Second week stories

by Sarah Luna

I started off this week much happier. I feel more in control of what I have to do. I have more specific responsibilities as well. My main purpose is to assist with the stress testing. The clinic does three types of test: Bruce treadmill test, a sedentary adenosine or lexiscan drug test, and a walking adenosine or lexiscan drug test. The purpose of these tests are to raise the heart rate to 85% of the max (220-age) in order to 1) monitor the heart under stressed conditions and 2) perfuse the radioisotope used to take pictures of the heart.

What I’ve seen:

  • heart rate drop from 88 to 40 under influence of adenosine (woman had 1st degree AV block as well)
  • a diabetic woman with a panic attack on the treadmill
  • a 79 yo man do the full Bruce protocol
  • a 50 yo man run 14 minutes on the Bruce protocol (I ran 12:31 before I had to stop)
  • an 83 yo woman with chest pain taking precautions because both her parents died in their 50s of heart attack
  • ventricular tachycardia (super scary) in a smoking woman
  • trigeminy (every 3rd beat skipped) in an 80 yo man

So far, everyone’s recovered just fine. It’s just a little scary sometimes.