Wednesday, January 30, 2013

2013.01.21 Monday

Yet again, not getting much sleep.  Also slightly stressed about this stress test.  Will this cause another "event"?  They suck so much, I fear having to experience that again.

Stress Test Part 1: Heart imaging.  Went down to some area of the hospital where they have big machines that do fancy things.  This one had a table to lay down on, then the table moves up and over towards some plates.  The plates move in within a few inches of the area in question, and take snapshots somehow.  I have no idea how that worked, but apparently that worked.

Stress Test Part 2: Treadmill.  They wheeled me over to a room with a few stations of treadmills and tables.  I got hooked up to a fancy EKG machine that also measured blood pressure and blood oxygen levels.  First we had to wait for a doctor to be present in case something happens, but also to monitor the readings to see if anything is out of whack.  Then we started the test.  Stage 1 was just walking at a slow pace.  Stage 2 was right under what I consider a brisk walk.  Stage 3 is supposed to be like a jog, but my stride was just long enough to be awkward.  I couldn't decide if I wanted to walk with large steps or jog.  I survived those three stages well enough to be pushed to the optional Stage 4, which is more like an actual run.  (Side note: one reason I never really liked treadmills is that I could never find a setting that felt normal, and at this point that is still true.)  This stage was much shorter, but just trying to push my heart up into the intense range to see if anything weird is happening.  Everything worked out ok, except for the fact that I feel malnourished and dehydrated.  After Stage 4, got bumped down to a slow walk pace to relax.  I felt like I was able to catch my breath in a couple minutes, but I could see that my heart rate was still going at 150-160.  I went to sit on the table, and my heart was still going 150.  Nurses chatted with me for a bit, trying to distract me some, but I could hear the beeping and see the number, and I almost started to panic again.  This sucks.

Stress Test Part 3:  Once the heart rate started dipping into the 140s, they decided that was good enough and I need to go chow down on some fat-loaded food.  Why is this part of the test? I have no idea.  They gave me a meal of ham+cheese sandwich with mayo, cashews, ruffles, sugar cookie, and regular milk.  I had a hard time eating again. (By the way, I think it's funny that the hospital considers these foods fat-loaded and heart-stressing.)

Stress Test Part 4: Heart imaging.  They wheeled me back down to the imaging area.  Same machine with plates.  More pictures.  At this point, I'm pretty sleepy.  The table for the machine is more comfortable than the hospital bed I've been stuck in.  I drift in and out of sleep this time around.

Mid day, enjoyed a meal of funky meatloaf and broccoli and mashed potatoes.  I guess it wasn't really that bad, but nothing sounds as appetizing as home-fried bacon.

Afternoon rolled around. Results from the stress test and various cardiograms showed that nothing is glaringly wrong.  They are setting me up with a heart monitor, but released me to go home.

Rode home with Kelc.  Feeling bad, but tolerable.  I think now that a good factor in this is psychological.  Thinking about possible terrible outcomes doesn't really do me any good.  I have to actively focus on relaxing and clearing out anything causing stress.

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