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July 21, 2011

Well, that was different ...

The stress test today was interesting. It was my first, as I have never had any heart trouble, except for some bruises and the occasional heel print. It started an hour late, which was good and bad. The Good: it gave me time to read another hundred pages of my book, Game of Thrones (we'll talk about that another time) but The Bad: it also made me anxious that there wouldn't be enough time to finish my test. I was only able to have a small breakfast, nothing after 10 am, and my nervousness was burning up my protein shake pretty quickly. By the time they finally called me in, I was ready to jump out of my skin.

And then I sat and waited another half hour. Really? I totally forgot about the multi-stage waiting rooms the major doctors have and the cardiologist, well, that would be one of them. So when they called me from the second waiting room, I was running on empty and I hadn't even started.

My stress test was unique, mostly to accommodate my knees. I was scheduled for a modified stint on the treadmill as well as a radioactive isotope injection to jumpstart my heart. Nothing to be worried about, right? Not like I watch House or anything, where these simple tests always end up with the patient writhing on the floor in a puddle of bloody spittle.

Anywhooo, visions of death aside, I got my IV in, got a bajillion monitor pads stuck to me, and then had the leads attached to those, along with a monitor strapped on. Once the doctor came in, I started walking. After a few minutes (of increasing speed), my heart finally reached the target of 147 BPM and a syringe of radioactive isotope was squirted into my IV ... this is where I expected the worse. Tech checked my BP ... no problems. No nausea, no dizziness, no pesky frothing at the mouth or writing in pain ... just a slight jump, which was what they were hoping to see. After 4 minutes of that, my BP was taken again as the treadmill was stopped. 4 minutes of resting, then BP again, and I get a "Looks great!" from the doctor. 

I was put back in the waiting room, where I struck up a conversation with a nice older man who, oddly enough, will be one of my daughter's professors at ECU. I drink plenty of water because I'm suddenly parched and by the time they come get me again, I'm feeling pretty relaxed. Until I see the next phase.

I'm asked to climb up in a chair that looks like an ancient torture device and told to relax. And I'm actually able to relax a bit until the chair starts moving and my feet are no longer touching the footrest. Monitor lines are attached again and a bar is swung in front of my face.  I'm told that I need to keep my arms raised over my head while they take pictures of my heart, that I can lean on the bar for 'comfort'. Then music starts, I'm told to be absolutely still, this will only last 11 minutes.

And for the next 11 minutes, I sit still, suspended, while I'm slowly rotated 180 degrees. The music helped pass the time (I requested punk and got The Cure? No worries, I loved it) but I had quite a bit of tingling in my fingertips by the time he let me put my arms down. And that was it, I got to leave for the day. I go back next Monday for MORE radioactive stuff and some sitting around and more picture taking but then this part is done.

And then the last thing I have is the Endoscopy next Thursday. And then we schedule the surgery.

10 days without caffeine and on low carbs. I haven't killed anyone yet. :)

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This page contains a single entry by Prosemonkey published on July 21, 2011 8:48 PM.

Hurdle was the previous entry in this blog.

He may not be following me, but I'm following him ... is the next entry in this blog.

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