Posts Tagged ‘Stress Test’

Personal mortality…
Slowly realizing you’re at the edge and looking over…
Last Friday, I started feeling a pain in my upper left chest.  It came and it went.  Now, I’ve been on heart meds for almost four years, so some of this you just take in stride.  I did my normal workout in the morning and was feeling ok – except for the twinges…
Saturday, I worked over time and was a little sore in the chest again.  It was a “used muscle” soreness, not a sharp pain soreness.  Anyway, late afternoon I also started getting solid palpitations.  My doc has told me in the past I’m “hyper-aware” and I don’t need to be concerned about palps unless they also come with other symptoms.  Well, there’s “aware” and there’s “My bloody heart is thumpin’ out the base of my throat!”  A couple of times, it was the latter.
But, otherwise, I feel pretty good.
Sunday morning, I can’t sleep so I get up to go for a slow jog.  I haven’t decided how long, just a slow one.  I’m going to let the jog tell me how long…  In the end, I’m out 2 hrs 20 min – about 8 miles.  I actually got up later than I wanted to and hoped to go a full 3 hrs, but the heat was starting to come up and I needed to get back to get ready for 12:00 Mass.
I mention the chest soreness and palps to Hil and she wants me to go the ER.  I really don’t think it’s that bad.  (In fact, later I’m blogging about trying to do 55 miles this week!).  My blood pressure cuff is saying everything is normal, so I agree if it’s still acting up at work I’ll go talk to the nurse or call the cardiologist.
Monday morning and the soreness is mostly gone, but it’s a bit tight when I try to inhale strongly.  I go for a 4 mile/hour at the gym.  I forgot my water bottle and I’m poring with sweat.  I don’t quite make the four miles per hour.  Every time I try to speed up, it feels like I’ve got a flak vest on weighing down my upper chest.  It doesn’t hurt, it’s just uncomfortable.
I have a cardiac chest strap on.  I don’t usually wear it, but today I decide to be a little “extra” safe.  I’m just slogging along and about every minute my pulse drops from 110-115 to 55.  Most of the times, it only sits there for 5 seconds or less, but one time it’s sitting there for over 30 seconds before jumping up to 110.
Shower and troop over to the desk.  I get up to go help someone and it feels like someone’s starting to cinch a belt around my chest and a set of strong palps starts.  The cinching and palps stop within seconds but I decide to go visit the nurse.  She advises me to call my cardiologist and then go to the ER if he can’t see me.  There’s a lengthy delay between phone tag, but there’s no cinching.  The palps come and go, but very few are STRONG.
The doctor’s office calls me back about 2:30 and the doctor wants me to come in for a stress test.  I agree to come in the next day (Tues) at noon.  The nurse cautions me to go to the ER if the symptoms worsen.
The symptoms continue for the rest of the day and into the following morning.  I call in sick as I want to be near the ER if I suddenly worsen.  It doesn’t happen and I go to the stress test.
There’s been a change in how they are done since last time I went for one.  This time, they get you to your target heart range (this is the treadmill part) and then shoot you up with a radioactive isotope.  You sit under a machine which looks like something out of StarTrek and they take pictures of your heart/chest – looking for blockages.
They send me home with a 2nd appointment for today (Wed) and off I trot to relax at home for the rest of the day.
Got up today and it’s off to work!  No soreness.  No palps.  I go to the gym and do a slow 2 miles on the treadmill.  No pain.  No nothing.  At noon, I’m back at the doctor’s office for another shot of isotopes and another 20 minutes of film.  Then it’s back to the house to see if the doctor calls.  The nurse says he’ll call with the results within a week unless there is an emergency condition.
How comforting…
How do you mend a broken heart?  I guess, for now, I wait to see if it is.

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