There’s really nothing that starts a doctor’s visit with more flourish than to get to answer this question on your paperwork.
And no, I wasn’t consulting for a boob job. Or an anti-boob job. Or even a Mammogram. It was for a stress test.
And, I suppose, making a woman write her bra size in full view of a waiting room stocked with 67 year old men looking angrily over the top of their trifocals at the 31 year old woman who is clearly invading their gang territory (I believe they go by “The ‘Rhoids”) is a great way to get off on a stressful foot.
Or boobs, as it may be.
And let’s talk about the wording.
Who says “What size bra do you wear?”
Shouldn’t it be “What is your bra size?” or “What size of bra do you wear?” or even “What bra size are you inaccurately wearing because did you hear that only 10% of women know their true bra size? And even if they did know it six months ago, it has probably changed by now because boobs are a constantly fluctuating force of nature. Oh – and don’t forget that if you want to support the girls in a proper way that won’t cause you to have back and heart problems and land you in a waiting room with 67 year old men staring angrily over the top of their trifocals, you really need to spend at least $75 on a good bra, which will only be accurately fitted for six months. So what size did you say you think you wear?”
But oh. If that had been the only invasion of my chest space for this Stress Test. If only.
Next, a nice young man (Again. Why are all Nuclear Technicians young, unmarried males?? I guess it doesn’t really matter since they’re usually treating 67 year old men) took me to my private spa room and did this to me.
And those are only four of the ten – because they’re the only ones visible to the unnaked eye.
While he applied my patches and hooked me to his Villainous Control Panel, I desperately tried to put out a subliminal Batsignal. Or Superman signal. Or whatever the heck hero would save me from The Evil Doctor Boobcutioner. When that didn’t work, I distracted myself by thinking about how much easier I had to be than his usual clientele.
Because the first of three times I’ve been hooked up to an EKG this month, I actually did have a rare female nurse, and she told me all about the typical EKG hook-up.
“Oh girl, you jes’ have no idea. These men come in here so hairy – all over their chest!! I try to part the hair to make a big enough spot for the patches, but sometimes partin’ just doesn’t do it. Then I have to get in there with the razor and shave crop circles all over ‘em. This one time, I had a man that walked right out on me! He refused to let me shave him – said he was goin’ to the beach the next day. I just said “You have fun!! And don’t you go havin’ a heart attack.” But I guess at least he’d have his chest hair in tact.”
Thankfully, no shaving was required.
After Dr. Evil got me hooked up to the EKG and blood pressure cuff, he called in a lady tech to spear me for an IV.
Because that was where he drew the line on invasion of my feminine privacy?
Once everyone had their shot at me, I looked like this.
I know. You don’t have to say it. I clean up real nice.
And before you ask, let’s talk about the blue jean shorts.
I knew that this stress test would involve treadmills and running, so I planned to dress accordingly, mentally making a note where my tennishoes were collecting dust. But the night before, as I was attempting to fall asleep, I realized something terrible: I had zero athletic shorts.
How could that even be possible?
I exercise! Don’t I?
No, I guess I don’t.
There was that one walk with Chris. What did I wear there? Oh yeah – I felt like an idiot jogging in blue jean shorts.
And so again, I felt like an idiot showing up to a stress test in denim.
(You will be glad to know that I have since rectified this situation and plan on running a weekly marathon now that I have the proper attire to inspire me.)
After a long passing of time while attempting awkward conversation with Younger Male and Older Female Nuclear Technicians, a doctor finally arrived. Another young male.
He explained to me what the test would involve and reassured me that he didn’t think I’d have a heart attack while running, then started the test.
And he stayed.
And worse than staying, he leaned on the doorframe, arms crossed, staring straight at my every leg thrust.
Did I mention that the doorframe was behind me?
So yeah. Female IV Controller was in front of me, staring. Male EKG Manager was to my right, staring. And young doctor was behind me, staring and asking the occasional question as I was busy wondering whether I had thoroughly shaved behind my knees.
“Do you smoke?”
“Are you an exerciser? Because some people who exercise can go FOREVER on this machine.”
“How many kids do you have? Tell me your entire life story while I stare at your thighs at point-blank range. Speaking of which, I’d really love some Peach Jell-O right about now.”
The treadmill started out flat and at a walking pace. Every three minutes, the incline lifted and the speed rose. Had I not been wearing enough medical equipment to safely allow the cutting of a baby out of my abdomen, it would have been an easy enough endeavor. And even so, it wasn’t hard. I mean, I was only walking.
Yet at around 7 minutes, they exclaimed how great I was doing.
“Most people only make it to about six minutes before they’re done!!”
Seriously? People can only walk for six minutes? No wonder they’re at risk for a heart attack.
By nine minutes I had to start running, and the slope was fairly uphill. They kept reminding me every ten seconds,
“Don’t forget to tell us when you’ve only got a minute left. We need to inject you with radioactive dye that probably won’t cause any problems. But still be sure to drink a good amount of water for the rest of the day to flush your system of the carcinogenic poison.”
Okay, they didn’t say it quite like that, but they might as well have.
They were getting a bit frantic for their smoke break or their lunch break or something, so at 11 minutes, I told them that I had a minute left.
(Which was a lie. But who am I to keep medical professionals from smoking.)
(And eleven minutes of having three people watch you as you try not to trip over the dozen cords coming off of your every inch is enough stress for any test to detect.)
She inserted a syringe the size of a small wiener dog into my IV, and I felt the cool tingling of Chernobyl pulsing through my veins.
I ran for another minute and a half and told them I was done. I could hear their collective sigh of relief.
The doctor said, “Next you’ll spend 15 minutes in the scanner, but I’m pretty sure it won’t show anything. I’ve only seen one or two people run longer than you did today.”
That’s right, folks. My 12 minute and 25 second run was almost record-setting. And it could have been the record – if only I hadn’t been sensitive to their impatience.
Because my heart is FANTASTIC.
And I still have no idea what that has to do with my bra size.