Bit Nervous About Upcoming Nuclear Stress Test

Hi all. I'm a 40 yo female, a little more than 2 weeks out from having my pacemaker implanted. Physically I'm doing well; mentally it's taking a bit of adjusting. I'm nervous about everything. 

After Thanksgiving I'm scheduled to have a nuclear stress test. I'm worried about my heart being manipulated into beating faster, and I'm worried about having to lie so still for the pictures of my heart to be taken. Plus I don't do well with being inside/under equipment. I'm sure quite a few of you have been through it more than once, so some reassurance would be nice. 


5 Comments

Nervous and some anxiety here and there..

by MartyP - 2017-11-20 20:42:48

First can I assume you are letting the stress test with drugs vs. exercise?  It uses a drug usually Lexiscan.  if so you just sit on the table and the drug raises your BP.  It doesnt take long and if you feel dizzy they give you another drug, sort of an antidote, to relieve that feeling.

As for the tube, I've found it very helpful to ask / tell the tech that you want a count down every few minutes to tell you how much longer the test will last.  Also if you tend to get dizzy ask the tech to raise your head a little with a pillow.

I will also count the number of seconds that each rotation of the camera takes. it's always the same.

Hope that helps a little. 

Anxiety is a whole other subject, I'm very familiar with that.  you may want to look at a post I put up the other day.  it's very long and covers a whole bunch of topics .... or send me a message if you wish.

Good luck and let us know how your test goes.

Thank you!

by IronChansey - 2017-11-20 22:13:37

MartyP, my cardiologist doesn't want me to have the exercise testso I'm just having medicine injected, I believe. I'm hoping they don't have a sort of tube I have to go into, I don't think I can handle that.

Robin1, I will see about them letting me have my headphones so I can listen to music while the test is going on. I think I'll also see if I can take some medicine to help me relax beforehand. 

I'm probably making this out to be worse than it is, but this is a whole new normal for me.

You can do this

by Gotrhythm - 2017-11-21 13:15:28

I had a stress test 2-3 months ago, and you know, I don't remember being "enclosed' in anything.

There's a table you lie on with your arms over your head. Even though it's very narrow, the table isn't flat. it sort of cradles you, like baby scales do. No chance you might roll off.  Because you're securely cradled, it's easy to relax and remain still.

The machie is not a tube of any kind. It looks like a really big arch. The table moves to position you under the arch. When you are in postion, the arch is only over your torso. Your arms, head, legs and feet are free. You can see out. If you had to get out, you could. You are not unable to move, if you are still it's because you are choosing not to move.

The table moves back and forth for the machine to take pictures, stopping for a couple of seconds at a time before moving again. I don't like being confined any more than the next person, but at no time did I experience being trapped. I saw nothing to fear.

The worst problem for me is that the room was cold and I got chilled to the bone. You'd better beleive that the next time I'll have my own super thick socks that I'll insist upon wearing.

LIke most things in life, a stress test is what you make of it. Things happen that we have no control over, but we always have control over how we react. We cannot will fear away, but we can refuse to let the fear get the best of us. We can feel the fear and go forward anyway. Once we do, we may feel fear, but it will never again have as much power over us.

 

 

Discuss with doctor before you take something to relax

by Mapleshaz - 2017-11-21 17:24:48

I am in the UK. I had a Cardiac MRI, which, from the description above, is the same test. Preparation included NO caffeinated drinks allowed for at least 48 hours prior to the test as caffeine will render the test void. This also included caffeine free coffee, soft drinks, chocolate etc. I never knew, but there is caffeine in caffeine free drinks. Eh?

I was given head phones and they played soft music for me. They also put a pillow under my knees and that was really comfy and they gave me several blankets. The arch mentioned in a previous post seemed about 10 inches wide and from memory, was positioned from my chin to my heart and stood at least a foot above those areas. I had to lie still for the photos but when, for example I had to scratch my nose, I just told them and waited for them to say OK. I had an IV in both arms, one for the dye and one for the stress medication. They always told me what was about to happen so I felt part of it. Every now and then they would ask me to take a deep breath then hold it for a few seconds. It’s a very non invasive test and I would not have any qualms if it needed to be done again. No after effects at all.

Just had one

by Orthobone - 2017-11-27 13:21:10

I'm extremely claustophobic and was able to handle this...not enclosed.   The drug made me mildly uncomfortable as I had shortness of breath but it only takes around 4 minutes for the drug portion.    

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I've seen many posts about people being concerned about exercise after having a device so thought I would let you know that yesterday I raced my first marathon since having my pacemaker fitted in fall 2004.