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My meltdown pre-surgery - now I have to do a Stress Test!!

SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:41 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Okay, so here I was all relatively calm anticipating my 2/3 surgery.

In December they did the pre-op EKG. The surgeon (saw him Friday for a pre-op visit) wasn't 100% confident with what he saw so he sent me to a cardiologist

I went today, had an EKG, met the cardiologist (very nice guy). He said that it looks marginally okay but given that I'm now over 40 (43), the surgeon anticipates a 5-10 hour surgery, I am on crestor for high cholesterol (on control under crestor), and have no family history (I'm adopted)...it's best to be safe and do more.

So just to be careful the cardiologist has me scheduled for a stress test Wednesday at 7:45 AM . I am FREAKING out. My hubby says "they are just making sure and since you are adopted it's okay to get a baseline stress test". Okay, I'd buy that if i wasn't already SO stressed anyway (I have the brace fitting appointment tomorrow and so much to do this week)

Help talk me down from my ledge Thank goodness we live in a ranch style house, if I jump out of the window I only get to the deck one inch down :-)
2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 


  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    Oh, I should add, just for the ladies, guess what lovely visitor arrived today ;-)
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • I'm a bit confused. Your ticker says you have lumbar surgery in like 9 days, but in your opening to your post you say C2/3 (I am facing C2/3 - so caught my attention). Was that a typo? I can't find many answers to what to expect at that level.

    Hopefully your stress test will go fine. I had to do that for my C5/6 all thanks to a tech that did my electrode placement wrong!!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    I'm having an L3-S1 fusion on 2/3/2010
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • I would rather be safe than sorry. I am sure the surgeon just wants to make sure everything is ok to proceed. I just had another stress test back in October as I get them ever three years. Actually the test itself is only hard if you have issues walking. If you do they can do it with a drug to get your heart up to speed without the treadmill. The other good thing is you should know the results right then and there and won't have to wait them out. Actually Dr OZ just did a special on stress test today and expressing the importance of having a base line test by the age of 50, so just look as it as you are ahead of your time...jk. Do you know which wave they are finding the problems in? Those EKG's are not as accurate as one would think. So better to error on the side of caution. Now with the time of the month thing get that out of the way sounds like good timing not to have it during surgery, not fun at all. So all in all things are falling in place are they? No just kidding with you try not to stress out to much the 3rd will be here before you know it and hope all goes well. Keep us posted on the stress test results. Take care.
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084

    Why do they say I have to prepare to be there for 3 hours?

    I'll have to do the chemical version as I can't do the treadmill (I actually find I can do some walking but my back could stop me so they'll do the chemical version). Usually I am SO good about asking exactly what was found, what they are looking for, etc and I managed to be so stunned I walked out of there in a daze. And it was the end of the day so the doc had left right before I did (I was there scheduling the test).

    His staff said "the technician will know the result but can not relay that to you, only a doctor can" so she told me to alert the tech that spinal surgery is imminent and this test is crucial for that and thus insist a doctor review and contact me that day (I was given a choice of 7:45 or 1:45 and I chose the early one so they had time to get back to me that day or early the next).
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • SpineAZ said:
    I'm having an L3-S1 fusion on 2/3/2010
    Hehe...Thanks SpineAZ!! You had me nervous there! Sorry, my bad - thanks for clearing that up! Guess I am getting 2/3 (C2/3) jumpy!

    For what it's worth, I agree with your hubby. Hopefully all will be just fine. Keep us posted!!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Gotta pack those special products too! I thought my friend coming by to visit a little early and then it stopped. I will definitely say that the stress alone will bring it on. I had the same problem around my last surgery too! (I had it three times in less than six weeks!)

    Re: the stress test. Its really not that bad, you will be OK! Just think of it as another thing to check off the list (even for the long-term). I have an abnormal EKG too (with a family hx of heart disease, Mom had a heart attack at 51) but they are not too concerned because of my age (32). Even with the stress test, they will still monitor you on telemetry while you're in surgery to make sure everything is A-OK. :)

    Good luck and take a deep breath!

