The Uphill Slide

There is always something.

A Hole in My Heart


I have feared a descent into poor health and submitted to blood work and tests. Today I dressed in comfortable shoes and loose clothes for a stress test; I am definitely stressed. My day begins with the thought that my son’s future and hopes were robbed by lies that were believed, at least partly, by twelve jurors. It is the constant stress of my life.

I arrived on time and handed my insurance cards to the registrar.

“This one was effective July 1,” I said.

She started to input the data and then said, “Oh, you have the blues. These tests might need pre-authorization.”

Now I did have the blues.

“No,” I called to reschedule these tests for July because my advantage plan would be effective then. I explained my reason to the person on the other end of the call, and she advised me that the MRI and CT scan would need pre-authorization under my new plan. I did them in June to avoid that pre-authorization.

The registrar sent me for my blood work as she called to confirm the tests. She came with the answer as my arm was outstretched to catch the blood in a tube and told me that the stress test did need pre-authorization. My options were to sign a non-coverage waiver or reschedule.

“Medicare should cover it,” I said.

“It might, but you have Part A. That is different.”

“I’ll reschedule then and just do the echocardiogram and monitor today.”

As the technician dabbed jelly on my chest, she asked; “What’s going on?”

“I passed out a couple times.”

“Oh, we’re going to have to stick you after all. We have to check for a hole in your heart to eliminate that as a cause for passing out.”

“A hole in the heart?”

She told me that everyone is born with a hole in their heart, but it closes with that first gulp of life. For about 20% of people though, it does not close completely; and they are walking around oblivious to the threat. She added that if we did not do this IV, then they might send you back to stick a tube down your throat.

“Let’s do the IV. I took my father for a little camera down his throat in search of an ulcer once. I prefer an IV.”

Fortunately, there was no hole; and I am in the majority of people.

Who ever heard this hole in the heart story? When I told my husband later, he said; “I don’t believe that.”





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