Tuesday, January 29, 2013

PanTing in a BoX

Crowded waiting room. Lung issues all over the place. People sizing each other up; wondering what "she's got".

Health card and hospital card are drawn like guns and slapped down on the table. Click, click on the keyboard and seconds later your cards are thrown back at you, with barely a grunt audible from the receptionist.

You move to the waiting room and score a chair, feeling all eyes in the room penetrating your very soul. You sit, perhaps make small talk, perhaps larger talk if there is someone interesting nearby.

A technologist wanders out and all heads shoot up; all eyes staring expectantly. Everyone wanting it to be their name called so they can get the heck out of there and down to Starbucks...and probably on to the next appointment of the day.

At last your name is called. You hustle behind the technologist (in this case it's a woman) into the PFT lab. You are asked to immediately hop on the scale - everyone wants to get tabs on your weight. You step on and hope that it goes your way. It does. You've gone up 1 pound. 1 pound is a lot for someone who's been facing malnourishment square in the face.

You make a mental note to celebrate with a tall hazelnut pike after.

Then you are asked to leave the tall hazelnut pike (that's currently in your hand) on the counter as it can't go into the lab. You sulk, but comply.

You walk down a hall, past a bunch of "breathing stations" where other patients are blowing hard and trying not to pass out; their faces brighter than your red kicks.

You enter a room and are seated. The technologist runs through the drill, although you've done this a gazillion times so there's really no need. Again, depending on the personality in front of you, you make small talk or beyond.

A tube, in which you will breathe in and out of, is given to you. Nose clips are handed to you; at least they are a sexy green.

You sit up straight - do not slouch. Slouching is not conducive to an optimal outcome. 

Your lips go around the tube ensuring they are tight. It is imperative that you do not let any air escape.

The test begins.

You breathe normally. In. Out. In. Out. In. Out.

Take a deep breath. Breathe out slowly....push. Push.....keep it going....push. Deep breath.


Catch your breath.

***Here is where the old you, with the crusties, would have coughed and coughed and coughed and struggled. Here is where your crusties would have held you back; delaying the test while you tried to get them to function again.***

The first test is repeated twice more for accuracy.

Next test.

Breathe normally. In. Out. In. Out. In. Out.

Deep breath in. Blow out hard. Fast. Push. Push. Push. Deep breath in. 

Picture this, but longer, plus gadgets inside

Catch your breath.

Test is repeated twice more.

Next step involves a box. A big glass box. You could say it resembles an an upright coffin.

You step inside. The technologist closes the door. Nose clips on. Lips around tube.

Breathe normally.

Pant. In. Out. In. Out. In. Out.

Air is blocked off. You feel like you can't breathe; maybe you are dying? Nope. You can clearly hear those annoying instructions to keep panting. Obviously you will live to drink another delicious cup of java.

Keep panting. In. Out. In. Out. In. Out.

Breathe normally.

Pant. In. Out. In. Out. In. Out.

Air is blocked off.

Keep panting. In. Out. In. Out. In. Out.

Testing's over. You are a guinea pig no longer. Freedom; you escape the box. 

You grab a copy of your test. Your eyes scan the page...lung function, where art thou?

Instant gratification.

You have improved. Your chunkers continue to amaze you...

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