Don’t Freak Out. I Am Okay.

So I had a heart test last week. I’m leading with that in case any of you were planning to give me a hard time about being gone for so long.  Making you feel guilty right out of the gate is a neat deflector when I don’t have a good explanation for my absence other than “lazy” and “in a highly committed relationship with my sofa.”

I had stress echocardiogram to be exact, which is usually prescribed when someone is having chest pains and the like. I wasn’t having chest pains or shortness of breath but I could feel my heart inside my chest.  When I can feel my ovaries inside my abdomen, I know the pain is coming and that there’s no amount of Advil or chocolate or heating pads that will make that pain stop, so when I became suddenly aware of a new sensation in my heart, I assumed it would be the same.  Like all rational people, when the sensation hit at 2:00 am, I self-diagnosed “impending heart attack” and took an aspirin and then toyed with the idea of writing a living will in case I kicked off in the middle of the night.  Note that I did not drive myself to the ER or make a doctor’s appointment, nor did I write a living will.

Perhaps I will do that now in case I ever do kick off in the middle of the night.

Jimmie’s Living Will:

Do not put me on a machine to live.

Give away every organ you can.

Incinerate the remainder of me or donate the remainder of me to science.

Martie is to sell my house and pocket the equity, give my car to whichever kid is next in line to get one, and use my retirement money for somebody’s college education.

Woney gets my Tiffany bow necklace, Daisy can have back the earrings she lent me, Phranke gets Seamus (because Murphy will expire from a broken heart when I do), and Martie gets all the rest.

There. Done.

After self-diagnosing “impending heart attack” three or four times, I did make an appointment with my doctor who scheduled my stress echo, and clearly I am okay because I told you in the title that I was. Here’s the good part, though, the part you have been waiting for ever since I started this post.  I had to take my clothes off for this test.  And because I had to take my clothes off, I handled this doctor’s appointment with as much aplomb and finesse as all my other doctors’ appointments wherein my clothing has to be removed.   Here’s the breakdown of that visit:


  • Nothing is wrong with my heart.


  • I waited 52 minutes for my test. I asked and was told twice that there was no back up and that my appointment would happen right on time but I waited 52 minutes and had to listen to not only Rachael Ray’s talk show but also The Price is Right.
  • I had to wear a gown.
  • The schedulers told me three times I could keep my clothes on but I had to wear a gown.
  • The gown was too small.
  • Steven, a student, was invited to observe my test for which I had to wear a gown that was too small.
  • It took too much screeching at a pitch only dogs could hear before we all agreed that having Steven the student join us was a bad idea. My throat hurt.
  • No matter how much screeching at a pitch only dogs could hear that I did, I still had to hoof it 12 minutes on a treadmill with no bra and in a gown that was too small.
  • It took too much screeching at a pitch only dogs could hear for one of the technicians to finally say to her co-workers, “You know, we should probably try to remember what this is like on both sides of the table, shouldn’t we?”
  • My eyes looked like two peas in the snow for 48 hours from all the crying.


  • The gown wasn’t paper.

With excellent test results, I’m still left with the question of what’s causing my new occasional heart sensation. A few months ago I began a new eating plan in an effort to rid myself of all of these pesky hips and stomachs I have collected.  I cut out all grains, all diet sodas, and most sugar.  My only treats are unsweetened tea, delicious, and 90% cacao chocolate, which on the first pass tastes like scorched coffee grounds with a hint of cocoa but on the third or fourth pass tastes like divinity made by God, Himself.  I’ve lost a small hunk of weight due to this eating plan – not enough that you will be clamoring for me to sun myself at your beach parties so that you may behold the beauty of my body, but enough that my pants are too big.  It also seems that this new eating plan has done something to the sensitivity of my insides because caffeine, found in both of my meager and sad treats, causes me heart sensations that I do not enjoy.  There’s nothing wrong with me that cutting out my two pitiful and pathetic treats won’t fix.

I mean, I’m guessing. We have no answer for my heart feelings, but as we all have learned, I’m the master at self-diagnosing.  I’m so, so good at it, so good in fact that I get to pay an enormous chunk of my medical deductible off early in the year for a test that told me absolutely nothing was wrong and that I am free to be sick as a dog for the whole rest of the year without monetary penalty from my insurance company.  I have no delicious treats with which to console myself but spending $2200 to discover that when I feel my heart in my chest, the pain of losing my favorite creature comforts is coming and there really is no amount of chocolate, Advil, or heating pad that can fix it.

Sigh . . . no more chocolate.

I missed you all, btw.


Jimmie, M.D.

9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Brandon
    Feb 28, 2017 @ 17:50:47

    That living will part was really sad, in fact this whole thing gives me anxiety. I’m glad nothing negative came back from the test


  2. Love, Jimmie
    Feb 28, 2017 @ 18:15:32

    Nooooo, it’s not sad! I’m happy! And well!

    I’m sorry I gave you anxiety. Can I take this as a sweet emotion and claim that I’ve wormed my way into your heart and that you’d be sad if I weren’t here? If if you say no, I’m going to believe you are lying. 🙂


  3. Felix
    Feb 28, 2017 @ 18:49:01

    Firstly…I am glad all is well and you are o.k. Secondly…I can’t think of a single soul that can tell a story the way you can and make me LOL more times than not. You’re the BEST, Jimmie, M.D.!!! Thirdly… I am sorely disappointed to NOT have been included in your will…WTF (what the flip?)…I transformed your boudoir into a magical recluse for you to while away the hours…..sleeping, of course! LOL LOVE YOU Lots!


  4. Anne
    Mar 01, 2017 @ 07:36:51

    Good for you for getting checked, horrid though the experience was. Your maternal grandfather, your Uncle Andy, and I all had or have hinky hearts, and yes, too much caffeine can cause palpitations. Try candied ginger: It’s my treat of choice. And good for you for losing weight you don’t want. What a good writer you are! Love!


  5. Martie
    Mar 01, 2017 @ 09:24:44

    You forgot to tell about the cowboy in the waiting room!!! I was looking forward to your account of that. I, too, am glad you’re ok, and I think the chocolate should stay in the plan…it can’t have much caffeine in the tiny amount that we get to consume, right??


  6. Julie
    Mar 01, 2017 @ 14:12:55

    My heart has been having feelings lately, too. So glad there’s nothing wrong with us. Always enjoy your posts.


    • Love, Jimmie
      Mar 01, 2017 @ 15:06:20

      I just read about your puppies, old friends and new ones. I’m sorry and I’m thrilled. Yes, I’d say your heart has been having feelings lately. Maybe all kinds, but yes, feelings.


  7. Beth
    Mar 30, 2017 @ 10:41:33

    I took care of my heart beating weird and I felt it by taking magnesium. I am not a doctor nor doI play one on tv, but it works.


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