Musings of a Marfan Mom

A Mailman? Really?

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While I’m at the National Marfan Foundation conference, I thought it would be fun to republish some old posts. This one is from August 28th, 2008.

In life, you just have to be able to poke fun at yourself. Today is one of those days for sure!

Being a high-risk cardiac pregnancy, my doctors are understandably keeping a close eye on my health and on the baby. I’ve been having some breathing troubles for about a year but they were ignored for awhile, until I was a couple months pregnant and my hormones made me less than patient about not being taken seriously. :-p So, a couple of weeks ago I got a heart monitor. Now, other than when I wear a dress on Sundays, this is not so bad. The wires are mostly hidden under my shirt, and the monitor is small enough to look like a pager.

On dress days I have to wear the monitor as a necklace around my neck because I don’t have a waistband on which to clip the pager. I’ll admit this looks rather odd. It certainly caught the attention of the 8 and 9 year olds I teach in Primary (children’s Sunday school). Luckily, the girls more or less decided it was ugly enough to be cool. Whew! It’s important to keep that “cool factor,” lol.

However, the heart monitor only checks my rate and looks for palpitations. I also needed a blood pressure monitor. It took about 6 weeks, but I finally got it today. Let me tell you: you haven’t seen ugly until you’ve seen this machine, OK?

First of all, the cuff is, of course, large. It’s also robin’s egg blue. I got a tan “fake belt” to hang the machine itself on. The machine weighs about 5 pounds and is encased in a matching (thank goodness for small blessings lol!) robin’s egg blue pouch. Even those wouldn’t be so bad, except the hospital doesn’t have different sizes of tubing, apparently. I have this black tube going from the pouch, across my shoulder, down my back and onto the cuff that could probably fit Dave, and he is (no joke) featured on the TLC show “World’s Tallest People” because I think he’s closer to 8″ than 7″.

This whole contraption is kind of like a pageant sash for sick people.

Anyway, I had to wear this with me to the OB office. Not too terrible; apparently that floor is mostly for patients with high-risk pregnancies so they might be a little more used to weirdness. However, nurses in other departments apparently are not.

I was in the elevator just after having some bloodwork done when I noticed a nurse staring at me. “Do you have to wear that ALL the time?” she asked. “All the time till tomorrow morning,” I replied with a smile. “BLESS YOU!” she said as I exited the elevator. If I had stayed, this is how she would have finished the sentence: “BLESS YOU for having to wear something so incredibly ugly it makes me want to cry just looking at you!” True story.

The BEST part of the day so far was when I got back home. I stopped to get my mail on my way up to my apartment, when my neighbor from ACROSS THE HALL called out to me. I thought she was saying hello, but she was asking if I could hold her mail instead of putting it in her box. She looked really embarrassed when she realized I wasn’t the mail woman.

I think, if this get-up was red, I’d make a much more believable fire woman than a postal worker!

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