Wednesday, February 18, 2015

What's Ipecac up to now? Results!

I had my Nucular Stress Test on Tuesday.

Because of the snowstorm, the clinic called and pushed back my appointment to 11AM. I arrived to be first in line and they quickly got me going.

First up, they inserted an IV into my arm so they could inject me with radioactive solution twice during the proceedings. I hate having needles in my arm so this was pretty annoying, but honestly, I got used to it pretty quickly.

After the first injection, I waited for a half hour and then they scanned my heart. I sat in a machine that slowly rotated as the scanner took pictures for thirteen minutes. The goal was to get images of my heart while I was at rest.

After that, I went in for the stress test proper. I was wired up to the ECG and a blood pressure cuff and the doctor started the treadmill. Last time I went for eight minutes before giving up and I vowed to improve that. The doctor told me to tell him when I estimated I could last for two more minutes so he could inject the second batch of radioactive solution. At six minutes and thirty seconds I told him to go. I then hung on until nine minutes had elapsed. Go me!

After the stress test, I was told I could eat some breakfast bars I brought and I waited for a bit before undergoing a second thirteen minute scan. This would reveal my "active" heart, which would give them a point of comparison for the at rest scans.

After that, I met with the Doctor to review the tests. The report on the computer monitor showed a few dozen thumbnails of various "live" cross-sections of my heart as well as a full color, 3-D model. The pictures showed that an area near the bottom of my heart wasn't getting full blood flow when I was resting. This could be because my diaphragm was pushing against a lower blood vessel, or because there was a blockage. My active heart, however, had much less of a blood flow restriction, which supported the diaphragm theory. He said that if there is a blockage, it's relatively small and not problematic at this time. Basically, I am in no danger and don't need to take any further drastic action except occasional ECG's to check if there are any changes. I do need to lose some weight and improve my diet, but that's always been the case.

So good news. All in all, an interesting and educational experience.

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