And all I got was this lousy T-shirt

Photo courtesy of

October was a strange month here at Frump Central. Since I know you’re all wondering, here’s what I’ve been doing:

  • Trying not to become homicidal in response to political ads on TV;
  • Working to get back into prime running shape (and doing quite well, until recently);
  • Teaching, grading, and trying to get my semester under control before Seasonal Affective Dysfunction saps my motivation in early November, and;
  • Having what I will euphemistically call a cardiac “event” that landed me in the hospital for two days.

As they used to say back in the days of newspapers, I buried the lead, didn’t I?

I don’t need to relay all the details, but suffice it to say that I am fine, and I should continue to be fine. My heart has been looked at from every possible angle, and aside from the one tiny, little spot that rebelled, it looks great. An entire fleet of fairly badass doctors assures me that I should be running again in no time, that my prognosis is excellent, and that, as surprising as my “event” was to all of us, these things do happen.

True, there are some new medications in my life. And the support staff here at Team Frump now includes a cardiologist. But since I already require a hefty crew of professionals to keep me going (hair stylist, personal trainer, and bartender among them), along with a dedicated group of volunteers (friends,  parents, brothers, Mr. Frump), what’s one more?

The only problem is that I am — of course — far too young to be relegated to the waiting room in a cardiologists’ office. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. On my first trip there, I did get some curious looks from the other folks waiting. They had been there for quite a while, it appeared, but the mood was surprisingly festive. They all knew each other by first name. Most have already spent quite a few years as patients of this particular cardiologist, whose name — hilariously — suggests incompetence. (Let’s call him “Dr. Quack”).

The woman next to me nudged me shortly after I sat down in the one unoccupied chair. “It’s busy today,” she said. As if I needed further confirmation, she pointed to a gentleman sleeping in the corner.   “He’s been here since I arrived.”

I’d been warned that Dr. Q has a reputation for running late because he spends so much time with his patients. But I liked him when he saw me in my local hospital’s emergency room. His early predictions wound up being right on target. And when the time came to transport me to the big city for more sophisticated testing, he made the arrangements to get me into a pretty great hospital. One of the first doctors I saw there said, “I know Dr. Quack. He’s the only guy out there I would trust.”

“Out there” meaning, of course, the barely tamed wilderness in which I live, fifty minutes outside Boston, accessible by three major highways. But we expect a little bit of dismissive hubris from our big city doctors. So if Dr. Q is good enough for him, he’s good enough for me.

But I knew I was in trouble when I read the first of many forms that I was to fill out in Dr. Q’s office — the one I was to bring in to the doctor, outlining the reason for my visit (“Um, because you told me I have to come here?”).  About halfway down, it asked this simple question, “What time was your appointment supposed to be?”

Ha ha! Gotta love a specialist with a sense of humor.

And his patients aren’t so shabby, either. When Mr. Sleeping Man’s name was finally called, he raised both arms over his head in a gesture of victory, and then began the slow clap. No, really; he did. Isn’t that awesome? I’ve only met them once, but I kind of love my new cardiac compadres.

“The doctor is so wonderful, we’re all willing to wait,” said the woman next to me, adding, “I just hope I get out of here before dark! I hate to drive in the dark. Do you know what time it gets dark?”

It was barely past three o’clock. This did not bode well. I realized that I might be quite some time in the antechamber of Dr. Q. Helpfully, the waiting room TV blared with an endless stream of infuriating political ads, half of which would have turned me into a cardiac patient by this point if I hadn’t been one already.

But I made it in, eventually, and I was told that everything looked really good, and that some healing was already visible on my ultrasound.

Next week, I go back for a stress test, so that I can begin exercising again. Whoot-whoot! (Fortunately,  I’m back at work now, so I can bring plenty of grading to the waiting room with me). If everything looks good, I can start a cardiac rehab program at the hospital. And truth be told, I could probably skip that and just exercise on my own. But since I’m not one for heroics — “chickenshit” is the word that comes to mind — I am happy to be supervised in my exercise. “You’ll definitely be the youngest, best-looking one there,” added Dr. Q.

Well, alrighty then! How many places do I go where that is the case?

And hey — if I’m worried about my long-term security during retirement, what better place to meet a rich, old guy with a bad heart? Mr. Frump will back me up on this, I’m certain.

