STRESS TEST Kate’s Journal


When the voice identified herself as “Cardiology”, I wondered why they were calling me. In rapid fire English she informed me that my doctor had scheduled a Nuclear Stress Test for me in two days.
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I informed that I do not walk, especially on a treadmill. She told me that I would not be required to walk, It seems that the word “Nuclear” makes all the difference. Instead I would be a quiet recumbent participant of the three hour test.

I find the process of aging with its many ramifications very interesting. Each indication of new challenges gives you pause to get acquainted and decide how to cope with each with grace and dignity.

I showed up at the required time and was soon rigged out with an IV in my arm before we went into a room with a machine half the size of my dining room. They injected a dye into the IV and had me put both arms over my head while lying down. This position was maintained for 15 minutes while the machine (camera) lowered itself to within 1/2 inch from my face. It slowly revolved around the upper body while I forced myself to think of sailboats on a quiet sea with seagulls calling out to me. Conversing with seagulls is not easy and I truly find them noisy and greedy creatures, so this subterfuge really didn’t help the time pass any faster.

When this test was over, They took me into another room where a nurse with a lot of authority took charge. After explaining the process she injected me with another drug and began the test. I could tell she had done this before because suddenly I experienced everything she had mentioned. You become a bit panic stricken and want to end the test. She asked me what I was feeling and being an honest person I told her I really wanted to throw up. Her answer was to inject me with even more drugs as the test progressed. This test lasted a half hour after which the nurse suddenly asked me if I wanted a milkshake; either vanilla or chocolate. Obviously, no one wants to be vanilla so I took the other one. One stipulation of these tests was no caffeine for two days, so chocolate was the obvious choice.

After returning from my reclining run, the nurse told me I “looked very good for eighty-eight”, which gave me the boost to move back into the original room with the large camera. The original routine was repeated while the camera slowly rotated over me.

With the test over, we now wait for orders from the vascular surgeon who hopes to be able to do a bypass of my legs.

Author: kaytisweetlandrasmussen83

I am a retired fine arts teacher, sculptor/painter, writer, and a native Californian. I love my family,dogs, horses, movies, reading and music, probably in that order. I have been married forever to a very nice man who is nice to old ladies, dogs and children.

31 thoughts on “STRESS TEST Kate’s Journal”

  1. Medical tests are often scary, mostly from the unknown that awaits us, I think. Hope the results are in your favor. Perhaps the hardest part is waiting to hear back!

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  2. Wow Aunt Kayti. You are a trooper. And you are a very beautiful woman inside and out.Looking forward to hugging you tomorrow. Love, Cindy

    Happy birthday to Uncle Sam! He looks good for 90!

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  3. Yes, testing is now so popular. We are increasingly seeing programs on TV whereby all that testing is seen as bordering on being excessive. By hook and by crook, they’ll find something needing intervention. I am glad though of all the modern machinery able to diagnose things so much better. I was asked to pick up a sheet of paper, fold it and put it on the floor. The nurse was most impressed; ‘You are doing fine, Mr Oosterman,’ she said afterwards. I walked so tall afterwards.

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    1. They’ll figure out some way to get more money out of us and testing is good because we really don’t know what they’re looking for. I’m impressed with your paper chase too Gerard. You are tall so that was a big dip.

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  4. 88 is impressive Kate! As for medical tests, I would have gone for the chocolate shake as well, but no one in medicine has ever offered me one. Hope all is well. –Curt

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  5. Well, look at you! My mother had two of these tests over the course of her life — one at 80 or so, and a second somewhere down the road. She found the first one pretty nerve-wracking, but as she said, not knowing that was coming made it worse. Hers made use of thalium — the radioactive substance that shows up in the pretty pictures. I’m sure you’re loaded up with information, but this article is a pretty good one.

    I remember when I had my tonsils out, and was promised a chocolate malt when it was over. They produced the malt for me, but no one had told me that I wouldn’t be able to drink it. It’s always something!

    I’m so glad you have the test behind you, and have all my fingers and toesies crossed that they end up deciding you’re not just in good shape, but great shape! And if they have to do a little tweaking — well, so be it. Just be sure and tell them that you want “tweaking,” not “twerking”!

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  6. Oh my you have a great attitude. I say oh my God that sounds awful. Holy shit! I will have to pray for dignity and grace for when my day comes. As always thanks for paving the way and showing us what grace is. See you tomorrow !

    Sent from my iPhone

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  7. You’re going to come out of this with FLYING Colors!! I justKNOW It.. These “GOLDEN years leave much to be desired.. I love you. xoxoxo me

    Sent from my iPad

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  8. I had been concerned about your absence from the airwaves, Kayti, so thank you for this explanation. A leg bypass sounds “interesting” – as you might say!

    Gerard is quite right about the multiplicity of tests now undergone. This week I had a bone marrow sample taken by a leading London teaching hospital and I’m sure there’s nothing wrong. The expense of this to the NHS goes a long way to explain its current financial crisis. Perhaps they’re short of ingredients for their meat pies.

    There was a three-hour wait, during which time I discovered the extraordinary courage of some of the other patients.

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    1. It’s fascinating how these health programs engage with the insurance companies to know what to charge for all the tests they conceive. One would think it would deter us from making an appointment to find out what’s wrong.
      Best of luck on your bone marrow test. How right you are about courage under duress. During the War, when I worked with burn patients at the Naval hospital, it was a constant inspiration to see these young men in recovery. It gives us pause when we have a pain in the big toe.

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  9. I”m sorry you’re having to endure these things and I admire and hope to emulate your determination to do so with grace and dignity. I’ve got myself “on the list” for hip replacement surgery, but it will likely take a year for my name to come up. I’m convinced that one of the reasons our medical system seems to be so overtaxed is that the ability to test and diagnose ailments has outstripped the ability to cure them. I recently read Atul Gawande’s book, “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End”. It’s a thought-provoking read, especially coming from a physician.

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    1. I think the most difficult thing would be the waiting while you are ‘on the list”. I hope you are not too uncomfortable while waiting. Everything seemed to move faster and cheaper in the old days!I will look into the book it sounds like common sense.

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      1. I’m not too uncomfortable, thanks. Arthritis for me is not a constant thing–it gets better and worse. You’re right about the “faster” part, but medical coverage actually hasn’t gotten much more expensive in Canada, at least for individuals. Overall, I’m sure it’s much more expensive.

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  10. I’m taking notes and notes of the Rock of Gibraltar that you are. We all love your writing and your spunk–so please, be well.

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  11. You’ve written about a common theme with all of us who are aging, Kayti. Medical tests become a part of our lives, and to most of us they are stressful from the pre-procedure demands of no coffee, no eating, what to wear and where to be and “please have someone with you to drive you home,” to the test itself where too often we don’t know what to expect and even strange noises can be alarming. Then there is the wait for the results, too often not forthcoming when they were promised. As you say, the best we can do is try to handle them with grace and dignity.

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  12. It’s surprising to most of us who rarely visited a doctor’s office, to find that we wait for their “command” as to the next step in our health care as for a prom date. The aging jokes come more frequently in our e-mail, on TV and the snail mail includes instructions for household equipment to make life easier for the handicapped and how to plan our funeral. In a way it’s pretty insulting when we still feel like we have a lot to look forward to. A sense of humor becomes even more important as we mature don’t you think?

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