Friday, July 16, 2010

Stressed Test

Woohoo, survived my much dreaded stress test. It should be called "How stressed can you get test!" The stress for me began two weeks prior, when the doctor told me to schedule the test, and I'd need to go off my medications two days before testing. I haven't been off all my meds since I was diagnosed two years ago! The thought of barely being able to walk, having blue lips and being bed ridden came merrily dancing in my head! Then I started having fears of the test itself. I began to wonder, if I pass out, will someone turn off the machine before it throws me across the room? Now mind you, I do have a bit of an imagination that tends to get carried away a bit. I kept seeing those cartoon figures (me inserted) being thrown across the room by the conveyor belt thing you walk on. Then I remembered my last test in which I had been on my meds for a week prior and was in the best physical shape a 48 year old woman could be in. At the time, yoga and exercise were a daily activity for me, so peddling a stationary bike was no problem back then. Two years later and my muscles are the consistency of wet toilet paper, weak and squishy! So this test is definately going to be a bit more challenging than the last time.

So being the control freak that I am, I begin to plan out my day for the test. I figure if I have some control somewhere, I won't freak out too much. NOT! So I call my friend Von to come with me for my test, I inform my prayer partners and bible study group to pray (I'm praying as well). I plan to wear my very cute workout outfit that never gets a work out. I realize the morning of the test that they have they're own version of workout clothes there, so I decide to wear something cool and comfortable instead.

It's the day of the test, and I'm feeling pretty yucky, but thankfully not as yucky as I thought I would. My friend picks me up and we have a nice visit before the test (I highly recommend bringing a friend, it was the best part of the day). I'm called to the back and led to a room with the treadmill and the Frankenstein machines. I'm told to strip down and put on the attractive oversized gown, and to please wear the gown with the opening in the front! Why bother wearing a gown at all. I'm now wearing the sheet with armholes with "my girls" peeking out the front, and looking at the treadmill and thinking "I'm definately not dressed appropriately for this machine!" and, "I'm truly missing my cute workout outfit and it's missing an opportunity to get its first workout since it was purchased a year ago." The technician comes in and begins attaching sticky electrobe circles on my bare chest, and I don't even know her name! She begins with an echocardiogram, and starts talking to herself, then she asks me "how long have you had mitro valve prolaps?" my answer, "mitro what?", she repeats the question and I respond with "two minutes?" she laughs and says, "oh this is your first echo then?" I respond, "no, I've had two before this, so I guess this just developed", she responds, "no you're usually born with this.". The room is silent, because my head is thinking why wasn't this found before, and what the heck is a mitro prolaps valve (found out on webmd that it's no big deal, but it sounds kind of serious when your all wired up to a bunch of machines). She finishes the echo, and then begins attaching more wires to me along with an attractive belt that the wires are attached to. The doctor comes in and asks me to step on the treadmill machine. The machine starts, and after a minute I begin to feel like I've worried for nothing. Next thing I know the doctor says "how odd... are you double jointed?" I answer "yes in a few places, but not everywhere." he asks me to do the thumb trick, whick I can do, but I have now lost balance and trip on the machine. The doctor sighs and realizes he's working with someone who can't chew gum and walk at the same time, and stops questioning me. The machine begins to tilt up and speed up, I'm a little out of breath, but I'm doing fine, then the machine slows down and my heart begins beating through my chest, the doctor mumbles, "that's an odd time for adrenaline to kick in!" and I giggle in my head (odd is how I'd sum up my symptoms). I begin to get dizzy, and inform the doctor, and he responds with "can you go just a little longer?" In my head I'm screaming NO, but unfortunately I'm just trying to stay upright and I'm seeing spots and I know I'm going to go down any second, so I finally say "no, I'm really dizzy", he says "just a little more time!", I'm ready to drop, and I whisper "stop", and I let go of the machine and he stops it, and I drop. The doctor and the technician don't seem too surprised by my behavior and they tell me I need to go to the examining table, and I'm thinking just give me a minute guys, but they carry me impatiently to the table and the technician begins doing another echo. I guess my little episode was keeping the technician from getting another picture of my heart. So sorry I got in your way! They finish the test, and the doctor mumbles about rescheduling another appointment, and tells me I'm a bit out of shape as he heads for the door. I giggle in my head, because I'm too fog headed and too shocked to speak, I'm also wondering how in the heck he expects me to get a workout when I nearly faint every time I pushed my body in the slightest bit. Unfortunately the doctor can't hear what I'm saying in my head (that might be a good thing lol), and he leaves the room. The technician tells me to get dressed and to take my time, and she leaves. I'm still dizzy and out of breath, and the examining table is beginning to look like a really good place to take a nap. I rest for a while, get dressed, take my overdue meds and head for the appointment desk. The receptionist is busy, and after several minutes she begins to reschedule my appointment, at which time, the room begins to spin, and I make a b-line for the floor before it's too late. The receptionist peaks over the counter and asks if I'm ok (and I'm thinking to myself, I'm on the floor, does it look like I'm ok, but maybe people plopping to the floor is completely normal for this paricular office) so I respond with just a bit dizzy, I'll be fine in a few minutes. She finishes making my appointment (so I guess it's normal for people to plop down on the floor here), and she hands me my appointment card and walks me to the door. As I walk out, I think to myself, this went much better than I thought it would. I had visions of passing out, and emegency rooms with sound proof rooms that I might get lost in! Any day not spent in the emergency room is a very good day to me!

Always inspired,

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