Posts Tagged With: blood pressure

Day 754: Réparation

For the first time in these Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally, the title of the post is in French!

And, for the second time in these Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally, the title of a post appears on a shampoo bottle. Here’s the first time, from a recent trip to New York City, co-starring my friend Deb:

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Here’s the second time, co-starring Penny the Pen:

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The topic of this post is reparative experiences, which I THINK is what réparation means. If réparation does not mean what I think it means, my excuse is: “I don’t speak French!”

Yesterday, I had a reparative experience.  I returned to a hospital where I had my first Transesophageal Echo (TEE) several years ago, when I was recovering from a mild bout of endocarditis. (I say “mild bout of endocarditis” because I guessed I had endocarditis very early on and we were able to treat it with antibiotics before my heart suffered any damage needing réparation.)

That first TEE experience, years ago, was awful for me.  When I’ve described it to nurses and other people in the know, they have offered this suggestion for réparation:

Maybe you weren’t sedated enough, that time.  Maybe they did the TEE without enough drugs.

That didn’t make sense to me, since I have such trust in my doctors and the hospital where I receive my medical care.

So, I had a lot of fear about yesterday’s TEE.

How did I seek réparation for that fear, yesterday morning?

  • I made sure to ask for help, from my trusted friend Carol, who generously agreed to drive me to the TEE procedure, to spend as much time as she could with me during the TEE, and to drive me back home afterwards.
  • I wrote this here post, while I was waiting for Carol to arrive.
  • I took some photos, to distract myself, after I finished yesterday’s post:

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One reparative thought, while I was taking those photos:

An apple a day keeps the doctor away!

However, I couldn’t eat that apple, because I had stopped all water and food intake the midnight before, as necessary (p)réparation for the procedure.  And sure enough, doctors were NOT kept away.

On the drive to the TEE, Carol and I saw this:

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We saw that license plate with the initials JW, just as we were discussing our mutual friend Jeanette W (who has appeared in this other reparative post about an NYC visit).

I didn’t take any other réparation photos on the way to the TEE, because I was too nervous. Why?

  • I was on my way to having my second TransEsophageal Echocardiogram, people!
  • We were running a little late, and
  • As I was calling the echo lab to let them know we would be a little late, Carol got on the Massachusetts Turnpike IN THE WRONG DIRECTION.

Because being with Carol is a reparative experience no matter what is happening, we both survived that, quite nicely.

Here are some non-reparative experiences that happened on my way to my TEE, that I also survived:

  1. Because I was already 20 minutes late, I had Carol drop me off at an entrance I thought would provide a reparative short-cut to the location of my test.
  2. That entrance to the hospital, which used to provide the réparation of open access, was now reparatively or non-reparatively closed to the general public.
  3. I got somebody to reparatively buzz me into that entrance.
  4. That entrance, in réparation to something I could not understand, no longer provided direct access to the building where the TEE was taking place.
  5. People there, in réparation, gave me directions to the location of the test, which happened to be in the most confusing spot in the hospital.
  6. For whatever reason, I got temporarily lost in a hospital where I have had many réparations over the course of many years.
  7. The repáration “short-cut” involved more time, multiple stairs, and several elevators.

When I finally arrived at the echo lab, I suggested to the nice staff person there — as possible réparation — that perhaps I was TOO LATE TO HAVE THE TEST?!?!

No such luck.  Temporarily losing track of my hospital registration card also did NOT provide my fantasy réparation of cancelling the test, either.

I then called Carol, in (p)réparation of the distinct possibility that she might get lost trying to find me. I reached her, right after she parked her car, and gave her reparative directions.

Let’s see if I took any more réparation photos, before the beginning of the TEE …

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That’s Gina, who was my nurse for the procedure.  However, this post needs some réparation, here and now. I took that photo AFTER the TEE, not before it.

In any case, here’s what I want to tell you about Gina, who provided much réparation for yesterday’s TEE experience:

  1. Gina suggested a theory for why my first TEE was so awful: I have naturally low blood pressure, which probably required less sedation than usual. Sedation lowers blood pressure further, so standard sedation, that first time, might have required serious réparation.
  2. Gina took my blood pressure yesterday before the procedure started and it was unusually high, probably because of all the non-reparative experiences I had on the way to the TEE.
  3. Gina — as you can see in that photo  — is a New York Yankees fan working in a Boston hospital, which may or may not need réparation, depending on your perspective.

In case my post is confusing you in any way at this point, allow me to provide some réparation:

I got the standard amount of sedation yesterday for my TransEsophageal Echocardiogram, and it was MUCH EASIER.

Here are some more réparation photos I took yesterday, after I had recovered sufficiently from the TEE:

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That’s Gina’s hand, holding my tee shirt. Get the pun,* people?

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That’s Carol, with her beautiful smile. Get the pun,* people?

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That last photo shows these réparations:

  1. I’m home.
  2. I’ve removed all those friggin’ little leftovers of cardiac tests.

Here’s some repáration music I’ve been listening to lately, thanks to reparative blogging experiences provided here by Maria F., Mark Bialczak, coffeegrounded, and Maureen:

What do you think about all these réparations?

Thanks and réparations to Carol, Gina, Penny, the doctor and the cardiology fellow who also conducted my TEE (not pictured), Deb, Jeanette, Maria F., Mark Bialczak, coffeegrounded, Maureen, and everybody everywhere who has ever provided reparative experiences for anybody else, including you, of course!


* If my boyfriend Michael or anybody else who dislikes puns reads this post, I cannot offer any réparation.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 41 Comments

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