I have always been an overachiever when it comes to taking tests. I over-study, over-prepare, and generally over worry.
Yesterday I had an appointment for a stress test at my doctor’s office. After the year I’ve had, there was no need to study. I was sure I would ace this test and get an A!
Well despite, all the thumbs up from friends, I flunked! Or passed with flying colors depending on your perspective.
In what can best be described as a Larry David moment, as soon as I got into the exam room I was all hooked up in a tangle of wires to the EKG monitor. Masked up in my N95 and dressed in my best running gear and kicks I was rarin’ to begin my treadmill walk to nowheresville.
Well, nowheresville is exactly where I ended up.
After a mere 2.5 minutes of walking, the staff, looking alarmed, whisked me off the stress test because apparently …..I was too stressed!
“How can you be too stressed for a stress test? Isn’t that the point?”
The lightheadedness, disorientation, and dizziness I apparently exhibited didn’t sit well with the technicians. Despite my protestations, the test was abruptly over. I felt like I was benched.
Given that a cardiac stress test is a test that measures the heart’s ability to respond to external stress in a controlled clinical environment, I was sure I would bat a thousand. I’ve been batting away multiple external stresses like a champ for over 2 years.
Pandemic? Check! House Foreclosure? Check! Paralyzed Dog ? Check. Bankruptcy, moving, estranged brother, lawsuits, house Flood, and a husband in steep cognitive decline. Short of locust’s and frogs my life was resembling the 12 plagues of Passover.
I thought a series of tensions unfolding not long before I arrived at the doctor’s office assured me I’d come well prepared for the stress test. Sitting in the crowded waiting room, looking at all the sick people wearing masks below their noses would only enhance my stress scores.
Stepping off the treadmill as they took off all the patches of electrodes, I felt mortified. I come from a family of runners and I couldn’t even make it to the finish line of a stress test. I hung my head in shame. My multiple marathon father Marvin would be disappointed. My always-ace-every-test mother Betty would be shocked.
So I’m boning up for a make-up exam in 2 weeks. This time the studying will include relaxing. If only world events would cooperate.
Take care. You are precious.
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You are so kind, Pierre. Thank you.