Monday, January 26, 2009

Five HOURS for cardio tests

Well, there's five hours gone from my life. And over 29 hours without coffee (from 9 am Sunday until nearly 3 pm Monday the 26th, though I ignored the cardio clinic's advice about not smoking on the day of.

The echo cardiogram was a bit of a bore. I've had several normal EKG tests---but it was the two atypical/abnormal ones in a row (in two days) late last fall that made my doctor order these.

As usual I didn't get information I needed -- if I had known I had to eat ANOTHER breakfast at 10 am ("have something fatty") (after being told to eat a light one, which I did at 7:30 am), and then a snack a couple of hours later (before? after? can no longer recall) the treadmill test, I would have brought proper food from home (and my meds; I told the office when I made the appointment that I am diabetic). I had to go next door to Tim Hortons, where everyone was lining up for coffee, and I couldn't have any!

Then I had an argument with the clerks about cheese (well, an orange-coloured processed cheese food slice that they kept calling"cheddar" that somehow landed on my breakfast bagel). I didn't want cheese, the description of the BELT (Bacon, egg, lettuce, and purported tomato) didn't include cheese, the picture didn't SHOW cheese, and how is the customer supposed to know to ask not to have cheese if she didn't know it was there in the first place?? With the bacon, butter, egg AND cheese, I probably had two days' worth of salt and cholesterol. It was skanky, but it was cheap and tasteless.

Most of the 5 hours was spent waiting, eating, and lying on my side or back getting scanned by small person or large machine, with electrodes attached to various parts of my upper anatomy. I also had one of those valve-type IVs inserted at my elbow through which the radioactive isotopes were injected (with saline). At one point, after I had been on the treadmill for about 10 minutes (speed and incline increasing every 3 minutes, and we were within a minute of the test ending), I had a tech on one side taking my blood pressure (now up to 150/80) and a tech on the other side injecting the second dose of isotopes. All the while I'm marching steadily uphill at a brisk pace.

Anyways, I was out of there by 2 pm and home brewing coffee by 2:30. It was too cold to walk home into the wind so I took the subway -- from Main Street to Woodbine (one stop)!

I get regular newsletters from MedScape, and this is a pretty good description of what I went through:, except I am not a healthy-looking white guy, but I did have to keep my arms overhead like that for about 20 minutes for each scan. You can subscribe to this site to get weekly newsletters, which include a diabetes/endocrinology section.

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