June Part 2 – Stress Test Stressin’ Me Out

I went to my local hospital to have a cardiologist appointment. The Dr. whom I had seen, was from a larger hospital in the state, but comes to my local hospital once or twice a week. Perfect for me, since I only drive a 10-15 minute radius from my house. He was really nice, asked me a lot of questions and admitted that he didn’t really know a lot about lyme, but was concerned about some of the chest issues and shortness of breath I had been experiencing, along with my continuous dizziness and passing out. He said it was a good possibility that the passing out was a neuro issue, but wanted to check everything out so he wrote me an order for a stress/echo test as well as put in an order for an event monitor.

 My stress test was a few days later and I had done better than I anticipated. I wore comfy clothes and the assistant hooked me up with electrodes and  had me lay on my side and waited for the cardiologist to come in. He was so cool about it, as I am a visual person, he showed me what he was doing while taking images of my heart and showed that holding your breathe made it so you couldn’t see your heart because your lung gets in the way.

 He had me get on the treadmill, the part that I had feared, as I figured it would end up with me flying off it and I would become part of a future Tosh.O. video. It starts off at a very very slow walking pace, then increases speed in small increments. I made it 9 and a half minutes, but he stopped the test as he could see I was having a really hard time running, even though I was holding onto the bar. I usually walk like I took a dump in my pants, me being on the treadmill generally isn’t the best of ideas. But I made it way further than I expected!

 I quickly had to go back on the table and lay on my side, to get more images and readings of my heart, as my heart rate was still up from the treadmill. He took a few more images and told me that I would have my results in a few days, and his assistant helped take off the electrodes and I was finished with one more test.

 I went to the hospital to pay my monthly payment and went to records and my report was ready for me from the stress/echo test. For the screening portion of the test, he said that there were nonspecific t-wave abnormalities, which really isn’t indicative of anything, from what I understand. He did however, say that I had “mild tricuspid regurgitation”. Time for google once again… Sourcing University of Maryland Medical Center (thanks google!)…”tricuspid regurgitation is a disorder in which the heart’s tricuspid valve does not  close properly, causing blood to flow backward (leak) into the right upper heart chamber when the right lower ventricle contracts.”  But it was mild. Should I be happy or not happy about this? Well, your heart is leaking, but just a little, so it’s cool. My life story with so many tests. Ugh. 

 He also wrote about myself not being able to continue the test because of my breathing issues and difficulty running and in the conclusions part of the test, it said I had a fair quality ECG and fair to good stress echo images with an 89% predicted maximal for age. I had a normal stress test and echocardiogram and a mildly reduced functional capacity, but not less than 85%.  Again, whatever that means. At this point my mind was fried and was ready for all these tests to be over.

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Smiles for miles! In between all the tests and being stressed out, Dave took me to Laconia Bike Week to meet up with a few friends. We have gone every year since we have been together, so I was super excited. It was a great way to take my mind off things, even for just the evening. The very first year we went, I had just turned 18, and a group of us even got tattoos there! This year, he did have to push me around in my chair, but it was a good break from everything. The crowds and lengthy walks without having something to hold onto would have been way too much for me. I was sad that we couldn’t take the bike, as it probably wouldn’t be safe unless he duck taped and bungee corded me in place on the back. Maybe in the meantime Dave will invest in a little side cart for me 🙂

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