September 3, 2020

Stressin’ Out

Yesterday found me at the heart hospital for a stress test. I have had frequent pains in my innards of late and my doc thought he’d rule out the big one before moving into other ideas for the source. The nice nurse wired me up and had me mount the treadmill. She took my blood pressure before I started and looked at me a bit askew when it read 117/73. “That’s really good” she said. I suppose most heart hospital patients have higher numbers. 

She fired up the treadmill to push my heart rate to the target rate for someone my age. I hit the goal and wasn’t even breathing hard. We drove my heart rate to two more levels before calling it quits. I was hardly breathing hard at the end. My BP never climbed above 125/78. The heart doc gave a quick read of the EKG and said I had nothing to worry about and promised a report in a couple of days.

The good news is I probably am not going to keel over with a heart attack any time soon. The bad news is there is no answer to the pain that occasionally grips me. I think I know the medical term for my condition: hypochondria.

The interesting fact is my part-time gig is making me physically healthy, albeit not economically healthy. I walk six to nine miles a shift and routinely lift a total of a ton or two during a shift. Yes, I stock and unstock the big stuff. Think that is unrealistic? Pick up a thirty pound box and put it on a platform lift. Pick up that box from the lift and put it on a shelf. Do that for 20 boxes and you have moved 1200 pounds in about 20 minutes. 

When I started I struggled to move the smaller boxes. Now I lift 90 pound boxes without overmuch difficulty. I am admittedly in the best shape I’ve been in decades. 

Mental stress? Oh yes. That I have. Physical stress? That I am handling. For most of my life I have been adapt at handling emotional stress. More than once others have commented on my ability to stay calm in difficult situations. I was mentally fit while neglecting my physical health. Now those mental stresses are eating me away while my body gets in shape. Life is strange.


Scott said...

They make a fabtastic wonder drug for the affliction of hypochondria. It's called a placebo...

Jean said...

Aren't they doing other tests to see what might be causing your pain?

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