I got back not too long ago from my testing at the Geisinger Heart Hospital. Gesinger’s tag line is “Redefining Boundaries”. They certainly redefined the boundary between consciousness and unconsciousness for me, so I guess this means that the test and tagline are both a huge raging success. If you want to call it that.
This test was easily one of the worst experiences of my life and I’ve had some pretty bad ones.
The test started out ok, after all of the devices were connected. I was hooked up to a pulse ox monitor, a blood pressure cuff, an IV, and an EKG machine. The IV and the blood pressure cuff were on the same arm. Every time the blood pressure cuff went off it would squeeze the IV which would make me want to crawl out of my skin. I hate needles and I hate IVs, the thought of one being put in my arm and then squeezed to death made me want to vomit alone test notwithstanding. Next, I was raised from a vertical laying down position to a 70 degree angle. I thought to myself, “This is it? I can do this. No problem.” And there wasn’t a problem except for my stomach growling. They made me fast 4 hours prior to the start of the test so I was hungry and thirsty. Then about 15 minutes in. That’s when all hell broke loose. I started feeling like death.
Imagine being strapped to a table and feeling like you are going to die. You are sweaty, your hearing gets very faint. You feel like you are outside of your body. Your vision gets all sparkly, you want to lay down and close your eyes and hope for death. You beg the nurses to let you lay down and start freaking out because you are sure death is near, but the nurses refuse because that is what the test is all about. So yeah, I was freaking out. I had a panic attack and shortly thereafter I passed out. I do not recall passing out. The nurses said I was out for a few seconds. They took their readings and allowed the IV to do its magic and returned the table to the laying/vertical position. It was horrifying. I was shaking and crying after I woke up.
They somehow determined that the fainting was vasovagal syncope. I don’t want to sound mean or rude because the nurses and doctors involved were absolutely great, but… I already knew this. This is not news. A few years ago, I was having Owen tested for allergies in the other hospital’s lab. I was helping the lab techs hold Owen down and I must have locked my legs into a position that stopped blood flow. I went down like a ton of bricks. He survived the bloodwork fine, me on the other hand, I was being wheeled to the ER before I even knew what the hell happened. Dr. Litchtman (the one from the commercials) diagnosed me with vasovagal syncope and send me on my way after she did all of the tests. My whole thing with why I went for this test was….why do I feel like I’m going to faint ALL of the time any more. Once in a while I can handle, but all of the time is not good. Ugh. I don’t know. I guess they are going to read my tests and get back to me. In the meantime, I have a fun little holter monitor that I’m wearing for the next 24 hours.
This holter monitor thing is a pain in the keyster. It’s constantly hooked to me and I can’t shower with it on. I have this little thing that has to hook to my belt or stay in my pocket that saves all of the readings. It’s cumbersome and annoying. Now I know how it must feel to have one of those IFB things that all of the reporters use. I also have a journal to record times and descriptions if anything weird happens. I also have to write down if I’ve had anything caffeinated to drink.
I think I’m going to try to get some rest, I’m feeling pretty wiped after this whole ordeal today.