to three weeks ago, when I was at my physician's office getting a complete workup. Turn your head and cough, finger up the butt, yadda yadda yadda. Oh, and an electrocardiograph.
My sawbones eyeballed the EKG tape, looked at me, and asked, "When did you have your heart attack?"
"Don't change your exercise pattern," he says. "Continue with your stringent regimen of not exercising, and walk slowly whenever you can. Get these tests done, asap. And try not to worry."
King Canute had about as much success commanding the tide not to come in.
Nine days later, off I go for a half day of cardiac ultrasound, nuclear imaging, non-stress stress test (inject with adenosine, walk slowly on a treadmill for four minutes to avoid the worst side-effects while my pulse starts to race), more imaging. Stop off at the lab a couple of days later for blood work.
Fast forward to yesterday, at my regularly scheduled follow-up.
Other than diabetes (known, trying to find the right drug mix to get control) and a tendency toward hypertension (known, well-controlled), my bloodwork was outstandingly good. No cholesterol problems, no kidney or liver problems, the only way my prostate readings could be lower would be if I didn't have one at all.
And then the kicker: I have a teensy hole in my heart.
Nobody is born with a fully formed heart. Fetuses and neonates have an open fibrous membrane between the ventricles, which soon after birth is supposed to fuse closed. In about one out of four people (including your humble correspondent), complete fusion doesn't happen. In the vast majority of these cases, the leakage between ventricles is insignificant; only rarely is it sufficiently dire as to require surgery.
That's what's going on with me. Minor hole in the heart, shows up as an irregularity in an EKG. (As I think back to my childhood, my G.P. said I had a "heart murmur" that didn't seem to affect my activity level, but which my mom inflated to the point where she made the school district exempt me from physical education classes. I was all right with that, as I was terribly body-shy to start with, and this gave me an excuse to take another academic class instead.)
So for someone with diabetes and (controlled) high blood pressure, who happens to be sixty or so pounds overweight, I'm in remarkably good health.
Dammit. Now I don't have an excuse to not go to the gym with riverheart
on the weekend.
Nothing to see here, move along.