Adventures in Modern Medicine . . .

H is fine.

More or less.

Certainly not thanks to her doctor, who is absolutely determined to prove that there is something horribly wrong with her.

We went to her chemical stress test. My advice is to avoid these tests at all costs, unless you are actually having heart attacks on a fairly regular basis and simply can't escape from your doctor before he gets out his equipment.

He did, at least, exile the Evil MP-And-Not-Actually-A-Nurse that I had to rescue her from last time to the opposite side of the office.

H is 300, remember, and has arthritis, among other things. The test took place in a cold, chilly, excessively air conditioned room on an icy metal table. Within fifteen minutes, her joints had locked up and things got interesting.

Sploosh! The chemical drip whooshed into her IV.

Her blood pressure held steady.

"How do you feel?" he asked. "Any pain or breathlessness?"

"Pain? PAIN?" she said. "Of course I'm in pain. This table is cold and hard and I have . . . "

"No, I meant in your chest."

"No. Just my back and shoul . . . "


"How about now?" he asked hopefully.

This went on for a couple of hours.

I was beginning to wonder if he was trying to trigger a heart attack, or just enjoyed torturing old ladies . . .

H's blood pressure never budged, so eventually he had to let us go.

She was shaking like a leaf from the pain -- you can't leave little old ladies laying on cold metal tables for hours and not have them be in pain.

I took her across the street to a Mexican restaurant for a drink. She primly informed me that it was entirely too early in the day for hard liquor, and promptly ordered a margarita. I'm guessing "hard liquor" is defined as any member of the whiskey family, while a margarita counts as a fruit salad.

She perked up, and we went on to terrorize a couple of produce departments.

And the other little old ladies hated Zoo Keeper -- when the animals scowled at them it got them flustered -- but they fell in love with the DS and want some useful software for it. Like poker. Or scrabble. Gin rummy.