Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Life is a Treadmill, It's All Uphill

I'm getting very frustrated with Blogger. I'm back to having huge problems accessing the area where you type your post. It's generally late at night when I have the time to get on here and I don't like having to spend my time playing around, trying different things to trick Blogger into letting me type!

Today was the day I went for my cardiac stress test. I arranged for the mother of one of Dear Child's classmates to pick up DC from school today and take her for a playdate because I was quite sure I wouldn't be finished and able to get to the school for 4 pm. I dropped off my granddaughters with their mother at work and went to the hospital for my test.

They attach a bunch of electrodes all over your chest and up onto your collarbone, then strap a device around your waist with a bunch of leads that attach to the electrodes. You lie down for a few minutes while they take some baseline readings, including your blood pressure. Then you stand up for more of the same.

Finally you step onto the treadmill and hold onto the bar. The tech starts the test at a very easy rate but it increases in both incline and speed every 3 minutes. I was puffing a bit midway into the first 3 minutes and only lasted until a minute into the 3rd stage (yes, 7 minutes total). The tech was very nice all the way through. She kept asking me how I was doing, warning me before it would speed up and just generally helping me.

She showed me my heart rate on the screen and told me we were aiming to get it up to 170 beats per minute. When we started my heart rate was in the mid 120's for the 1st stage. It gradually moved up as I kept walking and would increase when the speed increased.

When we moved to the 3rd stage the treadmill was fast, but still not so fast that I had to run. The incline was the worst part of it. About 20 or 30 seconds in she asked how I was doing and I said I thought I'd have to stop in a few seconds. This was just about the time that my heart rate rose above 170. She asked if I could manage 20 more seconds and I did it. Then she slowed and stopped the treadmill and helped me off and back onto the bed.

I lay there for several minutes, puffing like a steam engine to start with and gradually calming down. She kept taking my blood pressure and finally I couldn't feel my heart pounding anymore and my breathing got back to normal. I felt pretty wiped though and she got me a glass of water after she unhooked me from all the technology.

I asked if there was any kind of average and she said it really varied but that it isn't normal for us to run uphill for several minutes at a time. I pointed out that I hadn't been running and she told me that, if I'd made it to the next stage, I would have had to run. She said if there's any kind of average it's probably the 3rd stage although she'd had athletic types go and go and go (why are they taking a stress test if they can run uphill for 15 minutes anyway?) and that she'd had someone today quit 2 minutes into the 1st stage. She also told me most of the people you see running on the treadmill at the gym for ages aren't using any incline and that most of the machines in gyms only go to about a 10% incline anyway. The stress test starts at a 10% incline and keeps getting steeper.

My doctor will have the results in about a week and then she'll call me in to discuss today's test and the blood work I already had done. Here's hoping that she figures out from all of this what's going on.

3 comments:

Kelly from Almost Frugal said...

I hope that everything turns out ok! As far as Blogger goes- it can be frustrating! Wordpress has a steep learning curve, but I'd be happy to give you a few pointers if you ever get really fed up with it and want to switch.

Mama Bear said...

Good luck and please keep us posted!!!

Shevy said...

Thanks, Kelly and Mama Bear.

I still haven't heard from my doctor to set a time to discuss my test results but the tech did say it would take about a week for her to get them and we have had a long weekend.

I'm also insanely busy at work right now until the end of the month because we're having our annual gala, so taking time to go see her (preferably without 2 or 3 small girls in tow) is going to be...interesting.

As for Wordpress, I looked at it first and then chose Blogger because I didn't want to deal with the learning curve. I just wanted to open it up and blog and Blogger has been good for that. Except when it doesn't work and then it's horrible. I will definitely keep your offer in mind if I get bothered enough to switch. Thanks Kelly!