THE FAMILY STRESS TEST – Marilyn Armstrong

It was Garry’s stress test, but somehow, it was mine too. He did all the running and he didn’t quit until the angle on the machine-made caused him to lose his balance. His heart peaked at 165/90 which is the reading I get when I’m a little bit nervous.

Exercise matters.

The word is that his heart is just fine. Excellent. He has a great heart, which i could have told them, but now they have all the readouts, so it’s official. It’s just that we are all getting older.

EKG setup

If I were going to start a new career today, I would go into medical technology. I have to admit — I love those machines. I love watching how neatly the valves in a heart open and close and send the oxygenated blood to be pumped to the rest of the body. I love how they have been able to notice that someone needs an immediate fix — off with you to catheterization or surgery, or intake to the cardiac ward.


I talked with the woman who was in charge of the machinery. She was also in charge of the doctor. She said she loved her job, that medical technology is a fabulous job. You get to do important, potentially life-saving work — but it’s all technology.

My kind of gig. Of course, that work didn’t even exist when I was figuring out what to do with my life. There are so many choices now. Maybe we’ll lose jobs to robots, but robots or robotic tools are going to change the world for all of us.

We came out of the hospital happy. They didn’t exactly tell Garry he was doing great, but they sort of did. I believe the expression was “nothing to worry about.”So Garry is tired after 20 minutes of running uphill. I’m tired from traipsing around the hospital. There are four huge buildings with the same address, so we had to go to two of them to find the right room. Most of the time, if you ask someone where something is, they don’t know. They know where they are going — or where they work — but where anything else might be? It’s a labyrinth.

We needed to stop at the grocery store on the way home because going shopping the day before Thanksgiving would be the ultimate stress test for us. Then he had to haul the groceries upstairs, thenย haul the trash up our bunny-slope driveway. It was quite a day.

At seventy-six, he is learning to hear and he has a great heart.

Happy Thanksgiving, Y’all.

Categories: Health, Heart, Medical, UMass Memorial

Tags: , , ,

38 replies

  1. Life is good for both of you. ๐Ÿ™‚


    • Garry is about as healthy as anyone his age could be. Probably that he has been exercising every days since he was 17? Even WITH all the drinking and carousing, he’s STILL really healthy. He likes to point out he is older than me and entitled to “old guy” perks. I point out that if he wants to take on all the valves and implants, THEN he gets the “old guy” perks. Until then, be gracious. He’s HEALTHY.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I hope you enjoyed having a Thanksgiving meal that you did not have to cook. Great to hear that Garry is in good shape. At 76 “Nothing to worry about.” is very good news.


  3. Couldn’t ask for better news.


  4. Excellent news. Happy Thanksgiving


  5. Happy Thanksgiving, Marilyn and Garry. ๐Ÿ™‚


  6. Happy Thanksgiving, Marilyn and Garry, and may those be the biggest stress tests for the coming year!


  7. Yeah – we all knew Garry has a good heart – but it’s nice to get it medically confirmed by experts – or expert machines. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I’ll save further comment on that topic for another day ๐Ÿ˜€

    Happy T.G. ๐Ÿ™‚


  8. I managed to survive my first stress test in 2014, and have been told to expect another one when I go in for my yearly checkup in March. Garry’s probably in better shape than I am, 30-something years younger! I could use a sidekick to deal with all of those unruly customers in my Black Friday stress test tonight…


    • Garry was selling shoes before he moved into TV. His mother was sure he had a real future in shoe sales. He still checks my feet when I buy shoes, to make sure they fit properly. You can take a shoe sales guy and make him a reporter, but he always checks your feet.


  9. Glad to hear Garry’s got a good heart- more years of traipsing to come. Happy Thanksgiving


  10. YEP; and Amen to all of this! But then, you and a great many others already KNEW that Garry has a GREAT HEART, didn’t you?!!! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Like your approach to newer technology. I too would nowadays choose another career but ‘then’ choices were somewhat limited. In the end, the choice made for me (for lack of funds to let me study) was the best as I could work anywhere, worldwide and I couldn’t have done so with MY planned future….
    I also like that you don’t see robots only as thieves of jobs – in fact, I like most of your approaches and admire your honesty and straight-forwardness.
    And NOW: Happy Thanksgiving – it should be great as somebody else does the work! Enjoy – I’m thankful every day for what is given to me but I also totally agree to REALLY celebrate this fact once per year with a certain decorum!


    • My son is cooking and we are just eating, which is really the easy part. Having a great heart doesn’t mean all the valves work. It was very comforting to see all the valves moving in synchronicity, the blood moving properly through the ventricles. I think that with all the robots coming up, there will be plenty of jobs if you get an education. We need a lot more training areas for technical and technological jobs. Right now, it is difficult to find a really good school. We will need, I think, fewer liberal arts majors and a LOT more technically inclined workers. It’s not a lessening of work, but a change of the kind of work to be done. People need to lose that “grow up and work in the factory” mentality. That just isn’t where the world is going.

      Ever since I discovered computers, I have loved watching the growth of medical technology. I always had arguments with doctors because I wanted to watch the test, but the positioning was always wrong. This time, I got to really watch and it was great.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I love how enthusiastic and interested you are. I am technically not terribly inclined but make the best use of what I have. Mind you, although I feel myself not โ€˜quite up to muchโ€™ I seem to be of great help to others, often much younger friends who really are in a war with technical stuff, or rather electronical…. (smartphone, computer, etc). SO, I MUSTNโ€™T GRUMBLE! I WAS A FEW TIMES IN HOSPITAL BUT NEVER WANTED TO SEE WHAT WAS GOING ON AND EVEN, AT THAT LONG AGO TIME, BOUGHT MYSELF THE FIRST WALKMAN OF MY LIFE (A SONY), SO THAT I DIDNโ€™T HEAR THE SURGEONS snipping around my body and I was calmly listening to my music on CD… Sorry for the caps, thatโ€™s the keyboard on the iPad.


  11. Happy thanksgiving to you too โค๏ธ


  12. Glad that everything went well, although exhausting


  13. And happy Thanksgiving to you as well!


  14. Have a good holiday. Happy thanksgiving. ๐Ÿ๐Ÿฆƒ


  15. That’s great news! Have a wonderful holiday.


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