I mentioned in passing that I had a dose of the lurgy.
One of the side effects was that I didn’t get out and about at all. No little rambles up the valley or around the village. No exercise at all at all.
On Monday night, for some unknown reason I couldn’t sleep. I read through to the not so small hours and eventually dropped off at around five or so.
So, come Tuesday I was somewhat knackered. The day had started around nine when Herself needed some assistance so I had about four hours sleep under the belt. I felt like shit warmed up. I tried dozing during the day, but no go. As the day wore on I got progressively stressed and tired.
Tuesday night there was a bit of an emergency with Herself. It was very late so there was no chance of asking for any help. I had to cope on my own. As a result I pulled a muscle in my back. So now I was tired, stressed and in pain.
Wednesday morning I managed to oversleep and woke much later than intended. And I had an appointment up in Dublin for my stress test! So there was no time for a mug of tea or anything. Stress was up to around 6 on the Richter Scale.
Traffic going up to Dublin was a fucking nightmare. This was the middle of the day so I don’t know where they came from or where they were going but the traffic was very heavy. It was getting close to my appointment time, so stress was now up to around 8.
I arrived at the hospital to find massive queues for the car park. And once I got into the multi-story I had to drive around and around looking for a space. I was now at 10 on the Richter.
Naturally I got lost in the hospital – I think I mentioned before somewhere that the hospital has an amazing signage system that somehow displays every single department except for the one I’m looking for. Richter up to 12.
I found the place and booked in. I had to wait for twenty minutes or so, as my stress levels rose even further. I was eventually called in.
The test consisted of wiring me up to computers and then going for a walk on a treadmill. It gradually increased in speed and also increased its slope so soon I was doing a very quick walk up a steep hill.
I had enough.
There is only so much a bloke can take. I was tired, sore, stressed and now my legs felt like they were falling off.
I told the nurse.
She stopped the torture and removed the cat’s cradle of cables and then sent me on my way. She wouldn’t comment on the test but mentioned that I would get a call for an appointment with the specialist. More fucking traffic!
I don’t care what the specialist has to say. He can nag me all he likes about my diet, my lack of exercise, my way of life and most likely my pipe. It will go in one ear and out the other.
I am beyond caring.
You should be able to relate to this that was just a 'routine' medical. Interestingly, a week later, another guy I worked with collapsed on the treadmill and spent a week in dock – heart attack – and that was the end of treadmills at medicals.
Hah! Yes. That is very familiar. I never got to the jogging stage though as she kept insisting I had to walk. I ended up looking like one of those Olympic walkers with legs wobbling like jelly. I wouldn't mind but I normally spend my time walking up and down hills. That's what comes of living in the mountains.
I totally empathize, sympathize and any other word that ends in "-thize" that means the same thing. On the same note, I turned down the latest suggestion that I get yet another stress test on the basis that
I just didn't want to do the damn thingit meant a 4 hour round trip and I really didn't want to fall asleep/pass out on the 2 hour trip back.
I'd give you some advice on the non-sleeping thing but I'm an insomniac myself and never found a cure for it.
It took me two or three days to get back to normal after that visit. The evening of the following day I had a series of dizzy fits which were a bit alarming as I hadn't had them before. I do think that in this case the cure is worse than the disease!
When I returned to live in England, I went to see the local GP who asked me about my experiences of the Irish health system. He said that one of the problems with the insurance funded system is that doctors overtreat. I told him that I had been scheduled to have an angiogram in 2016 and had declined it and was told I should have one in 2017. "Who was paying?" he asked. He thought there was no reason whatsoever for my six monthly treadmill tests and encounters with the cardiologist – which cost me €250 a time.
An interesting point. The cardio tests and all the rest are free [or at least they haven't charged me anything yet apart from car park fees]. However the repeat visits to the eye clinic are quite expensive [plus car park fees!]. I reckon I can get by with just ordinary visits to the local optician where I would only have to pay for new frames/lenses [plus car park fees!].
Well, after that lot, I think that you can perfectly truthfully decline your next invitation for a Stress Test on the basis that the whole experience is – well – just too stressful! They can hardly argue with you then, can they?
On the sleep thing, I was told long ago that if you can't get off the sleep, the best thing to do is to get yourself comfortable in bed, and then just lie completely still. Supposedly, if your body is completely still for 15 minutes, sleep starts to kick in automatically. It works for me most of the time – sometimes even when I'm sitting still watching TV and don't want to drop off! In bed, it works even better if you make sure that you don't open your eyes – not to check the clock, stare at the ceiling, turn on the radio – nothing. Keep 'em closed! Complements the stillness apparently and induces sleep even more quickly. Might not work so well with a bad back though ….
Usually the eyes-closed trick does it for me but on that occasion it didn't. Usually a night like that is caused by too much coffee or sugar last thing but that night there was no reason whatsoever. Mister Sandman had just taken the fucking night off.