Last week I went to the hospital for one of my heart tests. I wanted the ambulance to come pick me up and take me there because, I'm sorry, but I thought that was their job. But apparently it was "too expensive" and "unnecessary" and "Eli, please stop calling this number. It's only for emergencies." So I just had to drive myself.

Which brings me to my next point: if they aren't using ambulances to take people with enlarged hearts to the hospital, WHAT THE HELL ARE THEY EVEN FOR.

Not to be dramatic, but can you say guv'ment conspiracy?!

I showed up bright and early to get something called a "holter monitor" strapped to my body. Homegirl be all like "go ahead and take your shirt off" and I was like "HOW DARE YOU!?" Because Cathie used to always say that if you just give it away without a little chase people stop wanting it. And I recognize that that might not apply in this situation but it's a universal rule I try to follow at all times just in case.

Because, you guys. I do NOT want people to stop wanting it. Whatever "it" is.

But then I took my shirt off and tried to sit up straight and flex as much as possible while she used what I now think was cement created by NASA to infuse these wires into all of the inner and outer layers of my skin. The wires were all different colors and they covered my torso.

I looked like a suicide bomber.

Wait. Can you say "bomb" on a blog? Is NSA going to come after me now? Is Stranger going to get shut down? Am I going to prison? WILL I BE ON TV? HOW DOES MY HAIR LOOK?! OH MY GOSH WHATIFPAULSIMON!!!!!???

After hooking me up, and not in the good the way, the nurse gave me my instructions. The rules individually were not terrible. But taken together . . .

1. You must wear this without taking it off for 48 hours.

2. You must do all of your normal activities, such as biking and running, but no swimming.

3. You may not shower.

4. For the last time, please put your pants back on. I already told you that you don't need to be totally naked for this.

Look. I'm fine with the whole "no shower" thing. You guys. I spent an entire year in the tropics basically feeling like I never showered. But to be commanded to run and bike for several hours and then return to my professional office without showering seemed ludicrous.

In an attempt to neutralize the situation, I stopped by the grocery store on my way into the office to pick up an entire cheesecake, a fork, and a box of wet wipes.

Check Out Lady: Uh . . . interesting combination of items.

Eli: I'm having a hard day, ok?!

Truthfully the cheesecake and fork were never intended to address the no shower problem. But if a man can't buy a full cheesecake and fork on a weekday at 7:00 AM without being questioned THEN I GUESS THIS ISN'T EVEN AMERICA ANYMORE.

For 48 hours I did my bike rides. I went running. I got incredibly sweaty. And I returned to my office, stripped mostly naked, and gave myself eleventy wet wipe baths. And after a while I started to realize that the wet wipe baths were probably actually more efficient than my regular showers. Because I'm pretty super lazy when I shower. Mostly I just stand under the water and swivel for 15 minutes until I start feeling guilty about the drought.

I constantly have bike grease all over my legs. And when people point it out I tell them, "well it's just so hard to get it off." But truthfully, I don't know whether it's all that hard to get it off. I never really try. Because lazy.

When 48 hours concluded, much to the relief of my coworkers and lovers (NOT the same people, HR), I engaged in the human torture of pulling the wires off of my body. The glue that held them on, however, has NOT yet come off of my skin. Although, to be honest, I don't know if I can say that it's because it's hard to get the glue to come off. See above for why.

And after I jumped into the shower and felt the relief of the warm clean water running down my bod, I realized that I've had this sensation before. This is EXACTLY how I feel every time I get back from CAMPING. YOU GUYS. SOMEHOW I WENT CAMPING AGAIN LAST WEEK!!!

I'll return to the doctor, in my own car, tomorrow. We'll go over my test results and find out what's going on with the ol' ticker.

Crossed fingers and prayers, please.

~It Just Gets Stranger