Monday, August 26, 2013

Leroy's Stress Test

It all started last week when I visited my cardiologist's office for a routine checkup.  He was out and had made arrangements for his Medical Assistant, Tina, to check me over.  I actually considered it to be a good sign that he really wasn't worried too much about the outcome.  Otherwise, he would have referred me to another cardiologist or postponed the appointment until he returned.

But the visit went very well.  Judy and I liked Tina very much.  She was very professional and very thorough with her questions of me and with her answers to our questions.  She took her time with us, a rarity in the medical field, and even hugged us on the way out.  Yes, we enjoyed the visit.

However, during the course of the exam it became increasingly clear that I should have more than just this brief visit.  After all, it had been over six years since my heart attack in January 2007.  In addition to becoming seven years older, I had grown a lot, about forty pounds to be exact.  And in spite of all my blood-work numbers being good, my blood-pressure readings being in the 125/56 range and my quarterly visits to my doctors being normal, there was enough concern that I should undergo a carotid duplex to measure blood flow in my carotid arteries, and a stress Echocardiogram to view the wall motion of the heart before and after the exercise, along with my ECG and blood pressure being monitored while on the treadmill.

In other words, the first steps toward seeing if more steps were necessary.

Well, I did all the tests today and we won't know the actual results for a few days but so far, so good.  My cardiologist was in the room monitoring my progress during the stress test and he mentioned repeatedly that it looks good, my heart is strong and he sees no problems so far.  We'll know more after he analyzes the data.

However, I ran out of steam on the treadmill at a few heartbeat points below where they would have liked me to have reached.  His conclusion was that it was because I'm out of shape.

I was about to mention that 'round' is a shape and I'm pretty round, but I thought better of it.  He could easily see that. 

So I'm guessing that when we see him again in about three weeks I believe he will tell me my heart is good while strongly encouraging me to lose some weight.

I can live with that...

PS... I had my follow-up visit with my doctor and he confirmed what he said during the tests, that the test results were good and my heart is strong.  I'm just overweight and out of shape.  So it's back to eating bushes, fruit and smaller portions of everything.  I also switched to wine rather than my rum and cokes, but even then it will be less frequent and less volume.  Bread and pizza will have to be reduced too, as will Cheetos and cheese and greasy hamburgers and bacon and ........  KRAP!!!  I'm gonna die...

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