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December 10th, 2014:

Ultrasound!

Heart and Heartbeat by ThrasherDave from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Heart and Heartbeat by ThrasherDave from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

No, I am not with child.

I had an ultrasound on my neck and heart to try to figure why my chest hurts and why I wake up in  a puddle of my own sweat halfway through the night.

Getting an ultrasound is a pretty simple procedure – you just lay there while the tech puts goo on the ultrasound wand-thing and slides it over your skin. They had me take off my clothes from the waist-up and put on a paper tank top that was open in the back. (I wonder if they only give paper gowns to women.)

The tech started with the ultrasound of my neck arteries. Because I had to have my neck stretched, I couldn’t watch the screen. He periodically turned the sound on to listen and/or capture the sound of my heartbeat. The first time he did it I giggled. I instantly realized this was probably the only way I was going to hear a heartbeat during an ultrasound of my body because I have no plans for procreation.

After he finished scanning my neck, I asked how it looked at he only said, “I think you’ll live through the weekend.” We moved on to my heart ultrasound and I got to start laying on my side, which was awesome because I got to watch the monitor. The female tech put some electrodes on my chest that monitored my heart too, which was cool to see my heartbeat going across the screen.

Of course, I couldn’t understand anything I was seeing. I swear sometimes my heart looked like the face of a deep ocean fish and sometimes it looked like The Blerch from The Oatmeal. I’ve decided I have an alien in my chest.

We finished the scan with an ultrasound of my chest while I lay flat on my back. It was interesting to hear the differences in how my heart sounded depending on how I was laying and where the tech was holding the ultrasound wand.  Sometimes it sounded eerily similar to a theremin. (Think of the original Star Trek theme song.)

Hat tip to the Cardiovascular Institute of Scottsdale for handling female modesty well. When the tech needed to scan my chest, he just ripped a small hole in my gown instead of asking me take it off. Modesty is a non-issue for me, but I can see how other patients would appreciate this.

Of course the tech couldn’t tell me anything from my scan, though when I told him I was getting all my test results next Thursday, he said, “Good.” So maybe he saw something on my ultrasound, but if he did, it can’t be that bad because he didn’t seem to mind that I’ll be waiting 10 days to get the results.