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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Stress Test

This is a post I wrote a little over a year ago while training for triathlon season. It originally appeared on my blog at

The day after my last blog post I had a bike accident. The dumbest thing happened. I put my foot in the cage (it’s literally a cage for your foot) and pushed my body weight onto the pedal. The pedal didn’t budge, I lost my balance and toppled over landing on my right elbow.

I passed out. For the next two and a half hours, I passed out about seven more times. Waiting for my husband to come check on my condition — I passed out. My neighbor and training partner loaded me in her car.  I passed out. Checking into the ER — out. Blood drawn in the ER — out. X-rays on my injured elbow — out. And on and on.

The doctor was so worried about my passing out, the elbow was almost a secondary concern. My heart rate was low and my blood pressure nearly imperceptible.

The next day, I had to take a stress test. The doctor mentioned “sudden death.” With that sort of thing to "rule out," I agreed to go have the test done, even though I knew my heart was fine. Have you taken a stress test? You’re basically disrobed from the waist up, lying on a table with a removable leaf at breast level while your heart is monitored both with sticky tape all over your body and a probing ultrasound wand that looks like a scanner at Wal-Mart.

[To those of you who have had more than three children and have breastfed each one until your breasts resemble something like a tube sock with a tennis ball at the end — you know the fear of forgetting a bra. Imagine you’re topless in a loose fitting hospital gown with the opening in the front. Did I mention the table with the removable leaf at breast level? Try to keep your heart rate normal under that kind of stress!]

I lay there on my side while the technician (who also happened to be a rather handsome lad around 23) chatted me up and ran the ultrasound all around my left breast – as it pointed to the floor below me. I wished I could will myself to pass out at that moment. Nope…didn’t work.

I was then asked to get on the treadmill and walk. When my heart rate wasn’t high enough to register on their thing-a-ma-bob, the other technician — a smug older woman who must have derived some sort of demented pleasure seeing me clutching my sagging breasts to me as if they were the last two loaves of bread during a famine — cranked up the speed and the incline until I was jogging , bra-less, and panting.

My heart is just fine. My arm still hurts (looks like a hairline fracture). My ego will never recover.

Note: After a second set of x-rays, it was determined that my arm wasn't broken and, most importantly, my status as the world's biggest wuss was established.


  1. That was the best post I've read by you. Honest, funny, detailed and ... awesome. As are you. And you're not a wuss.

  2. couldnt agree more with the kyles


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