383) My Cardiac Testing Adventure

October 21, 2009

NAMC: After my last Clinic meeting, Bernadette said she'd schedule me for the remainder of my Cardiac testing for up there at NAMC so we could get me in and out without having to find a Cardiologist to get involved... in other words, they'd do the stress test and then pull in a cardiologist who is on the floor to monitor it. So, she scheduled it for the 20th. Well, turns out I am in El Paso that day and when I figured that out and called Bernadette, she replied a little cooly, "Why don't YOU schedule it so you can work out a workable date for it?" and of course, I agreed. So, then I scheduled it for the next day (that would be today) at 7:00 am.

So, I get checked in and guided to the waiting room, and then taken to the exam room, where my old buddy, Mark, and I re-connect (see Post # 338) and he tells the nurse, Cindy (?) describes the nuclear cardiac testing they will do and I nod knowingly throughout, although I am listening for "exercise" and that never comes up.

They give me isotopes to drink (yum) and put me on the long board of a CAT scan (or some similar machine) that takes pictures of my heart thumping for 18 minutes as the tracer thingy goes with my blood thru my heart. Then I am out of that and ready for the doctor watching part.

Turns out the cardiac testing I am doing is where a medicine is put into me thru the IV that will stress my heart chemically rather than me doing is myself, muscularly. So, that's where the doc comes in to watch. He is nice and a good watcher, as he leans back against the cabinet, talking with me and the techs. Takes about 2 to 3 minutes and I feel like there is an invisible linebacker sitting on my chest briefly. I get a headache too, as a secondary effect. Then that part is done.

Then they send me to the cafeteria for a taco and after an hour I return and they take pictures of my heart again for 18 minutes. Then we all congratulate each other and the whole thing is done.

However I am supposed to do a training this afternoon, and as serendipity would have it, I get the time wrong, they can't do it this afternoon, and I just get to go home and take a nap... which lasts till after the sun has set. So, there ya go. Another calendar box "X"ed off.

If you have to go for one of these nuclear cardiac stress tests, it really isn't so bad, in my experience. And Mark and Cindy are happy to be mentioned up here in the blogisphere.

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