Hi....just wanted to know if anyone out there could possibly help me out on knowing the procedure of a stress test. I am so scared to undergo the procedure, knowing that I will feel crappy. It's bad enough that I can't even walk up the stairs, walk around average distances, or even do my daily house chores like how I use to without having to feel palpitations,chest pain, lightheaded,dizzy, nausea, and feeling of faint. I just don't want to have to feel this way anymore. I know the test is suppose to help doctors determine what is wrong, but I am really scared. Please let me know everything will be alright. Is there docs and nurses on standby, will they ease your pain and weakness if all the symptoms occur. Please anyone, I feel devastated and traumatized as it is. My episodes of tachycardia and it's symptoms put me on bad phobia and anxiety moods. I won't leave my house now, because I fear having to have an episode of SVT. Please anyone help me.
I'm sure they call them stress tests to stress us out! lol
You will be fine, there is the nurses and the dr right there with you and you are monitored the whole time. Any sign of trouble and they stop the test.
The best thing you can do for it is to try and relax, that way you will do better in the test.
They wouldn't put you through this unless it was necessary and safe for you.
I had mine done a few weeks ago. I was nervous but more about whether I'd pass the test or not. I don't want to take medications if I don't have to. I tried to prepare for the test by avoiding any triggers - good diet, low salt, no chocolate, slept well the night before. During the test there were two women right next to me the whole time, kept asking if I was OK. I was on the treadmill for 10 minutes, they stopped it, had me lie down for awhile, kept monitoring my heart and that was it. I did feel my heart jump around a bit but it was no worse than usual; it was even a little better than what I typically have in a week. I was thrilled to have done so well. They won't push you too hard. I think the worry will get you first. You'll be just fine.
Having done several of these, here's a couple things to keep in mind. First, it is required that a cardiologist is present when these are administered. They may not been in the room but they will be in the department where the test is being done. Also, you control the test, you decide when to stop. If the cardiologist or tech doing your test sees a reason to stop the test they will do so, but if you feel like you need to stop you can stop the test. I stopped my last test because all the sensors and wires on my belt were pulling my pants down, makes me wonder what the report really says about why the tests stopped. Oh well, by then I had reached 98% of my max heart rate and was feeling fine so I guess it doesn't matter! You just really need to try to get your heart rate up to 85% of your maximum heart rate which is 220 minus your age. As far as the treadmill part goes, I do 45 mins per day on a treadmill and the stress test is not near as difficult as my normal workout and the workload increases gradually each 3 minuites so you won't start out beyong your abilities.
Don't worry, relax and trust the techs there that will be working with you, you'll do great!
Just think of this testing as the beginning the process of giving you a tune up. Would you rather have the uncertainty of feeling rotten and not doing anything about it? Or does it make more sense to understand your health issues and try to improve your situation? Just go for it and make all aspects of your life an adventure.
I posted the following response on the Heart Rhythm board, but wanted to make sure you see it, so here it is again. Good luck; you'll do great!
Try not to work yourself up over the stress test. I have had many stress tests, and I remember being worried the first time also. There are people right in the room (practically on the treadmill) with you. You will absolutely be able to stop if you need/want to. The test generally begins very, very slowly and every 2-3 minutes, they increase the speed and incline a little. Where I go for my tests, there is a chart in front of the treadmill with variations of smiley faces. The faces range from happy-happy to not so happy and they help you to designate how hard you think you are working.
Like the others said, your BP and heartrate will be monitored constantly. When you begin the test, you will probably be conversational with the techs. They will keep the conversation going to see how you do while you're walking and talking. As the speed increases and the incline goes up (a tiny bit), you will notice it gets more difficult to carry on a conversation. Don't worry about talking if it's uncomfortable. At that point, you're probably almost done with the test. It's like walking up a hilly sidewalk and trying to talk to someone at the same time....It does not hurt AT ALL and I'll bet you're gonna be surprised how easy it is.
My mom had her first stress test last year (she is in her 70's) and she said it was a lot easier than she thought. My daughter just had one and although she was getting fatigued, she was absolutely fine. Try not to worry -- you're gonna be the treadmill master! Once you've had your test (and you're gonna do GREAT), let us know what you thought. I'll be you'll be back helping the next anxious patient with their upcoming test : )
About not leaving the house -- start small if you have to (get the mail and walk a few houses), but build back up to normal amounts of time away from the house. Don't let this "quirk" get in the way of enjoying each day!!
I'd love to know how everything went. It has been a couple of years. One of the most disheartening things about finding potentially helpful threads like these is that there is never any "closure" if you will on how the poster is doing and what ended up happening. An update would be great. How old are you by the way? My fiance is going through this right now his stress test is in 2 hours and we are just so worried.
Often for personal reasons there is no response. You offer a very good suggestion, but unfortunately there may never be a followup response. You may use the PM feature to contact the individual for information and see if you can get a response. Thanks for you for taking the time to post.. Take care,
I have had a number of stress tests, and can tell you that specialized medical staff will be available for you at all times during the procedure. There is probably no better place to be if you have any kind of cardiac difficulty. ;-)
Be sure to tell the people who will be supervising you about how fearful you are, especially about feeling symptoms. They will understand and will do everything they can to reassure you and make you as comfortable as possible.
By the way, you should mention to your regular doctor that you no longer leave your house out of fear of SVT. You are on the edge of having a problem called 'agoraphobia' which can lead to isolation and total inability to go anywhere. Please google the word. Agoraphobia can be treated with counseling and sometimes a little calming medication, enabling you to lead a normal life again.
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