 

Yeah, it looks exactly like that.

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.

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37 thoughts on “Baby Robot Octopus

  1. Well that was a fascinating journey into medical treatment, wasn’t it? I had never even heard of such a thing! I’m sorry about the sweating. And sleepin in a bra. And sensitive skin. I hate all those things, which is why I live in oatmeal baths and cotton and why I do not live in the South! tee-hee!
    YOU LOOK FOXY IN YOUR BRA! Positively fetching! The sensors merely add a bit of je ne sais quoi 🙂
    I hadn’t been thankful for a strong heart today, so I thank you for reminding me.

  2. Yuck, I feel for you. Having to wear that and deal heart issues is enough of a stress, but add in heat and skin issues? Brutal.

    Is that what they call a Holter monitor? I had to wear one for a while when I was having heart palpitations. (diagnosis: menopause)

    I wonder if the technicians make fun of the journals when they are analyzing the results. Assuming, of course that you report exactly what you told us about zombies and hot guys.

  3. Wow. That was really personal but you make it sooo NOT weird to be reading (really – “bow chicka bow wow”? Cracking. UP!)
    I know your skin is sensitive but have you ever tried I.V. Prep wipes? I use them for my insulin pump infusion sets (the plastic part that sticks in/on my skin & has to be changed every 3 days) and they give a little extra sticky to the adhesive after it dries. I’m kinda tempted now to take a selfie in my yoga clothes and post it in your honor (& so you can see what I’m talking about). Tegaderm also was also helpful in keeping those sets stuck on my abdomen during the sweaty summer. Those are sold in boxes of 100 individually wrapped sheets or something.

    • Hmm… I’ve never heard of those. I’m going to have to look into it next time I have to wear a monitor. And I am all about oversharing to strangers on the internet. Also, post a yoga clothes selfie!

      • LOL I’ll post it on your Twitter page after work. 🙂
        Maybe you can ask at the hospital for a sample of the Tegaderm. It’s commonly used for holding IVs in place. It’s very thin & stretchy and almost indistinguishable from skin. It also doesn’t rip skin off – I used to wipe down the whole area with the Prep wipes, insert the infusion set then cover the whole thingamabob with Tegaderm.

  4. So I really laughed hard at the “punching yourself in the face” thing! I would have expected your heartbeat to be quite steady fighting a zombie horde…kinda like you are in the zone type of philosophy. As for the rest, too bad something so important has to suck so bad! For professional reasons, I will refrain from any other comments! 😉

    • Ha! I don’t care if you are unprofessional. You read this thing. I am incredibly unprofessional. And I am completely terrified of and fascinated by zombies. I have nightmares about them regularly and still obsessively watch zombie movies and read (and write) zombie stories.

  5. I bet your cardiologist loves reading your reports! he probably has his own secret blog where he posts them weekly. I would totally read that. You could totally work your monitor up into a sort of cos-play/burning man type outfit. You already have the lights and you just need some techno music to blast out of that thing. And oh yeah – you are such a champ for approaching a situation like this with humor and grace. So many whiners out there. You are so not one of them. Bow chicka bow.

  6. I’m not sure why, but this reminds me of the time I had to have a flow study MRI so that the doc could see how spinal fluid flows through my brain stem (Long story, it’s called a Chiari malformation). So I go in to have this MRI and they have to put a heart monitor and leads on you. So have have to be basically topless for this MR. Well I had it done at a university hospital. And basically students were learning how to do this. And they kept saying they didn’t have the leads just right. So I think about 7 male residents got to see my tits that day because they kept readjusting the leads. I feel like I contributed to science that day.

    • You’re assuming I even have male readers. I think I am getting reverse catfished. Everyone on the internet is secretly a woman pretending to be a man. But you guys are making me think I should just walk around with my shirt pulled up and finally get a date. Or arrested.

  7. First of all, you have spectacular, perky boobs – I’m incredibly jealous. Second…you can’t just drop a bomb like “third nipple” in passing and then continue on with the story! Third…I could have sworn there was a third, but now I can’t remember – too jealous about your perky boobs, I suppose

    • I have to admit, even I think my boobs are wonderful. The only problem is that not enough people get to see them. And yeah, I totally have a third nipple I have never mentioned before. I suppose I have a story about it. And I suppose I will share it.

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  10. Well, you have at least ONE male reader. I will share that your bra shot was totally fine. Any straight guy would enjoy enjoy the view.

    I’ve had the opportunity to use Tegaderm on a leg wound, coincidentally while vacationing over on the left coast of your state. I am not particularly sensitive to anything except the fragrance in Old Spice, but I can say that tegaderm stayed put in everything from highly chlorinated pool water to nasty old gulf water. Can’t attest to it’s hypo-allergenic properties tho.

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