I had hoped to post last weekend but time didn't allow me to do so. Now I give you a couple of weeks worth of nothing.
Last weekend went pretty well with my list of chores. I made the list smaller than normal and I got almost everything done. Those that I didn't do were replaced by a couple of things not on the list so all in all, I would say it was a successful weekend.
I was sort of anonymously introduced to somebody last weekend and in an exchange of a few e-mails decided to meet for dinner on Monday. She had described herself as average (in size). I guess the word average is open to all kinds of interpretations because this chick was not what I consider average. My view of average is probably a smaller, lighter person than perhaps the North American version of average is nowadays. This woman was a bit taller than average at about 5'6" but she must have weighed over 250#!!!
Being the gentleman that I am, I did not show how repulsed I was by her average, and let the evening continue. In hindsight I should have returned to the car and beat it down the highway as fast as I could because it only got worse from there.
I sat there with this average woman for over 2 hours and it's damn good the meal was decent. Whenever I started a topic of conversation, she would take it over and apply the subject to herself and keep going for 10 minutes or more. This happened each and every time and it didn't take too long to get very annoyed. Another thing that she did was constantly bring up her recently deceased husband (4 months ago).
I can understand why people do this ... she has nothing else to relate to other than her x number of years spent with him. I will have to say that I knew more about him by the time I managed to escape than I did about her! I tell you, talking about the dead husband, the daughter you gave up for adoption when you were 14 and the dysfunctional family that you now have is just not the way to impress me on a date.
When she wasn't talking about the dead husband she was saying shit like ... I am so looking forward to spending at weekend at your house. I already feel that I like your dogs and we'll be best friends. Etc., etc., etc..
Finally the night ended and I guess she knew that there was nothing going to happen because all I did, or tried to do, was give her a hug. I say tried to because my arms could barely fit around her. The following day I sent her an e-mail. She had regularly made statements (in previous e-mails and at a couple of points during dinner) about "clicking". I opened the e-mail by asking her if anything had clicked for her the night before because it didn't quite click for me. It was more like a thump and thud. I went on to tell her that I could not see any future with somebody who hijacked every conversation and kept bringing up her late husband. I wished her good luck (because I think she'll really need it, in abundance) and said don't call me, I'll call you.
Work has been stupid for the last few weeks, even worse than it usually is. So many projects, so little time and so many of them get finished and submit only to be told that's not quite what they wanted. Well you should have stated a little more clearly in your e-mail what you wanted because (and here I take out a printed copy of their request) you said this, this, this and this and nothing about that, that and that that you say you now want. So, I'll do it over but it goes to the bottom of the pile.
Last week I had a couple of doctor appointments. The one on Wednesday was the usual blah, blah, blah and the one on Thursday was a disaster I think. It was a MIBI stress test. They inject some radioactive something or other in order to see all the layers of the heart and how it and the circulation system is working. No big deal, right?
I arrive at 7:30AM and register then sit and wait. At 8AM I am brought into the nuclear medicine clinic and have to answer a bunch of questions, sign some forms and an intravenous is inserted in my right arm. There is nothing attached to it (like a bad of something), just the part that sticks in your arm and the tiny tube with the stopper to do the injections. I get the radioactive injection and have to return to the waiting room for a while. They call me into another room that has a machine that looks a little like an MRI machine but no tube that you have to enter. There are a couple of large boxes that rotate around your body for 20 minutes, taking pictures of what is going on in the heart and circulation system.
Next follows another wait time and then it's on to the treadmill. Up to this point the day has been a piece of cake but the day was quickly going to go stale. I go into a room that has a treadmill and computer attached to it. I get wired up with a bunch of electrodes stuck to me and then we wait so more. They aren't allowed to run this test without a doctor present or at least in the department. My cardiologist show up and it's test time.
I have always been proud of the fact that I look much younger than my physical age and have always believed that I am in decent shape for my age. I have always believed that I could still do a lot of physical stuff that I could do 15 years earlier too.
I get on the treadmill and there is a nurse standing on each side. One of them is running the computer and the other hooks up a glucose drip in the intravenous. The test requires you to walk on the treadmill until you reach your maximum heart rate. The normal way you determine this is to take 220 subtract your age and then take 85% of that number. Using that method, my max heart rate is 136 bpm. My cardiologist uses some other method and says that my max heart rate for this test is 153 bpm.
The treadmill starts and it is quite slow but the speed increases every minute and the angle of elevation also increases every minute.
I am uncomfortable for the first minute because it is too slow. The second minute is comfortable, the third minute is getting difficult. Then we get to minute number 4. After about 30 seconds I am asking them to slow it down because my legs were like stone, I was exhausted, weak and about to fall down. One of the nurses said that I had turned white. They tried to coax me along but I could not go any further and I was at 136 bpm (funny that I would be having trouble at my theoretical max heart rate). The nurse yelled out to the doctor the heart rate and he said it was OK, so they start to decrease the speed and angle. OH, but wait, I almost forgot to mention that once you reach the heart rate they want (or reach the point where you are about to fall unconscious) they have to give you another injection of radioactive something or other AND you have to keep on walking for another full minute (otherwise known as 60 seconds of hell and pain).
The only way I made it through that final minute was with a nurse supporting me on each side. Once the treadmill had stopped they helped me backward to a chair they had placed at the end of the treadmill and sat me down. I was dizzy, weak, exhausted and ready to fall over. They unplugged me and gave me some water. It was at least 10 minutes before I felt like I was strong enough to stand up and return to the waiting room to ... wait.
Almost an hour later they put me on the MRI like camera unit and took another 20 minutes of pictures then they told me to go home.
It was very, very sobering to find out that I cannot do the things that I thought I could do, the 40 something things, and that I am as old as dirt. My world came crashing down I tell you.
I have thought that when I go I would like it to be in bed with a 20 year old blond ... having her have to spoon feed me, wipe drool from my lips and change my diaper was not part of the dream.
This weekend was pretty good (at least I don't have a dinner date with an average woman to look forward to). I didn't even make a list and I got all that I wanted to do, done.
Job well done.