The Treadmill test


A few weeks past before I received an invitation to take a Treadmill test. As the Angiogram had proved I had a heart problem this test is required to see how the heart copes under pressure. Another name for it is an exercise stress test.  And the medical name is Exercise ECG.

Don’t have a heavy meal before your appointment and where light comfirtable clothes with trainers or running shoes.

At the hospital you meet up with the nurses. Two are present to ensure you are in safe hands.  You remove your top and the patches are stuck to your chest so the ECG can be connected.

You are monitored before going on the Treadmill. For those who don’t know what one is it’s just a flat surface, large enough to cope with a huge stride, and is like a caterpillar track that revolves around. The speed the track moves can be increased and as it moves you walk or run to keep up with the movement. There are bars at chest height that you can hold on to for stability.

You are then asked to step onto the treadmill and the exercise begins. You walk steadily for 3mins and then you are told that the speed will increase. The machine can also be set to simulate a hill so the incline is adjusted too. This means that you are starting to do more strenious exerice and the ECG and any discomfort you feel will tell the Doctors how the heart is coping.

Prior to the heart attack I considered myself very fit. At 5mins I was feeling the pressure, discomfort in the chest and weary. The speed and include is increased at 6mins and then I was really feeling it. They stoppped the test at 9mins.

Throughout the test ecgs were printed off so the Doctors could eximne the changes. And A further three were recorded in the five minutes following the test to see how the heart relaxed down.

I had to wait a few days for the results which were positive. I thought that was a good sign but in this terminology positive means there’s still a problem.

So the latest news is I’ve been referred to a specialist at the Northern General in Sheffield and I await the outcome of their finding and what course of action will be taken.

It’s now just over two months since I had the attack and I feel fine. Apart from when I lift things and I get peculiar chest feeling or when I walk fast. I’m still only allowed to walk for 30mins per session. So I usually wander off around the locality trying to vary the route each day to make it interesting.

It’s funny how you start to take more notice of your surrounds when there’s nothing else to do. I’ve never taking such an interest in how the locals arrange their gardens.

…. to be continued

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