Cardiac Stress Test and 2L of 02 24x7 for COPD

By Perplexed Latest Reply 2011-12-07 08:04:03 -0600
Started 2011-12-06 13:51:09 -0600

Has anyone here had a regular or nuclear cardiac stress test whilst on 02?

When I was in Pulmonary Rehab a couple of years ago I was told that whilst exercising I should increase the 02 as needed to maintain 95% saturation w/a target heart rate of 122.

I told the stress test techs this plus I had asked the cardiologist I would like to TRY to do the treadmill just to see how long I could last altho I was pretty sure I would need to do the chemical stress test. He agreed.

Things went downhill the minute I encountered the pair of techs. I asked if they could set the IV other than at my inner elbow. Nope. So then I asked that they set the IV in my left arm. Nope, they insisted on the right inner elbow.

I told them we would need to increase my 02 as needed and that I wasn't sure if my B tank would last long enough assuming I would need it to go to 5L rather quickly. Nope. Couldn't use their 02. I managed to make it 3 minutes and 30 seconds before 2L of 02 just wasn't enough and no one was helping me increase my flow leaving it at the orginal 2L.

So we stopped the treadmill. I put up w/their smirks as they had me sit down and they administered Persantine.

Now - my understanding is that Persantine can cause acute exacerbation of COPD so Lexiscan (Regadenoson) or Dobutamine is often used in patients with severe reactive airway disease such as Asthma or COPD. However, it seems to me that that error in judgement was the fault of the cardiologist and not the two techs.

Ah, yes. There was the scan itself. 16 minutes of pure agony under the scanner. I have not been able to use or keep my arms above my shoulders for any length of time at all since a whiplash in 1994. I had to give up a job I loved because of the needed repetitive arm movement it required.

When they told me I would have to go in the scanner a second time I asked for how long and when they said another 16 minutes I told them I could NOT do it and why. They said they had bracelets to hold my arms up in a different position. Like a dang fool I agreed to try.

I couldn't do it. I was in tears w/in a short time and asked them to stop. They just kept saying only another minute. … I was MORTIFIED to have been reduced to tears like that. Especially in front of two snotty techs that 'I" was paying!!!

10 days later I gave up and went to my family doctor. They still had not received the stress test report. He sent me for an MRI of my shoulder and gave me a script for pain (we have yet to find a scripted oral pain medication that doesn't make me nauseous and sick as a dog so my family doctor KNOWS when I agree to take or ask for a script pain med that I am in trouble).

Needless to say I REFUSE to go back to that cardiac facility. I have NOTHING good to say about them. NOTHING!

But, now I am supposed to have another stress test in January. With a new cardiologist that I like very much so far and at a new facility. I hate to start out uncooperative w/him. I've already refused a 4 x a day medication and told him twice a day was the maximum number of times I would remember to take a med, any med. Hey - I'm 69, I know me. I've had to live w/me for 69 years. He was quite gracious about it and scripted an extended release med I only have to take 2 x daily. But not exactly the best way to start out a new doctor/patient relationship. Especially given my history w/the previous cardiac faciility which I've made no secret of my opinion of them.

So - now that I've written a book and you've read the entire book - are any of you in a somewhat similar position?

My understanding from a question answered in a specialist forum my only three options are 1] stress ECG, 2] pre-med for anticipated pain and an anxiotic, 3] refuse the test.

I would swear that someone said there was a way to do the scan w/my arms hanging down towards the floor. But that wouldn't work w/any scanner I've ever seen. Anyone???

2 replies

HeartHawk 2011-12-06 23:30:26 -0600 Report


Yikes, what neanderthal morons! I have done three nuclear tests and yes they are no fun. I now do yearly stress-echo tests which use echocardiograms to measure heart wall motion before and after stress testing to measure reduced blood flow (if any). They are similar in effectiveness to nuclear stress tests without the radiation and with no need for an IV.

By the way, Lexiscan seems to be the new preferred agent for inducing "chemical stress" if you cannot do the treadmill. And, yes, you do know your body better than ANYONE including the morons that are passing themselves off as caring medical practitioners. My impression is they only do what they know and can make aquick buck at. FIRE THEM! As you note, you pay them. That makes you the boss!


Perplexed 2011-12-07 08:04:03 -0600 Report

Thanks, HeartHawk. Actually, I don't mind most testing as I'm always curious to know what is going on or what they think is going on. For instance I hate the colonoscopy prep but do my scopes w/o sedation os I can watch the monitor. IF at all possible I have the techs turn the monitor so I can watch and see too during various procedures. I wouldn't mind the stress test at all except for not being able to keep my arms above my shoulders long enough for the scans. (Its the "Itis brothers" that get me: Arthur and Bruce).

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