  • Hi SpineAZ,

    Do you have any hot tea you could sip on to calm your nerves? Chamomile, peppermint, etc.? Blackberry brandy, perhaps? (Just kidding on the brandy).

    It's completely understandable to have the pre-surgery jitters.

    I think your stress test will go just fine. Try to think of the stress test in a positive way. It will bring you peace of mind to know everything checked out great, prior to your surgery. You have a great cardiologist who is being extremely thorough. You want that... you really do.

    The brace fitting isn't too bad. I had mine done after my surgery (while in the hospital) and the representative was so cool. I had Penelope (Pepe Le Pew's love) airbrushed on the front of my full torso TLSO brace. I don't know how long you will be confined to yours or if you need to wear it 24/7... including showers? I was in lock-down in mine and had about 3 or 4 adjustments made to it, over the course of 3 1/2 months. You get used to the feeling of the brace and actually... it's hard to give up, once you need to wean yourself off of it. It felt like a huge security blanket for me.

    Keep thinking positive about your stress test. Are you prescribed anything for anxiety? If not, try the hot tea's or anything else you find soothing.

    I wish you the best,

  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    How did you get the airbrushing done? That would be cool.

    I do have some valium and that may help me sleep tonight. I asked the cardiologist if I needed to avoid my pain meds (opana, vicodin, soma) on Wednesday and he said I didn't so that made me feel a bit better.

    This whole thing just threw me for a loop. I made some tea (it's something called Tension Tamer (an herbal tea I picked up a while back) and hopefully that will get me to sleep tonight.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • I'm glad you found the Tension Tamer. Sip on that for a while and if you're still anxious... put the Valium in a spoonful of honey. Makes the medicine go down good... ;)

    Are you going to Hanger to be fit? I went to the location on Scottsdale Road and have the name of my representative. Let me know if you would like his info and I'll send you a PM. He came with a huge book... full of different things!

    Great news about continuing with your meds... what a relief, eh?

    I know I would be feeling just as anxious as you are right now. We are here to give you as much comfort as we can and pretty soon... this rush-rush stuff will be done and over with.

    I hope the Sandman delivers you a sound sleep tonight. I want to see that movie... it looks cute. Actually, there are quite a few we need to see!

    Wishing you a good night sleep and please feel free to PM me anytime.


  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    I'm going to the one on 51st Ave and T-Bird. They actually do the designs????? I'll have to ask as that is too cool.

    I can't believe my surgeon is out of T-Bird. I never thought I'd find a good orthopedic spine surgeon there and a but he's a good guy great surgeon. A different doc than I used for my neck. I did go to the Hanger near Scottsdale Shea for my Aspen
    Neck brace in 2006.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • When they do the chemical form of the test it takes longer as they need to monitor you till the drug wears down. Also it takes some time to hook up all the leads and what not. But it is not that bad in all honesty. You will more than likely feel very anxious when they put the meds in. But you know if you breath through it will all be over in a short bit of time. Basically will feel like a ultra sound in your chest area other than the meds to get your heat beating faster. Now you may want to check about taking your meds following their drug and make sure there is no time frame you have to wait. Mine are done by the actual cardiologist they come over to look at the scan, at a certain point as it goes on and tell me what is happening. Now the formal report is written sometime later. good luck on the test.
  • It's probably the cardiolyte/persantine drug stress test. There has to be a Cardiologist present during any stress test and if there's any findings they will let you know right away so I hope everything is okay and it's a go for your surgery. I'm glad your husband is supportive and calming. I wish you all the best Wednesday. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    When I was scheduled for my cervical surgery pre-testing the xray showed a shadow around the heart. Surgery canceled. Long story short it turned out to be nothing and surgery was back on. I am 47 so due to our age a cardio check up should be done before any surgery. Relax and take a deep breath it is just a precaution. Easier said then done huh? I am saying a prayer everything will be fine and your surgery will be a go. Good luck,
  • Hey I think the jitters are catching. My surgery isn't till the 8th of Feb and already I have been getting crazy round the edges!!! This is my first spinal surgery and not sure of what happens and when. That tea sounds very good and perhaps a few cups would calm me. Did the blood work today-sure it will be fine, and they have the heart monitor on while they you are in theatre. I am sure things will be standard process and as the others have said it's great to have that reassurance. Big Hugs n' Loves to you,hope you have "sweet-dreams" - Paula
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    I know exactly where your coming from. On most of my surgeries I've had 1 particular pulmonary-cardiology Dr. and no problem. I think on #4 i had his partner, who saw something on the test that he didn't like. And boy did he freak me out! He said, you've had a heart attack, when. WHAT! Ive never had a heart attack! Well it's his licence and ins. so he ordered 3 specialised tests. To be done at a hosp. where they had the special equipment...Nothing wrong! Except he damn near gave me a heart attack from the stress! Well this time, I had to have him again. And the same crap! I said we've already gone through this before. And all of the tests should still be on file in the hosp. archives from about 4 years ago. So he checked on it and said he would like me to take a drug called Metopolol Succer 25 mg. 1 a day 5 days pre op and 5 days post op. To soften arteries as a precaution.
    Different Dr's. read EKG.s differently and i know it's their licence and ins. But the stress caused from things like this happening is OVERLOAD!!!
    So don't stress out. Just go with the flow. And I'm sure all will be good.
    Good luck, Jim
    P.S. I'm recovering from surg. and didn't have a heart attack!
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • Good morning Karin,

