“A wise old owl lived in an oak;
The more he saw the less he spoke;
The less he spoke the more he heard...
Why can't we all be like that bird?”
― Edward Hersey Richards




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Yesterday, I got a chance to hear from my cardiologist about the results from the nuclear stress test I went through last week.

Last Monday I had to fast from midnight Sunday through to 11 a.m. Monday morning. The testing took nearly 6 hours. It was a very long day for me. The first part was to have a heart sonogram. This was neat. I could see every valve and motion my heart was doing. Even sound. Tho, I have to admit, when my heart would do it's arrhythmic dancing, it didn't sound good! It was a bit uncomfortable at times for me, but the images and sounds told me I was alive!





After that, I was instructed to get my first injection of radioactive substance into my veins. I then had to drink cold water to encourage the 'glow in the dark' juices to flow more quickly, into my system. Then, I had to sit in an 'ice chamber' ---well, it really wasn't icy, but damn cold!! And I had my walking shorts and tank top on. Instructions were to sit, relax and enjoy the hour's wait! Ya, right. *shivering* and trying to read! Luckily the cardiologists' test center was on the 4th floor, and right smack dab on the ocean-view side of the downtown area! So, I had a choice seat for sitting and watching the waves. Eventually, I couldn't take the cold in that room any longer, I had to seek a warm blanket! Ahhhhhhh, that's better. Now where was I? Oh ya, watching the ocean! Afterall, I can only read so much from PEOPLE magazine. Besides, it was outdated news!

Then, it was my turn to have the first set of photos taken of my heart through the gamma-ray camera---nurses techie name --"the gam-cam".

I had to lie still for 15 minutes! Can you imagine? Not me!! I never thought I could lay still for that long. But I did. And I was sure happy when the nurse came back and said, "you're done". LOL I bet I made a great picture for some blooper photo too!! Why, the 'bed' you're to lay upon was only inches wide....the flab of the butt of mine was probably sagging over by a wide margin!!! And while there, I was kinda experiencing vertigo ---the gamma-ray machine was moving ever so slowing across my chest, and if I didn't close my eyes, the motion, even ever so slow in moving, it made me queazy!



Okay, that 3rd step was over. I could get re-dressed again. Then, off to another room. Blood pressure, and monitor. And an ekg. I was then given a few minutes alone to reflect. Just who wants to reflect at this point? Not me, I was starving....it was going on about 1:30 pm, and I hadn't eaten since 7:30pm, the night before! That one glass of cold water around 11:30 didn't do much good for me. But, at least I wasn't sick. Now....the treadmill!!

I had caught a bad cold from being in ER the weekend before, and I wasn't at all very well. But, I wanted to get this over and done with!!

My cardiologist came in. And they cranked up the engine! And we're off!!! So far, so good. Then the first incline and speeding up! Okay, I did this pretty well, considering what I've been through. The ekg was showing no irregularities. Tho, by the time the 3rd step of incline started, I was really tiring out. If I wouldn't have been so weak and sickly at the time I coulda done better. While treading away, I was being injected with the second small dose of radiation. Soon, I asked them to stop the test.

I sat down and rested a few minutes. No irregularities, but they warned me that I could possibly go into arrythmias.

Rested, I was allowed an hour's break. I could finally eat!! I was quite exhausted since all the stress of hospitals and now the testing and anxieties of it all. Wondering if this was going to kill me or make me go into cardiac arrest. You can't help but think of this while going through it. And you can't help yourself, even tho the team working with you is highly qualified to assist in any emergency should it arise.

I got completely dressed again, and walked out. Just before supping, I went up to the 8th floor for a lipid blood panel. Then....Lunch. I didn't feel comfortable to drive anywhere in case something went awry with me, so I went to another wing of the complex to the hospital's cafeteria. Sat down, drank some grapefruit juice and nibbled on a turkey sandwich. I listened to the news a bit on CNN [they have a large screen TV on the wall]....then, I went outside for some fresh air. Actually some WARM air!!

Around 3:30pm I went back up for the last of the testing. This is where I have to go back on the strip of metal and get the photos taken again with the 'gam-cam'. This is now the photos of the heart while the heart is at rest after going through the stress test.



