Health Humour

Cardiac Pornography

You know you’ve hired an expensive doctor when he treats you like an adult.

Hello there, Bock. I’m Gordon.

Hello, Gordon.

Sit down there, Bock, and we’ll have a look at your file.

My fucking file?? What has this Gordon bastard got on my file? I only walked in here this morning for the very first time. Is this place a front for the CIA? The KGB? The FBI? The BBC? The SUV? MI5? MI6?

M I fucking mad?

You see, I felt I owed it to myself to have a bit of a check-up and so, in a sudden rush of blood, so to speak, I signed up for this place where they check all your vital bits and pieces.

They put one of those things up against my chest — the things people use to see the sex of your baby. Did you ever see those things? Ultrasound. A nurse says to you, Look! There’s the baby’s arse! But all you can see is something resembling the huge ball of dust you meant to hoover out from under the bed but forgot, and now it’s all mixed up with breadcrumbs and mite-shit.

They put one of those things against me and said Look! There’s your heart! See how it pumps!!

Oh great. Is it a boy-heart or a girl-heart? I don’t want to see my fuckin heart pumping, thank you very much.

They say ominous things like, Now I’ll just check the thickness of the heart wall.


Oh, because if it’s been under stress for a long time it’ll be thickened.

So you squint at the screen with the ball of dust and mite-shit. It looks thick as bejesus.

Grand! says the nurse. No bother at all!

You relax, and begin to feel smug, but the nurse says, now we’ll get started, and then you get to see your heart pumping from a dozen different obscene angles — a sort of cardiac pornography for the very fucked-up.

Grand! says the chirpy little nurse who has no business being this cheerful this early. Now we’ll stick on the electrodes.

Easy for you to fuckin say, I’m thinking, but of course I don’t express that thought out loud. Surprisingly, it doesn’t hurt at all, and they have one of those screens just like you see in ER with all the parallel blippy little lines going badda-boom badda-bing!

Grand! says the cheerful nurse.

Excellent, you reply and begin to peel off the electrodes before the chirpy nurse grabs you in a vise-like grip. Ah no no no no, says the nurse, who turns out to be really Mrs Doyle. Up you get there on that treadmill.

Oh for fucksake, what now?

Well, we’ll start it rolling, and I’ll check your heart and blood pressure and when the pain gets too much for you, just let me know.


It usually gets them in the backs of their legs.

It starts rolling, slowly, and then it gets a little faster, and then a good bit faster, but I’m pounding right along with it, building up a sweat, and the little nurse is looking at me, perhaps a trifle disappointed.

Your, um, heart is looking fine.

Is it? I say. I’m as surprised as you are.

The thing speeds up some more, but I’m well into my rhythm now. Ba-boom, ba-boom, go my feet on the rolling road. In the zone. Ba-boom, ba-boom, ba-boom.

The nurse is looking concerned. Can you make it for another thirty seconds?

I can make it all night long, Baby! I reply chirpily.

Eventually, in disgust, the nurse switches the machine off.

OK. You’re done.

I hope you’re not going to stick a fork in my ass.



The nurse ushers me to a waiting room. Doctor Doolally will be along in a minute. She flings me one last accusing look as she leaves.


I’m a little paranoid now, and also a little vulnerable, sitting here in my sweat-soaked knacker-tracker loose-fitting baggy pants, tee-shirt and trainers while this suave, urbane, polite, concerned, respectful fucking EXPERT! looks casually through my file.

Hmm, he says.

Mmm? I reply

Well, he says, your heart is fine.

And my arteries?

Fine too.

So, I say, does this mean I can safely join a gym to lose the weight I put on when I quit smoking?

Certainly! he replies with a cheery, consultantly guffaw.

And I won’t have a heart attack and collapse in a purple, writhing mass on the floor as bewildered part-time gym staff read the instructions on the defibrillator?

Of course not!

So I can really put myself through months of gruelling, painful exercise?


I stand up and fix him with a look of pure hatred.

Gordon, I say. Thanks a fucking lot!

A visit to the doctor


The Top Man in His Field

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12 replies on “Cardiac Pornography”

Just did one of them last week myself. After years of abuse I owed it to my body, plus Lady McMad made the appointment for me. Blood taken and all. Have to go back on Tuesday for the results. I feel grand though, apart from the huge lump on my shoulders… oh wait… that’s me head.

You sound like a fine and stonking specimen, Bock. You have obviously evolved to run over Ireland’s vast savannahs in search of your tea. Bag me a box of Oolong when you’re out next, will ya, there’s a pal.

Congratulations on being sound of heart. That shit is a total nerve wrecker. At least they didn’t ask you to walk around in one of those pretty lill backless numbers.

BTW, couldn’t you just start smoking again, now that your ticker has ticked all the boxes?

Anyway, got a bad attack in me foot one Saturday while I was down in the city visiting me sister so she rings the local medical centre and gets me in for a doctor.
I crawl in on my hands and knees and he listens to my story and examines the foot. Yes, says he, looks like gout. Hop up there on the table and pull down your shorts. Oh, and face the wall.
Who am I to argue with a man of letters so I do and before you can say what are you doing Tuesday night he’s up to his elbow through the back door. Brought tears to my eyes. Last thing he said was everything seemed to be O.K. – take these tablets and try and favour the right foot for a couple of days.
I still to this day think I was raped but there’s a small doubt there all the time.
Was he actually a doctor?
Was he really the decorator taking a chance?
Fucked if I’ll ever be sure ‘cos he never called me back.

Hmmm. That does seem a bit extreme for a touch of gout, but on the other hand (if you’ll forgive the expression), perhaps it took your mind off the pain in your foot. Did it go away?

Bock, how much did it cost you to get the check-up done?
And congratulations on the ✔’s on the charts!

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