Thursday, October 9, 2014

How stressful is a Stress Test?

Perth Hospital
Stressful enough, I was sweating!

As many know, hubby is confronting Prostate Cancer.
I've been having chest pains, checked out in February, but they came back just after another visit to hubby's doctor in the city. Both hubby and my GP wanted them checked out, and I went for a stress test.

Not a complicated thing, but a good idea to rule out heart attacks.
Initially, one has to have an ECG to ensure that your heart, at rest, is relatively normal. They don't want you popping off in the test! I had that done on Monday, it was a quiet day in the hospital.

Today, not so quiet. The ER waiting room was somewhat busy, and an Ornge helicopter came in.
Ornge Emergency helicopter
ECG & body monitor
One makes an appointment for the Stress Test, since they require a doctor to be present during the test. The nurse, Kelly, was such a sweetie. When I made the appointment (over the phone) she said, "We'll look forward to seeing you on Thursday!"
I told her, when I met her, that it was so nice to hear. People don't normally say this kind of thing when they are doing a healthcare job! She is a precious employee!

Firstly, she did an intake form with me, checking out my symptoms, whether I smoked or not, what types of exercise I did, any medications I am on, that sort of information.

She asked if I had asthma, seeing as I was prescribed a puffer after one horrible cold, which I didn't think I did.
I told Kelly that I often got pneumonia and chest complications with bad cold viruses. She explained that if a cold gets me to an asthmatic symptomology, I really do have viral-induced asthma. I've had this all my life. Colds should involved the head not the chest.

I found an interesting infographic that explains the difference between a cold and a flu virus, BTW.

Then, I removed bra and shirt and she hooked me up to the blood pressure cuff and the ECG.
That was funny, since she scrubs the sites with both alcohol and sandpaper to ensure good contact between me and the machine.
Next, she checked my BP, while I was prone on the bed, then standing up.
The doctor came in, and he read my form and asked a few pertinent questions, then he called in 'the boss', my new pal, Kelly.
You have to get your heart up to 166, it's according to your age, and they do this on the treadmill, with increments of speed, gradually speeding you up.

I passed.
My heart is good. My exercise routine, the elliptical for 30 mins. per day, or so, as well as forest walkies with the cats and outdoor chores, have keep me going. My BP went down to 130, lower than it was when the test began.
It's been up over 200 some days. It's all around the emotional stress managing my life.

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