Monday, December 1, 2008

The Highly Anticipated Stress Test

So Superman's ego had been deflated. I thought I would breeze through rehab and start running again in only 2 weeks. That is until the "crash". On Monday, November 17th, I went for my stress test.

The test was administered by Dr. Weaver as Dr. Newton, my Doctor, had appointments elsewhere that day. Dr. Weaver and I didn't get off to a good start. Her bed-side manner didn't agree much with me. I told Dr. Weaver of Friday's setback. She kept it in mind.

For those who have never had a stress test, you essentially get on a treadmill from the 1970s, strapped to a machine with about 10 electrodes and heavy cabling. You start out at a slow pace with no incline. Every 3 minutes, the technician increases speed and the incline. The goal...get the heart rate over 155 then very quickly jump on a bed and have the tech take pictures of your heart before the heart rate drops to its resting level. Simple, right? Not so much.

To avoid boredom with the details, the program ran about 12 minutes. My heart rate got up to 125. Someone forgot that the beta blocker I take would keep my heart from getting any higher, even though they reviewed my meds package before starting. here I am only 20 seconds away from hitting my first real jog since the heart attack (5.2 mph) and the blood pressure fell off again. I had no choice but to move to the bed and have them take the pics with a heart rate of 125. Unfortunately, within the 20 seconds that it took to move to the bed and get in position, my heart rate already dropped to below 90 when the tech snapped the pics.

Dr. Weaver in her very "calming way" told me either I needed a meds adjustment or open heart surgery. She'd let Doctor Newton decide which. Oy!

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