Saturday, September 08, 2012

Nuclear Stress Test

On Thursday I went and had my nuclear stress test. To be honest, it wasn't as bad as expected (with the exception of needing an IV.) What takes up to four hours was over in two because my NJ cardiology office is run like so well. They had it so cold in there that I was freezing and they even accommodated me with blankets while having something like a CT scan done and for the actual test. I wasn't allowed to actually walk on the tread mill but they used a chemical which in six minutes did the same thing. My doctor has a nurse practitioner in his office, Christine, who walked me through it and was very calming. When you've had as many medical tests as I have it's very easy to read people. Christine did a good job of looking calm, cool and collected but I glanced at the machine and saw some things which I thought were troublesome. At the end she wanted me to rest and recover a few minutes, then I was told to eat something, repeat of the scan pictures and then another EKG. I knew that was not normal, the last EKG. I noticed my doctor was not present in the office that day and was told that he was at a symposium. I would hear the results when he had a chance to review the test and call me.

This morning I got up and went for my second visit to my therapist. I really like her and find her to have great insights. We had a great session and then I had to go to two banks, pick up a baby gift at Macy's and then came home. Macy's had a phenomenal sale by the way. I got home and shortly afterwards my primary care physician called. "Nelle, I saw the results of your stress test. You've had a heart attack and there is a lot of ischemia. What is the cardiologist saying?" I told her that I had not spoken to him. I have gone to this primary care physician for about four years now. With all that has transpired, this is the first time I felt she was upset. She then explained that she felt the news should be given to me by the cardiologist who could explain what this means in detail. Obviously, the ischemia shows there was damage to the heart because that basically means there is little or no blood flow to an area.

I am sure I know when this happened. August 5 when all the drama was going on with my mother I had an abrupt and intense chest pain that lasted about five minutes. It was over quickly and I knew I was seeing the cardiologist the next day. I talked to him about it and he said that the EKG showed changes, lack of blood flow to a certain part of my heart so he wanted the nuclear stress test to see what had happened, if anything.
Lesson learned: Do not allow others to upset you.

I am trying to remain calm, not get upset. I fear that this is a sign that my heart is weakening overall. I fear having a heart attack while home alone. I fear surviving a massive heart attack. I woke up at 3:30 A.M. this morning. Couldn't go back to sleep so just got up. I keep telling myself not to panic. I will feel so much better once I hear from my cardiologist. I also had my primary fax the report to my Philly PH specialist, who is also a cardiologist. I want his take on it. I see him next month.

As the British say: keep calm and carry on. Easier said than done.


Ronni Gordon said...

This all sounds very stressful, but as you know, getting panicky makes it worse, especially when your heart is involved. Read the last couple of posts in The Plog to see some ways PJ changes the channel and visualizes about good things. If you're not already following it, there is a link on my blog.

Nelle said...

Thanks Ronni. I will check it out.

Virginia said...

Wow! I am sorry to hear this. I hope that they have some good treatment options for you. Hang in there and keep all the toxic people away.