This afternoon, my long awaited cardiology test appointment at Llandough hospital was scheduled to take place after a two month, ten day wait. As I drove from the street the engine temperature warning light came on. Fortunately I'd left in good time, so I returned home and discovered the engine coolant had lost two litres, since it returned from servicing over the weekend. I replenished the fluid and drove to the hospital without any further trouble, but by then was in danger of running late in the 'school run' time traffic.
Although I found a parking place easily, I parked almost as far away as I could from the Outpatients department, as I hadn't registered where it was located from signage on the way in. I power walked the five hundred yards along hospital corridors, stopping to ask my way twice, and arrived just on time. When my blood pressure was taken ten minutes later, I was met with the usual frowns, as it had gone through the roof. I didn't bother to explain, just said I always reacted badly the first few times I was tested. The nurse didn't take it again.
The ultrasound and EEG tests followed one another in quick succession it seemed, after brief waits. Little was said by way of explanation. Maybe it was assumed I'd been through this before. I was quite fascinated to hear the different kinds of sound feedback issuing from a system monitor during the ultrasound test. The EEG chart I was given to pass on showed no irregular spikes this time, but then I have stopped overdosing on dark roast Americanos since the first time I had one.
The consultant discussed the results with me in detail, and smiled when I recounted him the tale of my arrival mishaps. No wonder my blood pressure skyrocketed. He said the tests show my heart is healthy and normal for my age, allowing for the wear and tear to be expected for three score years and ten. As ever, keep an eye on hypertension, and come back for another check in two years time. No tests ad interim, no treatment needed. And for me no more worries about travelling abroad and getting insurance cover. I can once more let others know that I'm available for locum duty. A joyful return home, with an extra spring in my step. The uncertainty of waiting has finally been lifted. And I am utterly grateful, to be able to continue normally, at least for the time being. I keep on reminding myself, nothing lasts forever. Especially not the car.