Big Fat Queer

September 24, 2010

The Isotopes Have It!

I heard from my doctor’s office this afternoon and the results of my stress test show a normal, healthy heart and coronary arteries. The last test I had showed what might have been early ischemia (restriction of blood supply) in one artery, or it might have been a flaw in the test result. I went on imdur, a nitrate, for a while, but it gave me a severe headache so I stopped. My doctor has been after me for a year to have another test and this past Monday and Tuesday I finally had a very thorough nuclear stress test at Columbia University Hospital with state of the art procedures and equipment. The image above shows the type of scan results they get and I don’t have a damn idea whether this shows a healthy heart or not. I’m going to see if I can get a copy of mine.

Because of the last results and my doctor’s concern I was a anxious for the last week or so, but now I can heave a great sigh of relief. The last couple of days I have taken it easy, though my food intake has not been too bad. I did have a couple of Pinkberrys (love that stuff), but meals have been fairly healthy. I think for the first couple of days I overdid the activity considering the stress of testing and the various things injected in my bloodstream. Sometimes I deal with anxiety by being very active (or eating). By Wednesday I was exhausted.

Tonight I am going to celebrate by eating some good animal fat. Tomorrow back to healthy food and I plan to get out and walk. It should be a nice weekend.

Oh, and I want to thank my parents for giving me good genes. For a fat guy I have really low cholesterol (113 about a month ago). That’s probably the main reason the results were good.

September 20, 2010

The Anxiety Chronicles: Take Two

I had my nuclear stress test today. My attitude had gone from fear of having to be “cracked open” on the spot to the cocky idea that I had perfect arteries with no problems whatsoever. Intellectually I think I am a moderate; emotionally obviously I’m an extremist. I should pay more attention to my head and not my heart (pardon the pun).

I arrived on time, having had about 18 hours of sleep in the preceeding 36. I had no caffeine for 48 hours, so I was sleepy alot. I had some anxiety, of course, but I kept it together and tried to be funny and charming. Since I am neither rich or good looking that’s all I have. The supervising physician was Dr. Einstein, which was reassuring. I forgot the name of the resident who did the actual test, but he was young, handsome, funny and charming. He probably will eventually be rich, so he has it all.

By the way, the view from the testing room was lovely, the Hudson River and the George Washington Bridge. Columbia Presbyterian Hospital is way up on the west side of Manhattan near the bridge. There were two testing bays side by side with a half wall between. The staff from both bays were making jokes back and forth as co-workers will do. They were all excited about a patient earlier this morning who collapsed on the treadmill. They kept talking about “cabbage”, and Dr. Einstein said the patient would be in the O.R. within the hour. My Doctor kidded with them to stop scaring his patient (me). Then he told me they only have about one of these patients a year and since they had met their quota, I was safe. During lunch I looked up cabbage in a cardiology context and it is slang for Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (cabg). So the preceding patient did have to be “cracked open” immediately. I hope his surgery went well.

The handsome, funny, charming and soon to be rich Doctor decided that because of my weight it would be better to do a pharmacological stress test rather than on the treadmill. I was injected with adenosine, which increases the heart rate and blood flow and puts stress on the heart similar to exercise. I felt like I was being inflated and it created some tightness and pain in the chest. I was also very flush and my heart was racing. All along, though, the Doctor kept telling me that my electrocardiogram was perfectly normal. So the stress portion of the test was fine. Before I got off the table I was injected with some radiotracer so that my artery walls would show up on a gamma camera.

I then had a 90 minute break to get some lunch, take my meds and get coffee. The restaurant choices near the hospital are not so great. I went to a diner and the food others were having didn’t look so good, so I had eggs and toast. It’s hard to screw up eggs and toast. The coffee was swill, but I was grateful for caffeine so I didn’t complain.

I went back and had the gamma scan. Actually it was a combination CAT scan and gamma camera scan. Afterwards I waited 15 minutes to see if I needed to come back. I had been told by my Doctor’s office that I might have to go back the next day for another scan, depending on what Dr. Einstein saw in the first one. I was hoping not to have to go back for two reasons: one, it’s inconvenient. Two: If I had to have a second scan, then everything must not have been perfect in the first. That is an assumption I am making. In reading material on the web, it is not unusual to have two scans, and I recall in the past having a scan at rest before the stress portion. But still I am thinking in the back of my mind there was some anomaly that needs to be checked out.

The thought of going back and not knowing for what made me suddenly depressed. I hate not knowing anything and nobody will tell you anything. I have to wait to hear from my doctor. I didn’t want to sit and brood and build up anxiety, so I did what I usually do to take my mind off things. I took a camera and went downtown. I shot some more footage for my river project. Also, on Saturday while I was shooting I got some good footage of helicopters taking off and landing across the river from Brooklyn. I decided that I would do an ancillary project about helicopters, so today I went to the helipad and shot some close up action. The heliport is very busy and I’m surprised they don’t have more accidents.

I also got some great river shots. I’m including a rough cut of some raw footage I took. No color correction or sound editing, just raw clips. This is just the tip of the iceberg. I have hours of stuff, but I thought I’d give you a taste. Anyway, after shooting I feel better. I still have qualms and want to get all of the information, but in due time. Wish me luck. In addition to my stress test, I walked between 3.5 and 4 miles today. Something must be working right.

On the way home I had a tuna salad sandwich on rye. I bought some Pinkberry yogurt that I’ll have after I post this.

Blog at WordPress.com.