For reasons rather too dull to go into in this action-packed corner of the Internet, I’m currently wearing a cardiac monitor. Don’t get excited, it’s nothing fatal. I’m just being monitored.
Sounds thrilling, doesn’t it? A little bit dangerous, perhaps even borderline glamorous.
Wearing a cardiac monitor means that I have approximately 10 metres of industrial-strength NHS cable secreted under my t-shirt, making it look as though I’m smuggling a small family of snakes.
The wires are attached to strategic points of my body with stickers that weren’t in the slightest bit uncomfortable when I was lying on a hospital bed, but the moment I stood up, and my flesh relaxed back into its normal position, immediately became excruciatingly uncomfortable and itchy. They’re fixed like glue because the nurse basically rubs your skin with sandpaper before sticking them to you (“Think of it as being like exfoliation, but on the NHS,” she said cheerfully before removing the top 10 layers of my skin).
Anyway, the wires are attached to a box, that is placed inside a small grey pouch, which is in turn attached to a long, rubber strap worn across the body on the outside of the clothing. It’s like the world’s least fashionable handbag.
I’m looking a-ma-zing, obviously.
The lovely surprise about wearing a cardiac monitor is that every so often it beeps. This isn’t AT ALL awkward in social occasions. And let me tell you friends, there is nothing suspicious about something under your clothing BEEPING while you’re walking past the security guard at the door of your local Tesco store with a packet of chocolate muffins. Nope, nothing at all.
The other wonderful thing about cardiac monitors is they’re designed with the average person in mind. And I’m basically a midget.
This means there’s approximately 2 metres of unnecessary cable dangling somewhere around my waist.
You may know we’ve recently adopted two kittens. And it turns out there’s nothing on God’s green earth that kittens like more than dangling wires.
Every so often, I’m caught unawares by a cat making a lunge for my stomach, pointy parts fully extended, a gleam of triumph in its eye.
It’s rather un-nerving, to say the least. Still, I’m sure the ninja kittens are adding an element of drama to the heart rate readings…
I have to wear this fetching accessory for a full 48 hours. During which time I can not shower, nor apply any form of deodorant, cream or perfume. Also, due to a teeny tiny misunderstanding at the hospital, I’m unable to remove my bra without disconnecting the damn wires or ripping off half the skin from my upper body, not to mention probably triggering an alarm at the hospital to tell someone that my heart has stopped beating.
Cunningly, during the 48 hours of not washing, changing clothes or applying any cleaners, I’m also meeting up with 15 bloggers to talk about a new range of soaps and cleansing products.
I am nothing if not gifted at forward planning, eh?
Still, I can enjoy the irony of that situation, if nothing else.
(I should add, there’s really nothing seriously wrong with me, and no danger I’m about to keel over. Promise.)