Yesterday was the long awaited cardio treadmill stress test, which my cardiologist ordered because of my tilt table test excitement. Poor Chooch had to take the day off and drive me, which worked out fine for him since he was still feeling the effects of the cooties we picked up over last weekend. Luckily, I was feeling vastly improved in time for the stress test.
I had a 7 am appointment at the hospital, and they took me back almost immediately to begin the test. I was sad that they wouldn’t allow Chooch to come back, as it turned out I got to see some cool stuff. They hooked me up with electrodes all over my chest. This was unpleasant for many reasons, but mainly because they used a scouring pad type thing where the attached them and my sensitive skin was NOT amused. Have I mentioned that I’m a wuss? Well, I am.
All sorts of readings were taken: EKG, pulse, blood pressure and then a different tech came in and this is where I wish Chooch had been there with his phone’s video camera. The tech used what seemed to me to be a sonogram device and I got to watch my heart in action. I didn’t think to ask what it was, but it was the same type of image I saw of my babies during sonograms. I was mesmerized as he pointed out different parts of MY heart, showing MY valves opening and closing, measuring pressure and who knows what else. Dude, it was amazing. I asked him if everything looked normal, and he said to his eyes everything was working as it should and he saw nothing abnormal in my heart, with the usual disclaimers. This was a big relief since I have inherited a horrific genetic heart disease history on my dad’s side of the family.
After instruction, I was put on the treadmill at a steep incline and a slow pace. This was heavenly for me, since I’ve had to give up my rigorous training for 5k races in October and have been unable or afraid to exercise on my own due to the severe vertigo. Every time I’ve tried to exercise, I’ve had to stop and the sedentary lifestyle I’m now stuck in has been a major source of depression. They increased the pace over time, monitoring everything and I actually had an enjoyable time with the three nurse/technicians in the room. We talked about movies, actors (Denzel! /swoon), financial horrors for the medically uninsured, and the coming snow apocalypse. At the max, the pace made it difficult for me to talk as I was pushed to the necessary HR limit for the test. I was able to do the entire test as they needed for maximum data to be attained, and I was dizzy but exhilarated. It made my craving for regular exercise excruciating, and I’m more jazzed than ever to get back to work with my trainer and to hit the track again. Someday.
I had a heinous twenty minute coughing fit after the test, and most of my cootie symptoms returned from earlier in the week. Small price to pay, as I’m having the always-enjoyable-to-no-one-but-me soreness in my calves after having pushed myself to the max. I don’t have any real news for now, since I don’t expect to meet with the cardiologist until after the thirty day heart monitor study is complete in about two more weeks.
Afterward, Chooch and I had breakfast and ran some errands to avoid leaving the house during the forecasted snow storm. After returning home, I was able to find a walk-in clinic to do the Lyme disease blood test ordered by my doctor. This should have come earlier, to be truthful. I embarrassingly forgot about a tick that I pulled off my back sometime in the late summer/early fall of 2009. I didn’t even think about it until after the cardiologist asked if the test had been run yet, but when I did remember my doctor immediately ordered it. If I end up having Lyme disease this whole time, I’m going to feel pretty stupid. It’s the sort of thing that I would have never forgotten if I had found one on my kids. Self awareness FAIL.
Early last night I became extremely frustrated due to my inability to drive. I found a knitting project that I wanted to try, a quick knit scarf, but I could not drive to the craft store for the necessary supplies. It was clear that Chooch wasn’t feeling well so I didn’t ask him to go out for a third time, and instead hit Amazon to buy them since we have the prime shipping membership. They didn’t have what I needed available for the free shipping and my frustration grew exponentially.
It’s a small disappointment, and I truly understand that. But I had spent the day going over the expenses since my weird illness started and working on our budget, and the sacrifices we’ve had to make because of it. Trust that I know how lucky I am that I’ve had so many terrible diseases ruled out. I give thanks every day for that and for having a loving and patient husband that is willing to help me through this hopefully brief time. But dammit, I was once again thwarted on a very simple thing. Not a toy, or a video game but rather crafting supplies to make a mangled and poorly knit scarf for a loved one. I know what you’re thinking: “Suck it up, cupcake.”, and you’re right. But I also feel completely justified in my frustration on this point, and until you lose the ability to drive for 2+ months you really don’t know how useless it makes you feel. I can’t work, I can’t do the needed household repairs, and I have to ask people to drive me everywhere. It’s the tantamount neediness that I despise and here I am in the thick of it.
There, I feel better for having whined. Thanks to those of you that tolerated it for so long.
In other news, I found out that the monitor I am wearing is not a ‘halter monitor’ as we thought the doctor said, which led me to believe it would be a cumbersome vest-like device. It is instead a Holter monitor. Spelling is where it’s at, eh kittens? It is formally described as an ambulatory electrocardiography device, and I posted a picture in a previous post. It’s teensy and causes only a mild inconvenience due to the wires and the skin reaction I’m having to the little skin tab thingies.
I’m not looking forward to Monday, since it seems I have to do the 24 hour EEG monitoring. I’ll have electrodes stuck to my head, be given another monitor and sent home until I return 24 hours later to have it all removed. Yes, there will be pictures. After all, if you can’t laugh at yourself then you are taking yourself FAR too seriously and life is WAY too short for that.