Well, I gotta tell ya, that stress test was a bit more difficult than I had expected. I ended up having to go alone to the hospital, as my brother ended up having a bit of an emergency. A few minutes after I hit publish for the post below, he called to tell me that he wasn't going to be able to pick my up after all because his girlfriend just called, and she thinks she lost her wallet at the bar last night. Actually, she thinks she may have thrown it out by mistake. She was making some table tent inserts last night, and was trimming the papers on a table. My brother told her he remembered seeing her wallet on the stack of paper trimmings, to which she replied, "Well then I must have thrown it out with the garbage!"
My brother rushed over to the bar to check the garbage. As he was driving, he realized he was going to have to check the dumpster because the garbage cans get emptied every night by the staff. As he pulled to the back of building, he remember is was garbage pick up day. Sure enough, the truck was in the strip mall next door, and headed his way. He quickly grabbed a bunch of black trash bags out of the dumpster just as the truck pulled up. Thankfully, after he explained to the garbage guy what was going on, he waiting while my brother started ripping bags open. Unbelievably, he found the wallet!!
He called me just as I was parking in the tower at the hospital. I told him not to worry about coming, but he told me he would be there in 15 minutes. I went in and got registered at the out-patient desk, then headed over to cardiology. I was there about 5 minutes when my brother walked into the waiting room. About a minute after that, though, they called me back and had me change into an oh-so-stylish gown. It turns out there was some delay with the person they were testing ahead of me, so my brother was able to come back where I was and sit with me for about 20 minutes before they took me back. We actually got a lot of things accomplished for the baby's baptism party next Sunday, so that was good.
The test itself took about an hour from start to finish. There was a lot of preliminary stuff, like checking my vitals and getting all the electrodes attached. That was a bit weird, to tell the truth. First the nurse had to swab most of my upper body with alcohol to make sure there were no body oils that would interfere with the electrodes sticking to my skin. Then, she had to use these little pads that felt a bit like sandpaper to "rough up" my skin in all the contact spots. It wasn't the most comfortable experience, I must say. Then, finally, she attached the electrodes. She then also taped over most of them to make sure they didn't come off. Did I mention that in order to do that she had to keep lifting my big, floppy breasts out of her way? Oh, I didn't? Yeah, that was probably the best part. I had to completely undress from the waist up for the test. That meant (gasp!) no bra!! It wasn't pretty, let me tell ya.
The next thing that happened was that Fred, the tech, came in and did a resting echocardiogram. They needed to establish a baseline. Finally, we were ready for the hard part - the treadmill. Sweet Mary, my nurse, explained to me that they were going to have me start slow, on a slight incline, and then they would increase the speed every 3 minutes until I hit my target heart rate. She told me that my target would be 180 bpm. That sounded pretty darn high, especially since my heart rate while I was sitting there was about 70.
Well, as it turned out, I only had to walk for about 6 minutes before I hit the target. Actually, I hit 187, which she said was 105% of the target. She kept telling me how great I was doing. All I kept thinking was, "Where the hell is the oxygen tank!?" When I hit the goal, they had me very quickly jump off the treadmill and lie back down on the bed so they could do another echo.
After that, they just told me to lie back and relax while my heart rate returned to normal. Apparently, it was taking a little longer than normal to get that rate down. I was there for quite a while. At one point, another nurse poked her head in to make sure everything was ok, since I was there for so long. Mary assured her that she was just waiting for my rate to go back to normal, but that I did so well, and I hit 105%, blah, blah, blah. I gotta tell ya, I was getting nervous. I kept watching the monitor, which I'm sure made things worse.
Eventually, Mary said I was done, and sent me to get dressed. She said the doctor was going to check out the results while I was changing, and to wait for her in the waiting room. A couple minutes after I sat down, she came in and gave me two thumbs up. Yay! I survived!
Of course, my darling brother insisted on taking me out to breakfast when we left. We ended up spending the rest of the day together, hitting Sam's Club, and doing some work at the bar. It's about 7pm, and I actually just got home. Perfect timing, as CSJ arrived about 15 minutes before me, after 2 days in Wisconsin for work. I missed him. Yeah, so sue me.
Dinner is ready and on the table (don't get too excited, it's just reheated leftovers from last night, but last night's dinner was awesome!!) so I'm going to go enjoy it with my honey. I hope you're all enjoying your Saturday night, too.
On the road again
5 hours ago