For those of you who have never had a chemical Stress Test or an Echocardiogram, this is how mine went yesterday.
After being checked in at the Heart and Vascular Center, you wait til your name is called. Then you proceed to the first room where you have an IV needle placed in a vein, after which they inject a radioactive isotope and you drink a cup of water. You then sit awhile and wait for the isotope to circulate to the heart.
Next step is going to another room where you lie on your back for fourteen excruciating minutes with arms above your head, while a machine makes a very slow circuit over the chest, taking pictures of the isotope circulating in the heart.
That was painful to me because of the spinal stenosis I have. I got up with numb feet and legs.
The next procedure is an Echocardiogram. In this procedure, electrodes such as are used in doing an ekg are placed on the chest. Then after donning a beautiful paper shirt or gown, open in the front, the patient lies on his (her) left side and the technician has an instrument such as sonograms are done with. The Tech applies a gel to the head of the instrument and proceeds to place it in various spots on and under the left breast of the patient and the action of the heart is registered on the machine that is operated by the tech.
Thirty minutes later, the patient is released to put their blouse or shirt back on, then head back to the waiting area. Ten or fifteen minutes later, after sitting in the waiting area again, the patient is called to have the stress test done.
Tomorrow, I will relate the procedure for that, because this is already longer than I thought it would be!