Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Testing My Stress

As a follow-up to my heart attack scare last week, my doctor requested that I have a stress test. Finally! A test I can pass without studying!!

The cardiologist's office called me last Tuesday evening after I left the ER to set up the appointment. I swore the nurse said to come in on Monday - however, when I showed up on Monday, they had no record of an appointment for me. Wow, the stress starts in the waiting room - that's great! So after some digging around, they found a file for me and saw that I had been called for an appointment but it wasn't in the system. However, they had an opening on Tuesday. Sure, I'll take another few hours off work, why not?

I had been told about the test from some past participants, and given some friendly advice, such as don't wear fleece pants as you will sweat your monitors off and don't fly off the back of the treadmill when they stop it. I have been practicing at home on my treadmill and have managed to stay upright and between the handles, so I was good with the whole not-flying-off. As for wardrobe, I decided to wear my yoga pants, t-shirt, sports bra, and running shoes.

I go back to the testing room, and the male tech tells me to take off my shirt and bra and put on this paper vest. Uh, hang on a second - if you're going to want me to run on that treadmill, I'm going to need to something a little more support in the boobocles area than a paper vest. People could get hurt, I'm just saying. I ask Mr. Tech if I'll be running and he says that I'll be walking quickly but won't be running. I think I can keep the twins in check if I just walk. Whew.

He sticks 12 monitors on me and once again, I'm wired up for sound to run some baseline tests. I swear I looked like the back of Craig's TV with all these cords and leads all over. Then he did an ultrasound of my heart. That was the most painful ultrasound I've ever had. He was jamming the sensor into my ribs and pushing my bones around - not fun. At one point he asked me to take a deep breath and hold it so he could get a good reading, but when he poked me pretty hard I had to gasp. He was like "oh, did that hurt?" That gel doesn't add a lot of cushion, dude.

Finally I get on the treadmill and keep up with the speed and incline. I was pretty proud of me, I'm not going to lie. After about 10 minutes the doctor says that they have the readings they need, so I dismount with grace and dignity. Mr. Tech did repeat the ultrasound process again, but this time he wasn't as pushy. Maybe my previous grimaces of pain clued him in.

Anyway, the doctor said it probably isn't heart-related, as I had a few twinges while I was on the treadmill, but they didn't show up in the readings. He did say my heart was strong and everything looked good, so I've got that going for me.

I'll follow up with my doctor soon, but I'm still having the pain. It's just frustrating to go through all these tests and still not know what the hell is wrong with me. Maybe my heart is just broken.


Nicole C. said...

I hope you get some answers soon.
(@nrcourtney on Twitter)

Hope said...

I hope you feel better soon!

Jill of All Trades said...

Glad that part is over and good. Hope you find the answers you need soon. Carla

Angie said...

Has anyone looked at your gall bladder? That is some intense pain!! When I was having attacks it would wake me up, and would hurt to breathe, so they thought I was having chest pains too.

Susan said...

I've had that ultrasound test to see if my heart was enlarged and you're right, it hurt like heck. And the stress test is mind over matter. I agree with Angie...Dr. Susan says it's gallbladder.