Search This Blog

Monday, July 06, 2020


Here we go again...

Due to anxiousness over what today's nuclear stress test at Mount Sinai may reveal, I got no sleep on Saturday night and finally shut down around 9am on Sunday morning, sleeping through to 4:30pm, after which I awoke briefly to hydrate, and then back to bed until around eight. Consequently I only slept for about an hour upon actually going to bed on Sunday night.

The echo stress test that I took on June 10th revealed that there is some narrowing in the arteries of my heart, so my surgery to install a dialysis fistula ahead of my eventual kidney transplant was delayed until I undergo a nuclear stress test to receive more precise data, which in turn delays moving forward with the transplant. A stress test sucks bad enough if one has not had any proper exercise for a while — as has been the case four almost four months, thanks to the pandemic shutting down gyms everywhere — and the nuclear version ups the ante by introducing radioactive material into the patient's system. I had one leading up to having my stent installed back in 2013, and I would not be surprised if I may require another stent. The stent is nowhere near as bad as it sounds; in fact, I was awake for the installation of my first one and I was fascinated. No pain, either, and after an overnight stay for observation I walked home from the local hospital where it was performed.

The issue with the current situation is that of late I have begun to experience a certain level of chest pains if I exert myself too much, and that is obviously concerning, but it was on the list of possible effects from decrease in kidney function, and mine is down to below 10%.

A stress test (of either variety) is intended to elevate and tax the patient's heart rate on a treadmill whose angle, speed, and level of difficulty increase throughout, and one is expected to hold on through it despite how torturous it becomes. The one I took a few weeks ago lasted for as long as I could stand it, but I had to quit before the optimal limit because my semi-arthritic right hip and knees just could not hold out, and when I got off of the treadmill I collapsed on the nearby gurney, heart racing/pounding, and painfully panting until I could finally breathe regularly. It's a scary sensation and I felt like my heart was about to explode, but the one reassurance was that all of this was taking place in one of country's best hospitals and under immediate care and observation by specialists. I will be enduring that again today, with things scheduled to kick off by me getting injected with radioactive imaging material at 1, after of which I lay there for a good, long while as the material permeates my system, and then the dreaded treadmill. Fortunately, a kind soul is giving me a lift there and back, so no dealing with public transportation. (The trip to today's branch of Mount Sinai usually averages about 70 minutes each way, featuring two trains and crosstown bus, and traffic permitting; by car it's about a half-hour each way.)

If I have to get another stent, then so be it, but anticipating that stress test is like slowly being led to the guillotine. And if I do have to get stented again, that means I will be in the hospital overnight for observation. I will have my phone and laptop with me, so I will be back with updates. Until then, I have to eat something before 9am, as I am allowed no food in my system as of four hours before the testing. Looks like poached eggs and toast and maybe a Chobani vanilla yogurt.

HOORAY FOR 2020...

No comments: