So I went to the cardiologist this morning and they ran 100,000 more tests. Then the doctor came in and went over the results of my holter monitor that held me prisoner for 48 hours last week.

Doctor: Your test results look pretty good.

Eli: Well I studied VERY hard.

Doctor: Your sleeping heart rate is averaging around 35 beats per minute.

Eli: Laaaaaaazy.

Doctor: Your resting heart rate is averaging around 45 beats per minute.

Eli: Go on.

Doctor: Then there are some spikes here and there where your heart rate jumped to about 169 for a while.

Eli: Yes. That would be every time my office phone rang. Plus a few times a day I think I see Paul Simon but it usually just ends up being some man or woman or child or coat rack or something that isn't Paul Simon. Also that one spike at the beginning of the test on Wednesday morning was from when I found a really good cheesecake at the store.

Doctor: Now we asked you to push the button on your holter monitor whenever you felt symptoms. I see you pushed it . . . 295 times. Did you feel sick 295 times?

Eli: No.

Doctor: Ok. How many times did you feel sick.

Eli: Zero.

Doctor: So why did you push the button 295 times.

Eli: Well I couldn't remember what the button was for and my friend said he thought it was like one of those life alert things where if you push it an ambulance comes. So we pushed it a bunch of times to see and then I thought that this was maybe like one of those things from when I was a kid and my friend Mandy Williams and I called 911 like 17 times in a row but just hung up every time until finally the police came and we got in SO much trouble. Then I forgot that I wasn't going to push the button anymore and I started clicking it because it made this really interesting popping sound and I wanted to know why--

Doctor: So none of the clicks were legitimate?

Eli: Well, define "legitimate."

Doctor: We also did an ultrasound, as you know.

Eli: BOY OR GIRL!? Wait! Don't tell me! Wait! DO tell me! No. Don't tell me. But cough once if it's a girl. And clear your throat if it's a boy.

Doctor: Um . . . this ultrasound was on your heart. We . . . didn't quite make it down to your uterus.

Eli: Seriously? What am I paying you people for?

Doctor: Anyway, your heart looks very healthy. I think you should feel confident going into next week's Ironman.

Eli: Yay! I'm PERFECT!

Doctor: Well, not exactly. You did faint a few times, after all.

Eli:Details . . .

Doctor: Based on everything I've looked at here and what we've talked about today, I feel pretty confident that you have been suffering from some very severe anxiety attacks.

Eli: Oh dear. Is there a cure for that?

Doctor: Yes. You need to calm down.


Doctor: It means that you probably need to not take on so much. You should consider cutting some things out of your life.

Eli: So you're saying I should probably take about month off of work?

Doctor: Um . . . no. I didn't say that at all.

Eli: MORE than a month?!

Doctor: No.

Eli: And what about ice cream?

Doctor: What about it?

Eli: Should I eat MORE ice cream?

Doctor: I don't understand why the conversation is going this way.

Eli: And there's this work thing that I accidentally committed to. Can you write me a note saying that I can't do it anymore? It's an all-day meeting in October.

Doctor: You aren't understanding me. I didn't say you need to stop working. I'm just telling you that you need to find ways to simplify a bit and relax.

Eli: You know what, sir--people wouldn't hate doctors so much if you guys would just tell us to stop working and start eating more ice cream like you're supposed to.

~It Just Gets Stranger