"All I want is to see if I could get in to see the doctor today?"
"Sure, let me see what I can do.... Ummm, no. The doctor has no open appointments this week. I can connect you with a nurse who will help you."
"Okay." I said, and shortly a nurse was on the phone. She asked me what the problem was and then told me that she would have to turn me over to a triage nurse. After ten minutes of answering more questions, the triage nurse asked me if I wanted her to call 911 or was I feeling well enough to call them myself.
"No! No 911, no ambulances, no lights and sirens outside my house. All I want to do is go to the doctor."
"Sir, from what you have told me, you need to go to the emergency room right away."
"But I don't want to go to the emergency room." I said, nearly sobbing. "I just want to go to the doctor's office."
Well, the triage nurse convinced me that I needed to go to the ER immediately. Which I did. I had my friend Dennis drive me there and on the way my nurse sister called me and told me to make sure I tell them that I was having chest pains.
"That way they'll rush you right in there ahead of everybody else."
So I did, and they did. Still, it took five hours of poking, sticking, prodding, and waiting around. I was wired up like my old component stereo system. During the course of the day I saw five doctors. At least a couple of them were very young and cute, which made things a little bit more palatable. What I was told by the doctors was that I had an irregular heartbeat, that it was a beat off. It was explained that this was in the upper chambers and not much to worry about. They called it 'palpitations' which I thought only happened to antebellum ladies of the South along with the vapors. Anyway, I was sent home but I am still wired up with a monitor attached to me. I get to wear this thing for two days. I can't take it off, I can't take a shower with it on, and as of yet I don't know how the hell I'm going to sleep with it attached to me.