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Looking forward to my stress test

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Looking forward to my stress test

Old 12-18-22, 05:33 PM
  #1  
Random11
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Looking forward to my stress test

An EKG I had a few months ago seemed to show atrial flutter, and as part of a further investigation, I'm having a stress test on the 27th. I've heard people hating them, dreading them, etc., but (perhaps out of ignorance) I'm actually looking forward to it. I like physical activity and don't mind getting my heart rate up. I'm interested to see what it's like, and of course interested in the results. I've noticed no symptoms of heart issues, continue to cycle daily, and don't really think I have a problem. But of course, I'll defer to medical professionals on this, which is why I'm doing this and other tests (I've already had an echocardiogram). I suspect that others on this forum have had stress tests. Are they really that bad?
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Old 12-18-22, 05:46 PM
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No, not that bad. Not too different than an FTP test.
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Old 12-18-22, 06:18 PM
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Lazy people don't like them, they find them to be a lot of work. Like you, I actually don't mind them. Not any worse than a huge hill and no short gears. Enjoy,
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Old 12-19-22, 05:29 AM
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Because of a similar EKG a number of years ago, I had a stress test done. If I remember correctly, 56 years old at the time,14 years ago. I was kind of looking forward to it, also. I found it to be similar to physically pushing myself to what I perceived as an upper limit. The doctor running the stress test actually took me past where I would have stopped, by a good bit. The nurse even made a comment about the heart rate. My breathing and legs were still good, he asked me to go until I felt like my legs were done, or I was struggling just a bit for oxygen. So, I kept the same pace while getting to that point. My legs got there first. I do not remember any numbers from the test, but I do remember the doctor and nurse being impressed with how I did. I wore a heart monitor for 30 days, and had no more episodes. I guess it was just an anomaly in the EKG.
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Old 12-19-22, 06:12 AM
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Had one a year ago mostly due to just wondering if I was at risk of dropping dead when I cranked up some big hill. I passed with flying colors, and then some. Toward the very end of the test the cardiologist asked if I could continue..I said sure I think so and did for another 10-15 seconds. My steps were getting a little less controlled and he said, "that's enough" and stopped the test. Basically, I showed zero indications of any issues and continuing wasn't going to offer any new data. Recovery was good.

All in..it's like climbing a really big hill. Not a big deal, as long as you don't have any heart issues. Of course if you kick into a heart issue during the test..I expect it is a big deal.
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Old 12-19-22, 08:28 AM
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I had a stress echocardiogram a few years ago, about five months after my heart attack. EKG was fine, they made me stop short of what I thought I could do, then lie down for the echo part. No problems, everything looked good, and it was kind of fun until I tried to sit up. You know the conventional wisdom about "cooling down?" That's really good advice! If, instead, you go hard, stop quickly and lie down, well it took me about five minutes before I could slowly sit up and even more slowly stand.
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Old 12-19-22, 09:00 AM
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I take it all those posters who looked forward to a physical stress test weren't suffering from any cardiac issues?
It's not so much a walk in the park when you have suffered cardiac damage. My stress tests stress my system due to heart attacks.
I'm pretty much done with the treadmill stress tests. My doc uses the chemical test now. At least I don't have to do them every year now.

First heart attack, I was 40 and in good health. I was doing a lot of biking at that time. 100% blocked artery. In the spot they call the "widow maker". Result, 2 stents.
One to open the artery and one from where the artery started to tear. Seems genetics caused this.Family history.
Second one, early 50's. Another stent. My EF was so low a pacemaker was once on the table as an option due to a low EF, low 30's %

Currently, my EF has been steady, 40's%, and my cardiologist is happy with the test results but if it does drop a pacemaker is again up for consideration.
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Old 12-19-22, 09:58 AM
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It's been a while (decades) since I had one. I ran track in high school until sidelined with a fractured hip (not running related). The doc said I was the only one he recalled getting a big smile as the intensity was increased. My results were fine. Hope yours are fine also.
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Old 12-19-22, 07:33 PM
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I had a nuclear stress test with a new-to-me cardiologist/electrophysiologist. The reason for the test was that I have some heart ailment that needs diagnosis. Unfortunately, IMO the doc completely flubbed the test. I'm an aging athlete. It takes a while for me to warm up so that I can then do enough work to get my heart rate elevated enough to bring on the heart discomfort/syncope which I've been experiencing on my rollers. (I don't dare ride outside.)

