Wednesday, April 8, 2009

It's been a year

As people say. And it's only April 8. I've been looking for more info and images of the stress echo (cardio) test I took late last month but I haven't found any yet, unlike the plethora (great word) of info I found on the January tests. After two consecutive "atypical" ECGs from St. Mike's hospital in November and negative/positive test results from the five-hour cardiac perfusion and treadmill tests in late January (at a clinic that my cardiologist says has ancient and unreliable equipment, though I'm sure they use fresh radio-isotopes), and a further ECG in the cardiologist's office a few weeks ago, I was told that the angiogram is the "gold standard" for determining heart function. As a post-menopausal diabetic (aged mumblemumble-two) the typical tests aren't very informative. The angiogram has a "tiny" (one in 500 is tiny??) risk of injury. So I picked the stress echo. (Pardon me a moment while I donate some more money in appreciation to TEGH for their great efficiency. OK, done.)

On the morning of, I skipped my coffee and ate a light breakfast as ordered, wore jeans and runners, walked to the hospital (about 20 minutes), arrived about 15 minutes early and got admitted immediately. I undressed from the waist up. I got sticky sensors all over the place. About three techs at a time. The tech did my echo cardiogram in about 1o minutes. Then I got on the treadmill and marched increasingly uphill for about 10 minutes until I said I wanted off. Then I was flung back on the gurney for the second echo while my heart rate and blood pressure were still high. My cardio was there the whole time and I got results by 9:05 am. I was having fresh coffee (but not from the hospital's cafeteria, blech) five minutes later. I found out I should have bused or cabbed to the hospital, but what does one do when transit takes just about as long as it took to walk? And as a diabetic, I need all the exercise I can get?

Anyways, immediate test results: the chances are 80 percent that I DON'T have cardiomyopathy. Yet (I'm too young?). Cardio advised daily low-dose aspirin. I've been doing that for about 4 years now. Also statins. The scariest part. I said let's wait until we see my next cholesterol levels. I don't have to see him for a year now. I'll try to stop eating cookies for lunch and dinner.

No comments: