I found myself in my doctor’s office following a very stressful time in my life. My heart was beating irregularly and my doctor suggested I undergo a stress test at a cardiologist’s office. I thought walking on the treadmill with a bunch of wires attached to me couldn’t be a big deal, so I made the appointment. Heck I was once in the Marine Corps, how hard could it be.
Upon my arrival at the cardiologist I was instructed to disrobe and put on the gown that is notorious for exploiting your backside. Once dressed I was taken into a room and told to sit at the edge of the examination table. The gown lacked coverage, the office was cold and I started to shiver. After a few minutes of questions and answers about my health I was asked to sign a consent and waiver form.
The form basically informed me that the test was designed to inspect my heart from different aspects and that there could be side effects that included death. Nervously shocked I asked the attending nurse how many people died from this test and she told me, “No one in that office had succumbed to the test as of late”. I wondered to myself how late is late?
After our banter the nurse produced a needle with a rubber hose attached, the size of a whaling harpoon, which had to be inserted into my arm to administer a radioactive dye that would be scrutinized by an X-Ray machine. As the nurse not so gently slide the needle into my arm just above the elbow she asked if I was alright. I lied and told her “No big deal I was once in the Marine Corps”. The nurse left the room with me now alone.
The needle felt like a number two pencil in my arm and it started to throb. After a few minutes the nurse reappeared and asked me how I felt. It was at that very moment that the floor seemed to be rising towards me and the room started to shrink. I informed the nurse that I was not feeling very well. She told me to lie back and called for another nurse to help her.
The second nurse grabbed my arm that the needle was in and started to check my pulse and blood pressure. The conversation between the nurses seemed very far away though they were standing over me. I could hear the nurse saying “I can’t get a pulse”. I felt as if I was fading away.
Both nurses shouted for a doctor to come into the room. I could tell that they were quite concerned as they seemed by trying to figure out what was wrong with me. I felt colder and weaker than I have ever felt. The doctor grabbed my ankle as asked if I was a diabetic. His hand felt like it was on fire and I whispered to him that I was not a diabetic.
It was at this point I put my left arm over my face to cover my eyes as the rooms lighting was quite bright and irritating. I was starting to lose consciousness and had the sensation I was falling down a hole. Another doctor entered the room and I could hear him barking orders to the other 3.
This doctor started to untie my smock so he could put a stethoscope on my chest. The device was cold against my skin and I dared not move my arm to see what was happening. After he removed the stethoscope he continued to open the top of my dressing gown to access my chest.
Suddenly I heard him say “Give him the juice”. One of the nurses questioned him and he snapped back “Give him the juice”. I could not believe what I just heard. They were going to shock my heart back with a defibrillator. I knew I was in bad shape.
The fear inside me started to go grow exponentially as I envisioned my body arching back in a grotesque fashion as the electrical current raced thru my body. The multiple times they would have to try to shock my heart back and would they be successful in saving me?
The doctor pulled my arm down and told me to lift my head. I squeezed my eyes shut as I did not want to witness what was about to happen. “You can open your eyes now” the doctor instructed me and as I did I noticed that they were holding an orange juice container.
“Slowly sip the juice, your blood sugar dropped out” the nurse said in an irritating fashion.
It was “Orange Juice”, I was going to live.
Of course I was, I was once in the Marine Corps.