When my cardiologist first suggested that I wear a heart monitor for two weeks, I pushed back on the idea, saying that since my echocardiogram and EKG turned out OK, I was fine with those results and didn’t want to explore further. I’ve been like this throughout my health challenges. I didn’t want to carry a cane, wear a wig, use oxygen or do anything else that made me look and feel disabled. I know that I’m physically very different from an average person my age, but I struggle with claiming disability. It’s as if I fear that once I use the label it will be stuck to me permanently.
Another part of my truth is that the idea of having another device attached to my chest is just too close a parallel to the portacath that was installed in my chest for 3 years, the plastic hand grenade that used to protrude from my chest and all the other foreign objects that were torturously installed in me. Depending on the circumstances, I used to get a mix of garish stares and furtive glances at my chest. I practically have to fold myself in half for my boobs to meet, so I can pretty safely say that all that attention was on the protrusion of these medical add-ons. But in the end, my cardiologist convinced me that wearing a temporary heart monitor just made good sense, providing more real-time data for his assessment. So, I figured out a way to get over myself – at least for one week. Yes. I negotiated him down from two weeks to one. I’m a gangster.
The heart monitor turned out to be not bad at all. Nothing at all like any of the much worse things that haunted me. I channeled my inner NatGeo panda bear, acting as though my movements were being tracked for the survival of my species. Pretty much dopeness that my #twirler boyfriend, who used to rock a similar jade piece himself, made me feel normal about it, helped me get it off when the week was over, and even packaged it up and put it in the mail for me. I’m one lucky chronically illin’ girl. Now, I just wait for results.
The moral of this story – not all medical interventions are horrible. Maybe most. But not all.