The Stress Test

March 13, 2017

Today  was my big stress test nuclear stress test. I woke up ready to do this and pass it. Was a glorious morning and I’m feeling nervous but good. 

And as you see they didn’t kill me. For those who haven’t, gad a stress test I feel the need to describe, in detail, just how it goes. You know what I was told about the test? “You’ll be walking on a treadmill  and have an injection of dye to due imaging with, so wear comfortable shoes.” Yep, that’s about it. But I’m here to tell you the whole story.
I’m not going to lie I wasn’t worried they’d kill me I was worried that I wouldn’t pass it. 
It was stressful and difficult and a sigh of relief came when I knew I survived every part of the stress test. 

When I first got to Mercy St Elizabeth Heart and Vascular Center 
I was ask a series of questions 

Then they seemed a bit confused as there were 3 different orders for stress test in my notes
So I clarified 

I agreed to do a stress test nuclear

With me on treadmill 
NOT injections to speed my heart. 
Because bone problems or not I’m doing that treadmill.

So after the confusion was cleared up.
I got an iv line and special nuclear die to show up when they do images of my heart. 
Then my blood pressure was checked 


You can tell I’m a bit nervous 

My bp is usually 128/74

So I waited about 30 minutes in a waiting room and then went in to get 13 minutes gama camera  imaging 
Had to lay flat on back which uncomfortable cz of the Spondylolithesis 
And pillow under legs. 

Left arm over head 

Right arm strapped to my side with iv line 

And the machine took several pictures.

Now that that’s over on to the treadmill 

I don’t drink but I’m ready for a glass of wine right about now. And it’s only 845am . I guess I’m afraid because I was a smoker for 37 years and I am afraid of bad news.
So bp taken again

Hooked up to all lines to monitor my heart rate it has to get to at least 142 to 170 heart rate.
As they are joining me up I’m praying, praying all is ok and praying my bones can take it. 
So on treadmill i started as a slow walk then incline went steep and then speed increased a lot. I was doing good 1 minute in two minutes in still able to talk and it’s going pretty fast 3 minutes harder to talk but I did they take your bp while your still speed walking , honestly by the 4.5 minute mark I’m breathing hard, I don’t want to answer questions. I have to last 5 minutes or I fail. 
I’m not failing this damn test. 

So I try and slow my breathing as it feels like I’m running a marathon 

Thank God 

I made it past 5 minutes 

Bones doing good and I’m proud of myself 

6 minutes I’m done. 

Now to cool down.

Bp getting checked again 
She brings me water 
Now I wait to get more images

This time 18 minutes long, left arm over head. 
Ok now that’s done.  
I get water and b p checked again

I had a few coughing spells about 15 minutes after the stress test partway over. I was breathing pretty hard. 
They tell me Doctor will review it all and should call me in a day or 2. 
I’m also not to hold any babies for 24 due to radiation 
And they gave me a paper in case I needed to go to airport because I would be setting off their alarms. 

Crazy Stuff!!
So now I wait. I’m exhausted and glad it’s over. But I’m happy because I did it . 

And I did it my self. No drugs to speed my heart rate , I did it myself 
And with my bones and issues I have had that makes me feel good that I was able to complete the task. 

Thank You Lord for  being right beside me. 

Today’s Song Before the Morning  by    Josh Wilson

by Josh Wilson

Test (Myocardial Perfusion Scan)

A nuclear stress test, also called a myocardial perfusion scan, is a type of nuclear medicine procedure. This means that a tiny amount of a radioactive substance, called a radionuclide, is used to evaluate the heart’s function and blood flow. 

A nuclear stress test is used to identify and assess potential blockages inside the coronary arteries. The test shows the blood flow to the heart muscle when it is stressed by either exercise or a stress inducing medication and to determine what areas of the heart have decreased blood flow. This is done by reviewing images of the heart obtained after injecting a radionuclide (thallium or technetium) through an intravenous catheter into a vein in the arm or hand. 

