Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Look, I had a good excuse....

I had a nuclear (or "nukalar" as George W. Shitforbrains, who has an Ivy League education, might pretend to say) stress test yesterday.

This was a half-day affair. I had to be at the cardiologists office by 7:30 a.m. The technicians finally got their acts together by 8:15 and they inserted an IV line into the top of my left hand. Then they started pumping in the first dose of radioactive thallium.

After that I wolfed down 4 cups of water (to get the crap moving through my system) and then sat around for an hour until the dye had permeated my blood stream.

Next, I was strapped into a chair that went up and down and rotated from side to side. They bound me in place so that I couldn't budge during the 15 minute x-ray scan of my midsection. The chair makes these lateral micro-movements, about 1" every 30 seconds, until they have an entire cross-section of your chest on film. I had a nice nap.

Then it was back into the hallway to wait some more.

Next I was called into the torture chamber, er, treadmill room where they shaved my pitifully unhairy chest and attached about a dozen electrodes to the same. The technicians placed me on the rack treadmill, Dr. Mengele checked my bloodpressure (110 over 80), and I was off to the races. Literally. 10 minutes later, with my heart pumping away at 145 beats per minute, the technician unloaded another dose of radioactive dye into my coursing veins and the doctor announced that I'd done real good. A minute or so later they stopped the treadmill, unhooked me from most of the electrodes, sat me down and waited until they were sure I wasn't going to die on the spot.

Then it was BACK to the waiting room for another 40 minutes of sitting around reading MDWeb because that was all they had, then back to the x-ray movie machine for another go-round, this time with my heart really pumping away.

Everyone assured me that I was doing real good.

I was glad.

The last time I had one of these tests done was December of 2003. Two months later I was getting a cardio-angiogram at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and 2 weeks after that , in the same hospital, I was being cracked open like a Maine lobster in order to have quadruple-bypass surgery.

So, nearly four years later, I left the doctor's office under the impression that that won't happen this time.

And that's a very good thing, for which I am truly grateful.

It's a good time of the year to be grateful.


Alan said...

do you have to wait for them to call with the results or do you already know?? (the fact that they did not rush you from the test to the OR _is_ definitely a good sign ;)

and reading the description of the test makes me resolve to get my own health in order asap. they are Not gonna be shaving my chest if I am alive and kicking. wouldn't stand for it

Bev Sykes said...

So glad to hear that it seems you have passed with flying colors.

JoyZeeBoy said...

Watch out, Fuzzy, you might be next!

Eggshually, there are two things they watched out for. The first was my on-going EKG during the actual treadmill portion of the test (about 50' of printout).

The 2nd (and most important) part of the test were the films they took before and after the treadmill. Those results won't be ready until after Christmas.

I have a follow-up visit with the cardiologist on the Friday after New Year's to discuss those results (although the folks yesterday were very optimistic about the outcome).