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Random Thoughts


Hudson Cooper
Posted 1/27/23

Like many of you I spent the last few weeks of 2022 preparing for the new year. I started a folder to gather up my receipts and check registers to get ready to prepare this year’s tax …

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Random Thoughts



Like many of you I spent the last few weeks of 2022 preparing for the new year. I started a folder to gather up my receipts and check registers to get ready to prepare this year’s tax returns. 

After attending to all that paperwork, I embarked on my other year-end activity. Having met my deductibles for my medical insurance, December is also my time to line up appointments for a checkup with the various doctors who I trust to monitor my health. Of course, being a resident of Sullivan County all my appointments were scheduled with the caveat of “weather permitting.” 

Scheduling my appointments has become a lot easier thanks to wi-fi and the internet. Most of my physicians utilize a “patient portal” where I can schedule, change or cancel my appointments. It is a more efficient way of communicating with them. I remember the time when all this was accomplished by a tedious phone call. To refresh your memory, the automated voice on the other end would usually begin by having you identify yourself with your date of birth, area code and last four digits of your social security number. From there you had to go through a series of other selections. Eventually you were informed that due to a large volume of calls you could not complete your call “at this time.”  So, you left a message and hoped for a return call. 

Luckily, I was able to schedule an appointment with my cardiologist for my annual checkup. His assistant informed me that I was overdue for a cardiac stress test. I have a suggestion regarding that test. It needs to have a new name. Just hearing the current name causes stress. Why not refer to it as a heart evaluation test? 

For those who have not had the test, you are wired up to a monitor that evaluates your heart as you walk on a treadmill at increasing speeds and elevations. I do the same thing at the gym. The difference is that at the gym I do not have wires attached all over my chest. Also, at the gym I cover the readouts with a towel, so I am not constantly staring at the time/rate indicators. So, here is my suggestion. The heart evaluation test should be on a treadmill that offers you a distraction while you are monitored. It would be less stressful to be watching an episode of “Seinfeld” instead of the LED reminder of the speed, elevation and duration of your exam. 

Now let me offer another suggestion regarding the wires that get attached to you for a stress test or an EKG. An EKG is an electrocardiogram. Although it seems it should be called an ECG, the K comes from its roots in Germany. 

Let me suggest how those procedures could utilize a wi-fi component. For an EKG or stress test an aide sticks plastic strips to your body. Then, wires that resemble the tentacles of an octopus are attached to the strips. By the way, no matter how careful the aide is, at some point back home, you will find one of those strips still attached to your body.

It seems that wi-fi could replace those tentacles and make the EKG and heart evaluation test well, less stressful. The strips would communicate directly to the recording machine. Eliminating the wires having to be attached to the strips would shorten the duration of the test. Personally, the shorter time would be most welcomed as I lie on my back and stare at the ceiling.

A quick note about wi-fi. Despite what you may have heard, the term wi-fi is not a shortened version of wireless fidelity. It is a trademarked user-friendly name conceived by a marketing agency called Interbrand. Interbrand was hired by the Wi-Fi Alliance to come up with a catchy name to replace the clumsy industry name of IEEE 802.11b Direct Sequence. 

Although wi-fi is not a shortened version of wireless fidelity; hi-fi does refer to high fidelity sound. I think piping in some relaxing hi-fi into an examination room would be a nice way to diminish the stress of being tested for your physical. 

Hudson Cooper is a resident of Sullivan County, a writer, comedian and actor.


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