Distressing Journey To Destress

Three days ago I was asked by my cardiologist who happens to be my batchmate at good old Sekolah Melayu Jalan Stesen, to see him at IJN. So that was what I did yesterday.

It has been a stressful week not just for me, but also for Wifey, as none of us knew what was medically wrong with me. We could speculate and all that, but I don’t think it would have done us any good.

Anyway, finding a car park at IJN is a stress-test by itself. If you can keep calm while trying to find ONE space in between any of the 382 cars in a 100-car carpark, then you should just leave the place and go home. Don’t waste time looking for a space. It will kill you if you already have a heart disease.

When we got there, there could have been 3 million people seeking either medical opinion or follow-ups. But having myself registered to do the Executive Screening Package made life a lot easier for me. It was a bit like going through the Customs Green Lane without the customs officers in sight. Did the blood test, urine, before I was ushered into a room to do my lung function test. After weighing me and measuring my height, I sat down in front of the physiotherapist.

PT: “Encik sekarang masuk dalam category obese kalau ikut BMI encik. Kalau Encik dapat kurangkan berat supaya masuk dalam category Overweight pun tak apa.”

Me: “Berapa patutnya berat saya kalau gitu?”

PT: “84 kilo.”

Okay, seriously I don’t know how that is going to work. That is 15 kilograms for me to lose. The last time I actually lost weight was 5 kilos middle of last year. Then I celebrated the weight loss and put on more than I had initially lost.

Then Wifey and I had to wait for my turn to do the stress test on the treadmill. This is the first time I had my spouse waiting with me, and it was a big help. I was having an anxiety attack and I was having some chest pains by then. An hour later, I was ushered into the room. When I got onto the treadmill, and after the leads have been attached to me, there were some concerns. My heart rate was at 107bpm, while my blood pressure reading was at 170/80. Immediately I was asked if I had taken my medication to which I replied YES. Everytime I was about to progress in stage, the lady would ask me if I was okay to progress to the next level. I also replied YES, and all because if there was any anomaly, it would have been detected already. When my BP hit 220/90, she asked me if my body was aching, and I replied NO. In the end, some 10 minutes and 43 seconds after I had begun the test, she asked me if I would like to stop as I had achieved my targeted heart rate. This time I said YES…and added, “Dah pancit.” The last time I did the stress test I stopped on the 12th minute. Not bad, this time, considering I have been quite inactive physically.

Went in to see my cardiologist with Wifey, and was told that I did quite well, and he could not detect any blockages. However, I am a borderline diabetic (I found this out back in October 2007). So, he has prescribed me several medicines to handle my sugar-level, something to “thin” my blood as a preventive measure, and a new medicine for my hypertension. I have also been told to stay away from lots of culinary favourites. He attributes the pain in the chest that I have been having to anxiety and stress at work, and advised me to go back swimming and scuba diving.

Oh well, I have another 9 days to go before I get to dive again. I hope I can survive ’til then.

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