I had my stress - echo this afternoon. Boy, was that fun! I'm sure there are several of you who have had this test before. For those who haven't, I feel the need to describe, in great detail, just how it goes. You know what I was told about the test? "You'll be walking on a treadmill so wear comfortable shoes." Yep, that's about it. But I'm here to tell you the whole story.
I walked in the office, looked around, and realized I'd mistakenly arrived at the retirement home. I turned to walk out when I saw the doctor's name on the door. Guess I'm at the right place. I was the youngest person there by probably 30 years. I checked in and sat down to fill out several redundant questionnaires. Why is it necessary to ask if you smoke on three separate pages? After filling in information about my spouse, I came to the question asking for the name of an emergency contact. I wrote my mom's name there. Under her contact information was the question, "How is this person related to you?" My choices were spouse, son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter, great grandson, great granddaughter... There were no boxes for "parents". I squelched my urge to write "imaginary friend" and wrote in "parent" instead.
So I was called into a room. It had treadmills and it had hospital-like beds. It was the geriatric Bally's. All it needed was big band music pumped in. I was lead to a closet where I got to strip from the waist up and put on a gown. The doctor, a young guy, of course, because that's my luck, comes in and rubs me down with alcohol, then he used some sort of sandpaper on me to remove hair where the electrodes were to go (I swear I don't have a hairy chest!) Next, he had to lift my boobs out of the way to apply the stickers. Yeah, that was fun. What do you do in a situation like that? Where do you look? You can't make eye contact because that would just be weird. So you stare at some spot above the doctor's head and pretend he's not putting stickers on your boobs and say something nonchalant like, "So, it's pretty nice weather we're having, huh?" Or maybe you just start babbling like an idiot and say things like, "So, I had a goldfish when I was two. I named him Goldygold. You know, because he was gold. Yep, that was 37 years ago. I have no idea why that just popped into my head. Do you like popcorn? I got to swim with dolphins a couple years ago..." Not that this happened to me or anything. Just sayin'...
To these electrode leads, about 400 wires were attached. I was like a Christmas tree with all the wires trailing out from under my gown. My gown was missing the tie on top, but this doctor said, "It doesn't matter because we'll stick it back to together with tape anyway." What kind of weirdo place is this???
A nice technician, female, thank God, did a quick ultrasound of my heart. (It's a lot more fun to get baby ultrasounds!) And, sure enough, she stuck my gown back together with tape! Then I got to walk on the treadmill. OK, back up for a minute. Remember the part where I had to strip from the waist up? Yeah. And now I get to jog on a treadmill with no bra. Yeah. Ahem. So there I am, walking along, braless with the girls flying all over the place. Lovely. After I walked for like 3 minutes, he cranked the treadmill up faster and inclined it. By the end of that 3 minutes, I was getting winded cause I'm so fat and out of shape.
Then he cranked it up faster and inclined it more. About a minute into it, he pried my fingers from the bar where I was holding on for dear life so he could take my blood pressure. I nearly flew off the back. I kept thinking, "Oh my gosh, how do 80-year-old patients handle this???" Then when my pulse rate reached 890, he had me get off and run to the table for another ultrasound before my heart exploded.
After that ultrasound, I sat there in a pool of sweat (you know because I'm fat and out of shape) while I gulped for air like a guppy out of water.
Long story short - My regular doctor called me right away this afternoon (how awesome is he?!) and said everything looked great. They detected no heart problems. I have low blood pressure and good cholesterol levels. I don't smoke, nor do I have diabetes. In other words, "Stop your whining Dawn. You have indigestion, you big baby." I'm pretty sure an eyeroll was inserted there too. Actually, he was awesome for checking everything ok quickly and making sure I wasn't about to keel over before my speaking engagement tomorrow and my traveling Thursday. So, I may get hit by a bus tomorrow, but rest assured, I'm not going to drop of a heart attack anytime soon. I guess I'll have to find another way to get a little vacation.