What I haven’t been doing in these past few weeks is clothes shopping, wardrobe planning, or fashion blogging. I didn’t forget you all, though, especially when I was trying to wrestle myself in and out of various ill-fitting hospital garments. There’s a story to be written there; I’m just not sure what it is.

But don’t worry; things are looking up. Just last week, I attended a political rally (I won’t disclose for whom). In a moment of civic fervor, I put a sticker for this candidate on the lapel of my jacket. My favorite, very best, suede jacket.

Oh, yeah. You know where this is going, don’t you? If you don’t, then you’ve never applied an adhesive to suede. After almost thirty minutes of struggle, I got the sticker off, but a dark, gummy substance remains. A trip to the cleaner is in my future, and if they are not able to repair this, I will be forced to produce a long, rambling, incoherent and extremely spoiled rant about the loss of my best, most valuable item of clothing.

Which is to say: back to normal. Because cardiac events are one thing. But this is suede, people. Let’s put things in perspective.

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About Anne @ The Frump Factor

Reflections on beauty and style, for women who weren't born yesterday. Bring your sense of humor and "Fight the Frump" with me!
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60 Responses to And all I got was this lousy T-shirt

  1. infopubs says:

    Oh, wow! I always get nervous when a favorite blogger goes quiet, and now you’ve confirmed my paranoia. I’m glad your little “event” hasn’t damaged your sense of humor, and wish you the most speedy recovery!

  2. I’m so sorry to hear of your ‘event’! It goes to show, even fit women who maintain a healthy lifestyle can be drug into ‘events’ like this we would rather not attend! I’m glad, however, you now are under the care of a doctor you can trust. But, where’s the T-shirt? :-)

  3. Abby says:

    So glad you are feeling well and back to blogging :)

  4. Donna says:

    Scary. I’m glad you’re doing well and glad you’re back to blogging. Running is next!

  5. tamerakitten says:

    WOW Anne–I’ve been wondering where you’ve been!! I’m glad to hear everything is under control and you’ll be ok!!! Take care of yourself!!

  6. Oh, gosh, Anne. You had way more important things to do than think about clothes. I’m so glad you are all right, and will be able to get back to your normal activities.

    I’m jealous that you have a bartender :P Note to self: get one.

    I hope your dry cleaner can fix that jacket. I tend to grieve rather idiotically when fave clothes get ruined :(

  7. Wow, Anne, I’ve missed you and worried and now I know — worrying is for a Good Reason! Glad to hear you are better and have a good doctor who’s so good you “can’t get in” (that’s the definition of a good doctor in Florida). Keep doing all those healthy things and pls stay in touch. BTW, my husband is also understanding about the prospects of a sickly, wealthy, elderly gent for me : >

  8. Cynthia says:

    Oh dear! I’m glad you are all right. I am waiting for the election to be over so I can either breathe again or start applying for jobs in Denmark.

  9. Paula says:

    Ahh at least I found the comment section, Anne!
    OMG tho, Anne, how traumatic! You poor thing…so glad to hear you are ok!

  10. gingerR says:

    I agree, you are a little young to be telling tales about “your” Cardiologist. You did so well on that last run too. Perhaps less running and more beer is the trick?

  11. gracefully50 says:

    SO glad you’re okay!

  12. Yes I can see why you were a bit busy. At least you’re keeping your sense of humor. Are you sure it wasn’t the political ads that caused your cardiac event? I’ve taken to watching HBO, PBS, and BBC because at least I won’t have to scream at the ads every six minutes.
    I had a Dr. Payne once, which we (the patients) all found hilarious. I was just thankful he was a dermatologist and not an orthopedic surgeon or GI specialist. “Payne” on the outside is one thing, but I would have had to reconsider anything more invasive.
    I am very glad you are recovering, you smart, wonderful lady. Take care!

  13. You’ve no idea how GLAD I am that you’ve lived to tell the tale of Dr. Quack’s delightful waiting room and the sticker on the suede jacket! These things have a way of putting priorities in the right place, don’t they!

  14. I had that very same problem with suede. Ruined a beautiful coat with a (non-political) sticker. Sorry to hear about the heart trouble and glad you’re feeling better.

