Hi all. Sorry about mentioning the stress test and then telling you about it. Friday I was at a bachelor party for Aussie Rick which started at about 4 and ended after midnight. As you can imagine, I was in no shape to blog. Saturday came and found me laying on the sofa most of the day. Fortunately there were plenty of good sporting events on TV to watch, including USA vs. Honduras in CONCACAF soccer, the Cubs/Reds and the Stanley Cup playoffs with the Wings and Penguins. Just what the doctor ordered.
So this stress test gets my ass up at 6:30, no coffee and no breakfast. I'm definitely stressed. Upon my arrival, a nurse checks me in and tells me everything that's going to happen. Managing my expectations is a VERY good thing. I can be incredibly patient (pardon the pun) if I know what's going on. She told me it was a NUCLEAR stress test. So they are going to hook me up to an IV, shoot some nuclear waste into me (ok, they called it something else), take some pictures of my heart using an MRI type machine, get me on the treadmill, then take some more pictures after shooting more nuclear waste into my body. The whole thing will take roughly three hours!
Now I'm thinking, maybe this isn't such a good idea. I thought they were just going to hook me up to some sensors and have me run for a bit. This was a bit more than that. IV's, gamma radiation, three hours....yikes. But, I'm there now, so what the hell??
It all went pretty much as planned. A nurse brought out the nuclear material in a special (I assume lead lined) box and a special metal syringe (also I assume lead lined). That's a little scary. On the treadmill, they wanted me to get my heartbeat up to 157 beats a minute, which, according to the elliptical machine at the gym, I do fairly regularly anyway. Twelve and a half minutes later and the "tough" part of the day was over.
So they had me hooked up to the heart monitor almost the whole time and I could see on the printout when my lower ventrical was firing early. The crazy thing: it never happened while I was on the treadmill. It only happened while at rest or in recovery. Very odd. Hopefully the test will lead them to some conclusions about how to fix it or at least that the rest of my heart is just fine. Some time on Monday I should get the results, but it could be delayed until Tuesday. One good thing about taking the test now is that it establishes a baseline for the future while I'm relatively healthy.