False Alarm, To a Certain Degree

In addition to scheduling me for a nuclear stress test my doctor also prescribed blood pressure medication. I really hate taking it but it is what it is.  Also, no more running!

The stress test was scheduled first thing the following day. I’ve never had a nuclear stress test so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. It started out pretty simple by just answering a few questions. But before filling out the forms to answer the questions they insert an IV in your arm and shoot you up with heparin. After about 1/2 an hour they attach electrodes in various locations on your body and have you lie down so an x-ray machine that takes a series of 64 x-rays of your heart. After that, they took me to another room and had me walk on the treadmill. I think every three minutes the elevation would rise on the treadmill. I lasted almost 9 minutes before they stopped the treadmill. They tell me most patients with heart problems can’t even make it to six minutes so I felt pretty good about that. I have admit though the treadmill portion was more difficult than I expected it to be. I was breathing pretty hard at the end but I recovered very quickly. The EKG done at the same time indicated I had not had a heart attack. So I was really happy to hear that. Finally, they had me lie down again and they take another series of 64 x-rays.

After that they sent me home and told me my Doctor would call me by Wednesday with the results. Now I have no idea what any of the terms in the results mean. The one thing stressed the most was “left ventricular ejection fraction was calculated at 48% at rest. They tell me it should be around 55%. Now my doctor refers me to a cardiologist and he was able to get me an appointment in just a couple of days. I had a pretty good idea this would mean I would end up having a heart cath to find out if and where there are any blockages in my arteries. That’s exactly what happened!

The cardiologist told me one of three things could happen during the heart cath.

One: the stress test was a false alarm and he would to send me home.
Two: if he found blockages that were easily repaired he would go ahead and put stents in at the same time. Also, I would have to spend a night in the hospital.
Three: if the blockages are severe he would send me home but schedule me for heart bypass surgery.

Still, no running until the cath results came back. The heart cath was scheduled for a week later on April 25th. I’ve got to close for now but I’ll have you all caught up in a few days.


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