That's the one question no one should ever ask.
I had an appointment with my cardiologist on Wednesday. Collin wanted to go early and have lunch at the IHOP across the street from the University Club Tower (well, actually, he wanted to see his former supervisor, Dempsey, who now manages that restaurant). So we got an early start. I figured taking the Metrolink would be convenient, since the station is right behind the Tower.
If only it had been that simple.
As we approached the building, I noticed there was some construction going on. The parking lot seemed to be blocked. Collin started to climb some concrete stairs that would have given a mountain goat pause. I looked up at him. "You've got to be kidding," I told him.
"It's the only way in," he said.
"Now you tell me."
I managed to make it to the top, but I was really out of breath by the time I did so--and we still had to cross the parking lot, pass the hotel next door, and cross the street. And IHOP's parking lot was uphill. By this time, I was wishing I'd stayed home.
Fortunately, we had time to relax over lunch. I'd never met Dempsey before, and found him to be everything Collin had described: upbeat, friendly, an all-around great guy. It would be impossible to not like him. Lunch was great, too--if you go to IHOP, I can strongly recommend the Bananas Foster Brioche French Toast. Yum!
On to see the cardiologist, Dr. Vidic. First things first: an EKG (or, for those sticklers for accuracy, ECG--an electrocardiogram). He came in, listened to my heart and talked to me for a while. He was concerned that I get out of breath so easily. I've had high blood pressure for years, and had a heart attack ten years ago. And let's not even discuss the family history (thanks, Mom and Dad--wonderful inheritance there!).
Congestive heart failure or a blockage were suggested as possibilities. Just what I wanted to hear...not! I had a rather nasty cold, so he scheduled my stress test and echocardiogram for next week.
Believe it or not, the worst part of the day was yet to come.
We took the bus home. Two buses, actually...and that was where the nightmare began. Just before we reached the transfer point, it started to rain--not the shower that was forecast, but a downpour. Neither of us had brought an umbrella, and we had a twenty-minute wait for our connection--not to mention a half-block walk from one bus stop to the other. It was raining so hard, we could barely see where we were going. Collin was holding onto to me to make sure I didn't fall. A woman came running out of a building--she must have seen us from her office window--and gave us an umbrella. We were grateful, even though we were both already soaked to the skin.
The bus finally arrived--an air-conditioned bus. The next twenty minutes seemed like hours. I think I finally stopped shivering yesterday....
PS: Be sure you check out William's new photoblog. There's no end to his creative talents!