I learned that there are several different types of Stress EKGs. The actual name of the EKG stress test I had is the Se Stamibi GXT. Maybe that means something to some of you but it meant nothing to me, and I didn’t look it up. I thought my Stress EKG would consist of walking on a treadmill with electrodes hooked up to me. The first indication that I was wrong is when the assistant asked if I’d have any trouble riding a bike. I responded, “No.” Then she took me back to a room where I was asked to take off my shirt. The lady used what felt like medium grade sandpaper to sand off the areas where she was going to put the electrodes. I looked up in time to see another lady walk in with a HUGE syringe. I casually suggested that syringe wasn’t for me. She laughed when answering,”Yes.” I then asked, “You’re kidding right? That’s not really for me, is it?” She said that they had to give me an I.V. port so that they could inject a radioisotope (and a wash) for images of my heart. Needless to say, I wasn’t ready for that. I really don’t like needles and if I have to have one, I like to know ahead of time. The nurse said I looked white and I knew I was sweating; she asked me to lie down while she inserted the needle. I was okay with the needle but my systems were a bit repulsed by the whole idea. It was probably good that I reclined back and breathed. The insertion of the needle was smooth with no problems.
I was then instructed to get on the bike and to pedal the bike to where the monitor read at least 75 but not more than 80. Meanwhile they would wait until my heart rate got up to 140 before injecting the isotope and taking a scan of my heart. Since I am such a fine physical specimen (ha, ha) it took a while for my heart rate to reach 140 despite them increasing the resistance of the pedaling. That was evidence enough for me that my heart is just fine!!
They then took me to a room across the hall and took more scans of my heart. These scans took around fifteen minutes to perform once the machine started doing its thing. Then the attendant said he has to check the scans to see if I need a CT scan. They determined I did so the machine did the CT scan for a few minutes. After checking these scans, the I.V. was removed and I was sent on my way.
All that remains are the results. Dr. Tan told me to call his “Patient Navigator” to get the results. I’ll do more than that; I’ll go get a copy of the results. Knowing how reluctant medical staffs are to give results before the doctor discusses them with the patient, I’m anticipating a little problem. I don’t see Dr. Tan for a year. The last time I had something like this was when the old battle axe used to work there. However, Dr. Tan is always pleased to give me copies of my results and I’ll invoke his name if I have to: I’ll have the “Patient Navigator” go ask Dr. Tan. If he’s not in the office that day, I’ll do what I did with the old battle axe, I’ll claim my patient right to have copies of my records.
Having said all that, I’m not going to expect problems but I’m going to be prepared if they come. The new staff has been very cordial, helpful, and sweet. I’ll expect them to be that way about my results too… but just be prepared if there is a glitch.