I think I have adoraphobia. It’s like the little fuzzy kitten version of agoraphobia where I am capable of leaving the house, I just don’t want to. Isn’t that cute?
Okay, it’s official. I’ve become one of those people that won’t shut up about their health problems (oh, my aching back!). To wit:
Shortly after my anxiety and panic attack mini-series, I was prescribed this drug, that drug, and the other thing. The other thing was a heart monitor that I have to carry around for 30 days and I’m on the home stretch with only one day to go. It was given to me in a very attractive Iron Man lunch box.
The contraption consists of a necklace whose large boxy pendant swings around and slaps on your chest all the time and requires a AAA battery that has to be changed nearly every day and if you don’t pay attention to the battery level, you wind up getting rudely awakened by a “BEEP-BOOP-BOOP” at three in the morning and you have to replace the battery right then and there or else you are serenaded by more beeping and booping.
The batteries they give you are some cheap ass generic brand that don’t last as long as, say, what the Energizer bunny would provide, and the reason I know this is because they don’t give you enough batteries to last the month and so you have to go to the store and buy real batteries (like Energizer) and then suddenly the batteries last twice as long.
So, what you do is, before you go to bed you put in a new battery, and then when you get up, you observe you still have 80% battery left, so you exchange it with a previous partially already used battery so that it runs out and beep-boop-boops during the day. It’s all very scientific and mathematical and probably too complicated for you to understand.
So anyway, from the boxy pendant protrudes three wires with red, black, and white electrodes at the end that you snap onto three separate electrode pads that are placed on three geographically-specific parts of your body. The first bag of pads were great and stayed where they lay, but now that I’m near the end, I’m using this other bag of cheap ass pads they gave me that have trouble staying put and the monitor screams when one of the electrode pads falls off. (Did I mention there is also a monitor? Yes, it’s like a clunky cell phone that you have to keep within a certain distance of yourself and recharge so often I just leave it plugged into the wall all the time unless I leave the house. If you leave the house and forget to bring your monitor with you, your boxy pendant goes “BRAP-BROP-Boooooo”, until you turn around and go back home and grab your monitor.)
So anyway, these slippery electrode pads occasionally slip off and the monitor (which is plugged into the kitchen wall) starts going “BREEEEEP-BREEEEEEP!” And you run to the monitor to see what’s wrong and the screen says, “The red electrode has been disconnected” (it’s usually the red one that falls off) and it gives you the option to push “SILENT” on the touch screen, only no matter how much you touch it, it doesn’t respond (I know, like your wife – haha – yes, you’re very funny – can we get back to me now, Mr. Interrupter?).
So now I have to whip up my shirt which requires running out of the kitchen because we have no curtains in the kitchen and you never know who could be Peeping Tomming and I have to fish around my shirt for the red wire only to discover that the electrode pad for the red wire is totally stuck to the inside of my shirt. It has no problem sticking to my shirt but can’t seem to stick to me.
So I’ve incorporated Band-Aids into the mix.
They actually call this contraption a heart event monitor because it’s supposed to catch what my heart is doing during an “event”. If an “event” happens, you use the touch screen to report it so they can zero in and know where to look on the timeline to analyze your heart rate. Just before getting the monitor, my heart was racing and I had a tachycardia event. In the almost 30 days since using the monitor? Nada.
In the morning, when the normal bedroom alarm clock goes off, I roll over, and the monitor starts screaming that one or more electrodes has been disconnected and I’m fumbling around trying to unpeel several adhesives pads off of my shirt, check what color the wire is, so I know on which part of my body it belongs. Meanwhile, my husband joins in on the beeping and booping as if it’s become an earworm for him.
“Breeeep breeeep. One or more of your electrodes is disconnected…,” he says sleepily.
“I know! I know!” I say, fiddling with my boxy pendant and wires trying to plug myself back in like a 1940’s Lily Tomlin telephone switchboard operator.
Did I mention Thursday is the last day I have to wear my necklace that came in the Iron Man grey lunch box? Life won’t be the same without it.