He did the textbook test, 15' of ramp-up until my HR reached 85% of my age-predicted max HR. Nothing interesting found. I'm going to try to talk him into letting me run the test. I can tell them how to get me to pass out just fine. Or hopefully just stop at discomfort/pain. I'm not hopeful. Some doctors think they know everything. They forget they're practicing medicine. We'll see, though. Maybe it'll be fine.
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Old 12-19-22, 09:39 PM
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I did one just to make sure because of my wacky body. now I am not in great shape but I worked harder getting there as I was a bit late because I got lost I did on the test. I like the 2.5 miles I averaged 140 or so bpm the stress test I think did 120.
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Old 12-20-22, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by delbiker1
The doctor running the stress test actually took me past where I would have stopped, by a good bit. The nurse even made a comment about the heart rate. My breathing and legs were still good, he asked me to go until I felt like my legs were done, or I was struggling just a bit for oxygen. So, I kept the same pace while getting to that point. My legs got there first.
I think anyone that's healthy and can ride at an aerobic pace won't have any issues with a stress test. Mine was the opposite experience from yours; Doc took me slowly up to 140bpm and at that point I was feeling "YEAH! THIS IS GREAT! LET'S DO SOME SPRINTS!!!" The cardiologist, on the other hand, got a sour look on his face and told the nurse to shut it down. I guess he was really hoping he had another patient.
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Old 12-20-22, 09:30 AM
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I had one when I started suffering from an irregular cardiac arrythmia conditions (SVT). IT was done by the doctor's physician assistant, and on a treadmill. It was a special treadmill that could be adjusted to a steeper than normal angle so older folks with bad joints wouldn't have to run. She cranked the thing up to its max angle and speed and I was still going (although with labored breathing), it just felt like the brisk uphill workouts I do at a local park 1-2X per week. No issues found, but some on the EKG when at rest.
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Old 12-20-22, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by skidder
I had one when I started suffering from an irregular cardiac arrythmia conditions (SVT). IT was done by the doctor's physician assistant, and on a treadmill. It was a special treadmill that could be adjusted to a steeper than normal angle so older folks with bad joints wouldn't have to run. She cranked the thing up to its max angle and speed and I was still going (although with labored breathing), it just felt like the brisk uphill workouts I do at a local park 1-2X per week. No issues found, but some on the EKG when at rest.
Yes, mine was non-running too. I think they had me walking at 6 mph up a simulated 8% slope to get the target HR. They didn't want me to run, because I was wired for sound and they didn't want a bunch of bouncing.
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Old 12-20-22, 01:19 PM
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I wish I had asked them to keep making it harder until I couldn't go any more. They tend to be happy that you won't die as a sedentary person. I have wondered about what happens with my heart when I really go hard.
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Old 12-20-22, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen
I wish I had asked them to keep making it harder until I couldn't go any more. They tend to be happy that you won't die as a sedentary person. I have wondered about what happens with my heart when I really go hard.
Agree with the bit about "you won't die as a sedentary person." I have to wonder, though. How many times have we seen a disclaimer like "Exercise can cause a heart attack in a person who has blocked arteries or heart damage. Check with your doctor before you start a new exercise program or vigorous activity."? And then your stress test is truncated at a heart rate of 75% of (220-age). Seems like there's a massive assumption or logical gap there: if you don't exhibit any symptoms at a fairly modest exertion, you're good to go for more strenuous exercise.

I should probably go take an easy walk before I get too worked up.
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Old 12-20-22, 01:56 PM
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Any cardiologist that uses an age-predicted max HR chart, just doesn't understand us.
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Old 12-21-22, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
you don't exhibit any symptoms at a fairly modest exertion, you're good to go for more strenuous exercise.
This statement is borne out by data and clinical experience. The functional effects of coronary artery disease, which we are all likely enough to have, are non-linear.
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Old 12-21-22, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Speedskater
Any cardiologist that uses an age-predicted max HR chart, just doesn't understand us.
Diagnostic tests like this have to be standardized so that the recommendations can be based on the standardized results. Athletes are the outliers on the standardized tests, they don't get their own tests.

But of course a cardiologist ought to know in what ways endurance junkies differ from the standard. I only saw a cardiologist once and the conversation quickly went past all the normal concerns to athlete's heart and cardiomyopathy. When I'm in a waiting room and see all the sick, obese, and practically immobile patients the doctors have to examine - I figure the doctors are pretty happy to have me between the lines on all the charts. I tell them my objective is to be their favorite patient - that usually makes them chuckle.

What do they do for a stress test if the patient has a bum knee or something and can't run?
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Old 12-21-22, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott
What do they do for a stress test if the patient has a bum knee or something and can't run?
Cardiac perfusion study with a radiopharmaceutical.
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Old 12-27-22, 06:43 PM
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I had my stress test, and it was less fun than I had imagined. I thought I would be walking a treadmill to get my heart rate up, but I was sitting down and they gave me an injection to push up my heart rate. I never exerted any effort at all. It started with an injection of radioactive tracer dye, followed by an hour wait and then some sort of imaging. Then another hour wait and the injection and stress test, followed by another hour wait and more imaging. Not what I was expecting. The result? I don't know. They said my cariologist would get back to me within a week.
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Old 12-27-22, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha
Cardiac perfusion study with a radiopharmaceutical.
Sounds like what @Random11 just had.
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Old 12-27-22, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott
Sounds like what @Random11 just had.
Yup.
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Old 12-27-22, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha
Cardiac perfusion study with a radiopharmaceutical.
Sounds like you and DiabloScott know more about my test than I do. When the test was scheduled, I anticipated I would be on a treadmill, and after it was over, I had no idea what, if anything, they found. I was just told that my cardiologist would be in touch. I have no symptoms, but I know people can have medical issues without symptoms, which is why I'm following the advice of my doctors.
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Old 12-27-22, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Random11
Sounds like you and DiabloScott know more about my test than I do. When the test was scheduled, I anticipated I would be on a treadmill, and after it was over, I had no idea what, if anything, they found. I was just told that my cardiologist would be in touch. I have no symptoms, but I know people can have medical issues without symptoms, which is why I'm following the advice of my doctors.
Yeah, they’ll never tell you anything. Hope it’s unambiguously negative!
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Old 12-28-22, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Random11
The result? I don't know. They said my cariologist would get back to me within a week.
Aggravating, I know.

I knew how my stress echo had gone before I walked (gingerly!) out. Helps to have a wife working with the tech!

Too many doctors getting too much money sticking their finger in the pie when a tech can tell you (but often isn't allowed to tell you) but you still have to wait. It's not like the doctor is performing a useful function, like Hane's Inspector #14 did years ago for underwear. How much do you think your insurance company pays for the doctor's signature on the letter with your test results? And yet, as likely as not, it's the insurance company that demands that signature to pay for the test itself.
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