  15. ammaponders says:

    Can you pin a brooch over the sticky spot?
    Glad you are okay.

  16. First of all,I really hope you’re healing and will get better soon! Second, I just love your story telling abilities. Mine are pathetic in comparison. Finally, I’m so sorry about the suede. It’s a difficult material that I tend to avoid, though I do have a skirt in the fabric.

  17. Beryl says:

    Oh Anne! How scary – glad you’re going to be OK.
    Good luck with the Suede jacket. Is it one of the washable ones? Maybe you can rub olive oil onto the adhesive and then spot treat it before throwing it into the washer.
    Dr. Love was the Vasectomy expert in Seattle 30 years ago.

  18. denise:) says:

    Wow!! Scary! I’m so glad you’re going to be okay and you can use your ol’ ticker at full speed again someday. Your doc seems like a hoot.

    And- i’m with you on the campaign ads – omg, it’s ALMOST over!!!

  19. 40plusstyle says:

    Gosh Anne. What a story! Very good to hear that you are alright and healthy again.

    As for the elections ads, you are already one of so many I’ve heard complaining about this. I must say, as someone from a European background, I am amazed how much money is spent on elections in the US. I really don’t understand why they would not have better laws against that. I think they were even loosened! It seems to me that it corrupts the whole process and it’s such a waste of money that could be spent on better causes…

  20. Irene says:

    Glad to hear that you are feeling better!!
    A great doctor is like a real emerald.
    Please keep on fighting frumpville.

  21. I’m glad you are doing well. Seems we all are having some issues. When you find out how to remove sticker residue from swede please pass it on. I have a beautiful long swede crochet jacket that suffered the same fate.
    Take care and listen to dr. Quack

  22. angie says:

    So glad you are healthy and sound again and I’m sure this incident will change your life for the best.I hope you will be able to run soon , be creative and go shopping to just give yourself a present.

  23. yearstricken says:

    So glad that you are doing well and that you are maintaining your priorities. :)

  24. Were you at Emerson, per chance? I know it pretty well. Hope you get back to running soon!!!!!

    • No; I do know Emerson quite well, as my primary care doctor is in their network. (They’re my venue of choice for colonoscopies!) I was in a community hospital slightly further out west….and then at Tufts in Boston. (And I cannot say enough good things about them!)

  25. I am so sorry to hear about your event and hope that you are back to running as soon as possible. Life can change suddenly and take us by surprise, but sounds like you are going to be just fine. Take care of your beautiful self!

  26. Buried the headline you did- I hope it doesn’t bury you. I had a good heart-y (bad pun alert!) laugh about Dr Q. I hope you take care and recover soon. No more events. PS: Hope your suede jacket survived your political allegiances.

  27. Serene says:

    Anne, I love this! The suede part…….not the cardiac event part…..thought I should clear that up! Personally, I have a heart attack about once a week; but it passes so I can’t complain! ;) Sounds like you’re as spunky as ever girly! Hey, judging by our twitter exchanges, I’m starting to think you’re my sister from another mother!

  28. Marla says:

    Yes it is a little disconcerting when you think you are doing everything right when it comes to your health, and all of a sudden you are on medications and being followed by various specialists. I use
    to laugh at my mom when she would show me her calendar. Instead of it being filled with various lunch dates, it was filled with doctor’s appts. Now I fear I am starting on that same path. I enjoyed reading your post.

  29. I hope you feel completely better soon and can get back to the running! It is my favorite sport.

  30. I’m sorry this story had to be around your “event”. I’m glad you’re okay and have a good doctor to look after you. So sorry about your suede. I hope the dry cleaner can fix it.

  31. So sorry you’ve had this setback, but my, you can really tell a story! You had me chuckling quite a few times, which is a challenge when you’re writing about a cardiac event, surely. I hope you figure out how to work around this new reality and that the rehab/exercise program helps you find a fitness regime that you enjoy and that gets you the results you want. Tough to give up the running meanwhile, but good that your heart’s being well supervised!

    • Thank you very much. Happy to provide a chuckle – I find it’s the best way to face most situations! Although I don’t think I’ll be reaching anything close to your mileage, any time soon (or EVER), I do hope to be out on the trail again.

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