My 'glow in the dark' heart could now rest, and relax for myself!! The testing was complete, after a bit of checking of heart rate and monitoring my blood pressure. Again, they were making sure I wasn't going to walk out and keel over of heart failure or stroke.

I was then hooked up to a holter monitor, for the cardiologist to 'monitor' the heart for 24 hours during my normal routine day and sleep.

Finally around 4-4:30 pm, I was done. It had been a long day for me!!

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Yesterday, I had an hour set aside to talk to the cardiologist regarding the results of all the testing.

The holter monitor showed nothing alarming. At night, while sleeping, there were skipped beats, but he told me that could be expected after all the tachycardias I experienced the past weekend prior to all the testing. It soon went away.

The gam cam showed absolutely no blockage. During rest, nor during stress.

The sonogram photos showed a healthy heart.

I'm now on a new arrhythmia medication as of yesterday. And all they can say is "it's idiopathic". They KNOW where the tachycardia starts, but there is nothing of the heart that is causing it....perhaps it's genetic, or diet.

If this new stuff doesn't work, I go back in a week's time to have more blood work, etc. There are more options to get this all under control.


[this is my heart and all 4 chambers - outlined in red. The yellow is the left ventricle --the blue arrow shows where the tachycardia is originating.]

14 comments :

  1. Well if all of those tests didn't kill you I would say that you have a very healthy heart!! Man what they dont do to you!! I guess though that they have to do those things to make the heart work hard...that way they can see what happens to you in real life. I hope your new medication works for you. Let us know...Sandy

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  2. Wow, that is tough testing!
    Hope the new meds do the trick.

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  3. Poor you ! going through all these tests ! you must feel like an atomic bomb now, lol with all this nuclear stuff. Looking at your heart pictures I wonder who was the person who invented that hearts look red nice with sometimes an arrow in !

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  4. Oh Anni!

    What an awful time for you. It sounds like a horrendous day and not one I would want to go through.

    I sure hope the new meds work hon.

    Hugz,
    Karma

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  5. A lot of tests.... phew! Tough day without food. (Worst part for me)

    Well, at least it didn't show any abnormities, that's one thing to be pleased over, butt I do hope they can solve it, so you don't have to go around with it!

    Must be both annoying and scaring.

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  6. Anni,

    I wouldn't want to go through all that but I guess it's necessary - to know exactly what's going on and to be able to FIX it!

    Junie

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  7. Wow.... Annie, you have ready been thro it all...Thanks for our educational tour of your heart..I love medical stuff...Take care my friend and do as the docs. say.
    Baba

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  8. Omigosh, I can see why it was a long day for you! Actually, I find it so fascinating what they can do and see now where our bodies and organs are concerned...I'm sure it was a huge relief to learn that all in all you have a healthy heart! I do hope the new meds help you and that you can then just enjoy your days with no more tests!! xox

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  9. Hi Hootin' anni,
    I just came over to see how you are doing and read about this ordeal you went through. I hope the meds are successful for you. You must have been a nervous wreck during that day.
    Well at least they saw no damage. So hopefully if not these meds they can try some others.
    Good luck
    jmb

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  10. You got a cold from sitting there in that cold room! Boy that makes me mad!! I just hope they can help you soon and am glad your heart is healthy!!
    All my thoughts
    L

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  11. Ooooh, sounds like one of the reports I have to type.

    Glad to hear it's not too bad, though. Now you take care of yourself, you hear?

    Hugs

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  12. Wow, you were certainly checked out. So glad all looked good. Hope the medication works for you.

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  13. Ack! What a day! I hope when you got home you had something warm and enjoyable to eat! The Golden Years, my 'donkey'...no fun getting old. I'm glad things worked out.
    Medecine has come a long way. Hope the new medication works.
    How is the 'stop smoking' going? Are you passed the 'ugly, nasty' stage yet?
    I'm down to 4....still!
    Have a great restful weekend!

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  14. What a long day doing all these tests. But the good thing after all, the positive result.

    Have a great weekend

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