Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Tilt-Table Test

Today I had my tilt-table test and it was quite an experience. I was a little nervous for it for several reasons. 1). I was hoping that my heart would "do it's thang" even though I was nervous. 2). I was afraid of going into an adrenal crisis during the test 3). I hate hospitals!

I got there. Got registered and had some blood taken. Just an electrolyte panel and a pregnancy test in case they wanted to use nitroglycerin during the tilt-table exam.

Then I got all hooked up with a saline IV and was strapped to a table that looked like a torture device. All of the nurses were REALLY friendly and none of them were crabby or complaining which was great. I HATE IT when nurses complain to me about other patients.

As soon as the nurse tilted me up, I was like...whoa holy moly! I immediately felt the blood rush from my head. They raised me up to 70 degrees and kept me there for about 20 minutes. I had to tell them exactly what I was feeling at every given moment. The first few minutes were terrible. I felt very lightheaded, dizzy, near faint, but then I normalized. That feeling went away (for the most part) yet my heart rate just kept climbing. I could not believe it! And all this time I thought my tachycardia was because of low blood pressure. There were a few moments where I'd feel faint again, but then I'd be okay.

I asked the nurse what my pulse was running (I could hear the beeps) and he said it was at about 134. Wow! That is simply me just being tilted up. Not walking around or anything.

The doctor came in and even he was pretty shocked with the response. Then he decided to lay me back down supine and give 1/2 a nitroglycerin tab under the tongue. They tilted me back up and all hell broke loose. I felt TERRIBLE. My vision started to get really fuzzy. I felt faint, dizzy, nauseous. They didn't keep me tilted for long and I was not complaining. My heart was beating so very fast and I just wanted to lay down.

During the middle of it, I told them I felt this extreme "terribleness". The nurse kind of laughed at that word I made up at the moment. When my heart starts to go this fast, I told them this is usually when I lay down and don't get up for a while. I wanted nothing more than to unstrap myself from that stupid table and lay down on the nearest bed. haha My heart hit 178 bp from the combination of nitroglyercin and simply being tilted up at a 70 degree angle.

This is what I have to deal with on a daily basis.

I have no answers right now, but it was interesting to see the vital signs during the test. I'll get a more official report later on. The nice nurse was kind enough to print me the vital signs, but said she wasn't allowed to give more than that. That's really all I care about to be honest. I guess it would be good to know if I had any PVC's or other abnormalities, but I didn't feel any.

These are the vital signs. I'll try to put this in an easy to read format for all of you. They took vitals every minute.

Start of Test (SUPINE)==> BP 112/65 HR 82
Tilting==> Each BP/HR represents 1 minute of tilting unless otherwise stated
BP 130/83 HR 85
BP 130/97 HR 112
BP -------- HR 117
BP 137/88 HR 117
BP -------- HR 120
BP 117/71 HR 121
BP -------- HR 116
BP 112/90 HR 119
BP -------- HR 120
BP 110/80 HR 124
BP -------- HR 125
BP 128/88 HR 126
BP -------- HR 133
BP -------- HR 133
BP 123/83 HR 133
BP 123/80 HR 133
BP -------- HR 136
BP 118/81 HR 134
BP -------- HR 134
BP 128/90 HR 147
BP -------- HR 143
BP 129/80 HR 142
BP -------- HR 137
Started tilting back down for the Nitroglycerin==>
BP 128/76 HR 113
BP -------- HR 109
Tilting Back Up With Nitroglycerin==>
BP 124/65 HR 145
BP 97/55 HR 164
BP 108/70 HR 169
BP 99/49 HR 175
BP 95/58 HR 175
BP 140/80 HR 173
Starting Tilting me back down===>
BP 140/77 HR 137
BP -------- HR 113
Test Complete. PHEW

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