    I hope you got some sound sleep last night.

    I sent you a PM a few minutes ago. I delivered Nikki at T-Bird and also had my hysterectomy done there. The staff was absolutely wonderful, during both hospital stays.

    Hope today is less stressful for you. :)

  • These pre-surgery checks are the worse!You helped me when I was having a mini-meltdown,and you told me they are just making sure you are ok-----it is so hard,but please try not to worry--they have to have all this info so you can have any specialists needed standing by.
    come on now,you are strong!we will all get through this together!
  • Oh, that chemical stress test - it packs a wallop!

    I suddenly felt like I weighed a ton and it was incredibly challenging to even stand upright let alone walk!

    Then, of all things, the nurses doing the test thought that my heart was going into afib right then and there. It wasn't really (according to the dr. who reviewed it) but it sure scared me!

    What's with this whole cardiology profession??? They are there to help your heart but the damage they do with false positives and speculation just about kills you before they can heal you!
  • you have that right,saltz!How many of us have talked on here about being freaked out by the ekg!And yes my blood pressure is a bit high because YOU ARE MAKING ME NERVOUS!---I hate the fact that this is part of spiney pre-op---even though it is for our own good.-----How are you,saltz?
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    Tomorrow is the stress test and I am already stressed. I guess I'm glad that my back surgery is scheduled at a large hospital. The surgeon also operates at a private surgery hospital that I requested as I've been there twice before, but now I'm guessing that being scheduled at a big hospital with cardiology on staff can only be a plus especially if they think something is up. As the night goes on I am more nervous so I'm going to try to get to bed early as I have to be at the facility at 7:30 AM. And I have to tell them that if I'm cleared for surgery I have to know by tomorrow. I guess what adds to the stress is I had to pre pay a portion of the anticipated bill to the surgoen and pay for the back brace. New year, new deductible, so all that stress hasn't helped either :-)

    They should be monitoring my heart, bp and pulse now...that will show them what I can handle :-)
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • spineaz- sorry for all the headache with your pre-op, im sure things will be perfectly normal.. Glad you have a dr that is conservative.. The girl up the street from me just had a 4 level lumbar fusion, and she was pregnant and they didnt catch it. I KNOW ITS HORRIBLE!! she had hip pain 3 weeks after surgery and went to her primary dr and he did an ultrasound.. Hello~ its a girl... So i say, a cautious dr is a good one....
    I had my pre-op apt at the hospital today as well. thought all would be ok.. got a call from the dr's office and they said my urine sample came back that i have urinary tract infection.. I had no idea.. so meds for 5 days and will retest monday when i get to the hosptial. I hope the rest of my labs are ok...
    Happy Day~Cora
  • Hope your stress test goes well tomorrow. Guess they are right about the name cos of all the stress it causes beforehand. Think positive and it will all be over before you know it.
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