Still at the library sucking up their internet! From here I go to Dr. Khoueiry’s office to get the results of the tests I write about below. I wrote a lot of this one on my phone and am hoping to finish it up, all except for the results, before I leave here in an hour
Recently I saw my Cardiologist, Dr. Khoueiry about pressure I’ve been having in my chest and to ask for a thorough heart check-up. Roy dying from cardiomyopathy last year emphasized the importance of addressing health concerns early on.
Dr. Khoueiry did an EKG and listened to a lot of places on me. The EKG and slow sounds in my legs and feet concerned him. At that appointment he ordered 4 tests. A nuclear stress test, a 7-day halter monitor, a heart ultrasound, and an ultrasound of both legs.
I am as usual documenting this to help me remember. But also since stress tests and Holter Monitors are new and improved I want to share some details of what they are all like now.
Wednesday September 15th I had an ultrasound of both legs and had a Holter Monitor put on.
The Holter monitor is a medical device that records the heart’s electrical activity.
The newest version of a Holter Monitor is really different than it use to be. No more bag to wear over your shoulder with lots of wires to deal with. The two pictures below is from the version before the one I wore this time.
It is now a disposable 7 day patch put on your chest. It connects via Bluetooth to a phone they give you. Oh, so much better, easier, and less aggravating! The monitor gets thrown away and the data is read from the phone! I dropped the phone off on my September 22nd visit and threw the monitor in the trash!
The Septemer 22nd early morning visit involved a Nuclear Stress Test and a Heart Ultrasound.
The new and improved Nuclear Stress test was first. Young folks walk/run on a treadmill. Old or injured folks don’t have do that. We sit. Frank is the Nuclear Imaging Specialist at Dr. Khoueiry’s office. He explained each step thoroughly. He also created the poster you’ll see below with the step by step information about how the test is done.
A Nuclear Imaging Stress Test is an imaging method that uses radioactive material to show how well blood flows into the heart muscle, both at rest and during activity
I’m just going to describe what the patient and technician do during the new Nuclear Stress test. In the picture below is Frank with the tall revolving chair that I talk about below. Thanks Frank for letting me take the pictures and for all the information you gave me!
It started at 8:15 am with radioactive dye, called a tracer, being shot into my vein via the IV. I didn’t feel the dye at all. I sat in their small waiting room for an hour while the dye made its way to my heart.
Then Frank took scans of my heart for eight minutes while I sat in a tall revolving chair with my arms folded high. These nuclear scans will show the doctor areas of my heart that may not be getting enough blood.
Pretty sure I went back to the waiting room for a while before the next step.
I was then given a medication that caused my heart to feel like it is exercising as it would if I was walking on a regular treadmill. I lay on the table for about 10 minutes while my heart pounded and you could have discomfort, nausea or feel dizzy.
Frank’s assistant Paige stayed in the room with me during that 10 minutes. If you have any discomfort, nausea or feel dizzy you are offered coffee and crackers. The caffeine in the coffee counteracts the medication and you leave feeling great again. This is why they tell you to not have any caffeine for 24 hours before the test. You want the medication to nwork.
I got back up on the tall revolving chair with arms folded high for another seven minute scan.
A nuclear cardiologist reads the scans, comparing the first scans with just dye to the second scans with the exercise medication, and gives the report to your doctor. You want them to be the same otherwise there could be a problem with your heart.
In between all of that I had the heart ultrasound and returned my Holter monitor phone.
I am back at the doctor’s office today Wednesday, September 29th for the results. It seems this old girl has a blockage in my heart. We will find out for sure at the angiography Dr. Khoueiry scheduled for October 14th in Covington.
I also have ventricular tachycardia but he says that one is not a big concern. I am now on a medication to slow down my heartbeat which is supposed to help with both issues.
I guess my cardiology journey continues. I will keep you informed.
Thanks for reading along with my heart test documentation! If you wanted to learn something I hope you did!
Later Gator! Rosalyn