There are two types of nuclear stress tests, one that is used in conjunction with exercise (exercise stress test) and one that is used in conjunction with medication (pharmacologic stress test). 

Nuclear Stress Test With Exercise 

A nuclear stress test with exercise is used to determine what areas of the heart muscle have decreased blood flow during exercise. This test is done by first injecting a radionuclide (thallium or technetium) through an intravenous catheter into a vein in the arm or hand while the patient is at rest. After the radionuclide has been injected and has circulated through the blood stream, a special machine called a gamma camera takes pictures of the heart while the person lies still on a table. This scanning usually lasts about 15‐20 minutes. This is the rest scan of the heart. 

Next, the exercise stress test is performed with the patient walking on a treadmill. At peak exercise, a second radionuclide dose is injected through the intravenous catheter. After the radionuclide has been injected and has circulated through the blood stream, a second scan of the heart is performed in the gamma camera. This scanning also lasts about 15‐20 minutes. This is the stress scan of the heart. 

Any areas of the heart that have blocked or partially blocked arteries will be seen on the scans as “cold spots,” or “defects,” because these areas will be unable to absorb the radionuclide into the heart. 

Pharmacological (“Chemical”) Stress Test 

A pharmacologic stress test is used when the physician has determined that exercise on a treadmill is not an appropriate choice due to the patient’s medical or physical condition. In this situation, medications are given that either cause the coronary arteries to dilate or cause the heart rate to increase. This pharmacologic response is similar to the response caused by exercise. 

This test is done by first injecting a radionuclide (thallium or technetium) through an intravenous 
Notify the staff if you have a pacemaker or defibrillator. 
Please wear comfortable clothing as well as a pair of comfortable walking shoes or sneakers. 

Based upon your medical condition, your physician may request other specific preparation. 
Nuclear Stress Procedure 
A nuclear stress test may be performed on an outpatient basis or as part of your stay in a hospital. Procedures may vary depending on your condition and your physician’s practices. Generally, a nuclear stress test scan follows this process:

You will be asked to remove any jewelry or other objects that may interfere with the pictures of your heart.

You maybe given a gown to wear.

An intravenous catheter will be placed in your arm or hand.

You will be connected to an ECG machine with leads and a blood pressure cuff will be placed on 
your arm.

During a Nuclear Stress Test With Exercise 

You will exercise on a treadmill. The intensity of the exercise will be gradually increased by increasing the speed and incline of the treadmill.

Your heart rate and blood pressure will be monitored. Once you have reached your maximal exercise point (determined by your heart rate and age), the radionuclide will be injected through the intravenous catheter.

After the radionuclide has been injected, you will need to continue to exercise for one to two minutes more to let the radionuclide circulate. The treadmill is then slowed down and stopped.
During a Pharmacological (“Chemical”) Nuclear Stress Test 
You will not exercise on a treadmill. Instead, a medication is injected through the intravenous catheter to simulate the stress. 
Your heart rate and blood pressure will be monitored. 
The radionuclide will be injected through the intravenous catheter. 
Procedure Completion, Both Methods

If you experience any symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness or severe fatigue at any point during the procedure, let the physician, nurse or technologist know.

Once you reach baseline values (heart rate and blood pressure) you will be disconnected from the EKG machine and informed of the waiting time before the final set of post‐stress images.


During the Imaging Procedure 

You will lie flat on the gamma camera while the images of your heart are obtained.

If possible, your arms will be positioned above your head. It will be necessary for you to lie very 
still while the images are being taken, as movement can adversely affect the quality of the 

After both the rest and stress scans have been completed and processed, you will be informed 
that you are finished with the test.

The physician who referred you for the nuclear stress test should receive the results by the next 
business day.

I’m exhausted nap time 

2 thoughts on “The Stress Test

Add yours

  1. So glad you passed your test. I hope the results are passing as well. You have provided a great deal of information here. I had a nuclear stress test without the treadmill. My body can’t handle walking fast. I’m an x-smoker as well. But it is my bladder that won’t let me walk that fast. Have a great evening. ~Peace

    Liked by 1 person

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