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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Yesterday's Stress/Echo Test

Health insurance has become complicated. I checked into a cardiology clinic yesterday for a stress/echo test that was supposed to last an hour and a half. After 30 minutes, I walked back into the waiting area. It seems my chest wall is too thick to transmit clear images of the heart. In the past, a nurse would solve this problem by injecting a contrast dye into my veins, but my insurance company discontinued payment for the procedure. So I had only a resting echo test before the technician escorted me to an appointment scheduler. The scheduler set up an appointment for a nuclear stress test that will last three and a half hours. Fortunately, the insurance company approves nuclear stress tests, but I had to wait 30 minutes to find out what the copay will be.

Waiting thirty minutes at a medical facility is not my idea of time well spent. My patience fades and frustration builds. Nevertheless, I did not experience a heart attack during the waiting time, and I don’t expect to have a heart attack during the nuclear stress test. “You have need of patience” (Hebrews 10:36) is not my life verse, but it is certainly appropriate.

It seems to me it costs a lot of money and consumes a lot of time to find out what my heart looks like, except when I ask God to search it. He examines the heart thoroughly and provides an infallible diagnosis. King David wrote, “I know also, My God, that You test the heart” (1 Chronicles 29:17). Wisely, he asked God to examine his heart (Psalm 26:2).

After the nuclear stress test, I may not be due for another heart test for a year or so, but I need to ask God to examine my heart daily. But that kind of test appeals to me as a Scottish-born lad—it’s free!

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