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Author Topic: Heart Test  (Read 921 times)
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DarkEL
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« on: July 01, 2008, 07:52:27 PM »

Well one week from tomorrow I'm scheduled to go into the hospital for some sort of heart test called an echo stress test. I guess the idea is to exercise me until I think i'm going to die and then take some pictures of my heart while it's trying to beat it's way out of my chest.

Earlier this year when we started the forum weight loss challenge, I had a couple incidents at the gym where I got really lightheaded, sweaty, etc - sorta like I was going to pass out -- after doing really strenuous work on my legs. Considering that I had reconstructive surgery on one of my knees 10 years back and I've never really pressed it hard since -  I didn't think too much of it. Just figured it was my knee paying me back.

So when I casually mentioned the incidents my Docter and she gave me a referral for this test, I kind of blew it off. Well went back for a checkup recently and she was pretty upset with me for not having the test done. So I called and made the appointment.

But the more I think about it, the more it kind of freaks me out. I mean, shit, what if there is something wrong? My diet's not exactly composed of health food and it wouldn't hurt me to drop another 40 pounds.  I also remember after some heart test 7 years ago or so that the doctor said that he thought I had a leaky aortic valve - what if that's worse now?  Shit - I don't want to go through surgery.

so yeah - like I said... Freaking out about this crap now.
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TK-421
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« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2008, 08:04:08 PM »

I've had one done.

It sucks.

I used to run cross country track and we did three mile runs all the time when I was in the Navy.   That was a long, long time ago.
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happydog
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« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2008, 08:18:41 PM »

Better now than dead.  icon_eek

Hope it all works out for you.
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hispanicgamer
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« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2008, 02:11:55 PM »

Be glad you have the means to get tested and yes, you should change your diet. icon_wink

I have had skipped beats in my heart for about 18 years now. At it's worst it will feel like a head rush that comes and goes. At it's worst, it will last a day or two with a skipped beat every couple of minutes. Four years ago, I could tell that something was different about my heart because the skips were frequent and more disconcerting. My wife drove me to the hospital and they gave me a cardiac muscle relaxant which didn't do anything but land me into the hospital for an overnight stay. When I was checked into my room, one of the world's prettiest nurses came in to take my vitals. I almost told her that she was too stunningly beautiful to be working in a cardiac ward. Anyway, the next morning the on-call doctor came in and told me that while I was asleep my heart rate got down to 30 beats per minute and at one point my heart stopped beating for three seconds! icon_eek

They scheduled me for a shock treatment to get my heart back into rhythm in the ER. My wife was in tears and she thought I was going to die. The anesthetist arrived to knock me out and wife, while looking at the electrocardiogram, asked if my heart was beating in sync now. The anesthesiologist said that it was and left the ER. The head of cardiology came over and said that my heart rate looked good and 30 minutes later I was released. I never saw a bill, which is surprising but I think it was the reaction I was having to the med that they gave me.  icon_smile

So, three marathons and dropping 20 lbs later, I still have an occasional skip but never have any "bad days" like I did 4 years ago. It turned out that I have a leaky valve and an occasional atrial fibrillation. The cardiologist told me that they have a procedure to correct the missfiring of my heart if it ever gets any worse. I find that running and maintaining a good weight has nearly eliminated this problem. I hope everything goes well for you.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2008, 02:15:40 PM by hispanicgamer » Logged

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coopasonic
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« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2008, 02:30:36 PM »

Quote from: DarkEL on July 01, 2008, 07:52:27 PM

Well one week from tomorrow I'm scheduled to go into the hospital for some sort of heart test called an echo stress test. I guess the idea is to exercise me until I think i'm going to die and then take some pictures of my heart while it's trying to beat it's way out of my chest.

Stress echo actually, I had one last year. Based on my father's heart history and shortness of breath while running (duh!?). I aced it. It was kind of fun watching my heart rate skyrocket as they sped up the treadmill and increased the angle over and over again. I never really felt like I was going to die, but I could see how you could feel that way.

The worst part is nasty goo the sonographer uses on your chest, feels like K-Y Tongue
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Ironrod
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« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2008, 04:20:56 PM »

I had one of those tests about three years ago. I had undertaken an aggressive power-walking exercise program and (at age 48) was in the best condition of my life, but sometimes at the four mile mark I would feel compression in my chest and shortness of breath, and even a little arythmia. As a formerly fat couch potato, you can imagine how gratifying it was when the cardiologist said I had "the heart of a trained athlete." I had passed the standard necessary to become a cop or a firefighter.

The technician will monitor your heartrate throughout the test, and they will stop you before it becomes dangerous. They'll want you to push yourself to the point of discomfort, but not too much beyond that.

BTW, my condition has slipped from that peak over the past few years. I still walk, but not nearly as aggressively since my wife started going with me. My cholesterol is up and I don't think I'd do so well on that test today. 
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coopasonic
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« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2008, 04:26:15 PM »

Quote from: Ironrod on July 02, 2008, 04:20:56 PM

The technician will monitor your heartrate throughout the test, and they will stop you before it becomes dangerous. They'll want you to push yourself to the point of discomfort, but not too much beyond that.

Mine didn't quite operate that way. She said your heart rate is high enough, but you can keep going if you want. I'm pretty sure she was enjoying the whole thing...
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Ironrod
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« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2008, 04:28:10 PM »

Quote from: coopasonic on July 02, 2008, 04:26:15 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on July 02, 2008, 04:20:56 PM

The technician will monitor your heartrate throughout the test, and they will stop you before it becomes dangerous. They'll want you to push yourself to the point of discomfort, but not too much beyond that.

Mine didn't quite operate that way. She said your heart rate is high enough, but you can keep going if you want. I'm pretty sure she was enjoying the whole thing...

Well, mine too. He asked me "Do you want to see if you could be a cop?" Then when I passed that benchmark, "How would you like to be a firefighter?" I quit after passing that one. I don't think they would give you that option unless they were quite confident in your heart health.
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Bcarle
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« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2008, 05:23:35 PM »

I had a stress test about 3 yrs ago. The test went ok, no problems found. 
Now the funny part.

They were putting the lead patches on me and I passed right out. 
They wanted to send me to emergency but I reassured them that it was a common thing.
This use to happen on blood tests all the time but the past few years it hasn't bothered me.
I still tell them that I might pass out or get really dizzy, just for a heads up.


I took it as a sign of reassurance I was not meant to be in the medical field.

bob
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hispanicgamer
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« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2008, 04:10:05 AM »

So how did it go?
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DarkEL
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« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2008, 06:07:23 AM »

Quote from: hispanicgamer on July 07, 2008, 04:10:05 AM

So how did it go?

Unfortunately I still have a few more days to stress about it. It's not till this Wednesday. frown
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hispanicgamer
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« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2008, 01:29:26 PM »

Sorry, didn't do the math to figure out when this was happening. Good luck.
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DarkEL
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« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2008, 10:18:48 PM »

So I had the exam yesterday while the site was offline.

yes - it sucked. Didn't realize they were going to inject me with some sort of glowy stuff.  Twice.

No results yet - they'll give them to my doctor and then she'll call to tell me the results within a week.

sigh....
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