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Stress out about stress test

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Stress out about stress test

Old 12-11-23, 09:20 AM
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Stress out about stress test

Due to a high calcium CT score (613) my doc is sending me for a stress echo test. I'm 67 yo and getting stressed about the stress test.

Like many of us here, I ride 4-5000 miles a year, spend my vacation riding up mountains and wear a heart rate monitor. Sure, I am slower than 20 years ago, but no chest pain or limitations. Actually, I am enjoying cycling now more than ever.

So, bottom line, has anyone here been fit, totally asymptomatic and still "failed" a stress test?

P.S. Suddenly, my tinnitus and enlarged prostate don't bother me any more.
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Old 12-11-23, 09:46 AM
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Well, I’m 62 years old. I can’t say that I’ve failed one. But, in the past decade I’ve had three surgeries where the surgeon requested I at least see a cardiologist prior to the surgery. Torn rotator cuff repair; hip replacement; and just eight weeks ago a knee replacement. In all cases, after talking with the cardiologist, and him doing a basic exam…it was determined that because of my physical fitness…from the bicycling and other activities…that the EKG and stress test were NOT necessary. I wouldn’t stress about the stress test. — Dan

Edited to add: However, I don’t have any history of heart/cardio issues. Not personally, nor any family history. After the interview and examination, they had no reason to think I’d need a stress test. The doctor said “You stress your heart every day. There’s no need for me to do it.” But if there is any history for you, or your family…then you should probably do it. And still…I don’t think there’s any reason to worry about it.

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Old 12-11-23, 10:17 AM
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I had a stress echo five months after my heart attack; it came back clean.

On the one hand, it's just a diagnostic to make sure that you're as healthy as you think you are. If you are, great! If not, it's a chance to catch something before it really damages your body. (Do you get stressed when the nurse takes your blood pressure?) And it's probably safer to uncover a problem in a lab with loads of medical personnel and a crash cart standing by, than climbing a remote hill 15 minutes away from an ambulance and in a cellular dead zone.

On the other hand, if the doctor suspects something, (s)he should be able to point to something; high cholesterol, poor circulation at your extremities, even a wiggle on the EKG. I wonder why you're looking at a stess echo rather than a cardiac cath. But I'm not that kind of doctor.

Chill out, get ready to run (or at least walk fast), and ask if you can watch the screen. I was sure there was something wrong because my heart was moving around so much, like watching a gymnast on a beam. But the techs and the doctor were completely unimpressed: yeah, that's a normal echocardiogram.
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Old 12-11-23, 11:23 AM
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I had a stress test about 20 years ago. The Doc said he was done and I said more.
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Old 12-11-23, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by _ForceD_
.......................The doctor said “You stress your heart every day. There’s no need for me to do it.”
That is what I have been told also.

But although I have had less than ideal lab numbers, this is the first potentially life altering finding and it doesn't seem so abstract anymore.

If they ask if I ever get out of breath, I guess I'll answer, "well, there is that 18% climb.........."
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Old 12-12-23, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by late
I had a stress test about 20 years ago. The Doc said he was done and I said more.
Same here. The tech (no Doctor present) running the test said, "We don't run a performance measurement lab, it's just a basic heart test."
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Old 12-12-23, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by bblair
If they ask if I ever get out of breath, I guess I'll answer, "well, there is that 18% climb.........."
my Doc has in the past asked if I "get out of breath" & I said no. that was maybe 10 years ago. now I do & it's stressing me. not looking forward to telling him. Wifey won't let me not tell him
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Old 12-12-23, 08:57 AM
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People with cancer call stress before a test “scanxiety,” because we get CT scanned, MRI’d, bone scanned, PET scanned, etc.

But the same thing happens with stress before blood tests, ECGs, and yes, stress tests.

Before surgery, I “failed” my otherwise normal ECG, diagnosed with bradycardia.

“I ride a bike” unfailed me.

Anyhow, the stress you are feeling now is unfortunately all too normal.


(As to your last question, Dr. Paul D. White, one of the founders of the American Heart Association, advocate of exercise for prevention of heart attacks and strokes, avid bicyclist, died of a stroke - at 87. A local bike path is named after him.)

-mr. bill
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Old 12-12-23, 09:14 AM
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I was late getting to mine on my bike. I had a far higher average heart rate than the test did. I think I averaged 147 and I never got that high on the stress test.
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Old 12-12-23, 11:53 AM
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Odds are good you will actually enjoy the test. You won't find it that hard, they won't understand why you're not beating at 175 bpm, they will likely have to keep increasing the angle on the ramp, then they'll finally tell you to get off, that will have to do. Then they'll run the ultrasound all over ya, covered with goo, and that's it, here's a paper towel.
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Old 12-13-23, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by blacknbluebikes
Odds are good you will actually enjoy the test. You won't find it that hard, they won't understand why you're not beating at 175 bpm, they will likely have to keep increasing the angle on the ramp, then they'll finally tell you to get off, that will have to do. Then they'll run the ultrasound all over ya, covered with goo, and that's it, here's a paper towel.
I haven't been able to do 175bpm for some time. Like many of us here, and I suspect runners too, I usually ride with a HR monitor so I know exactly where my limits are and when I hit them. But doesn't this test look at blood flow, not HR?
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Old 12-13-23, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
my Doc has in the past asked if I "get out of breath" & I said no. that was maybe 10 years ago. now I do & it's stressing me. not looking forward to telling him. Wifey won't let me not tell him
Everyone gets out of breath at some exertion point, right? So, the answer has to be "yes," and I am just crazy/dedicated enough to do it on a regular basis. But normal activity, no.
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Old 12-13-23, 09:08 AM
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You don't really pass or fail a stress test. It's a diagnostic tool to see how you're doing, that's all. It's not like the doctor says "you have to run 5 miles in 3 minutes or you FAIL!"
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Old 12-13-23, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul
You don't really pass or fail a stress test. It's a diagnostic tool to see how you're doing, that's all. It's not like the doctor says "you have to run 5 miles in 3 minutes or you FAIL!"
I don't know, my brother, who is an MD, at age 58 or so was taken off the treadmill and sent directly to the hospital. Of course, he wanted to drive, typical scenario. Yea, they took him to the hospital where he works and did a quad bypass. He was originally set to go on vacation in a few days.

My younger brother!
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Old 12-13-23, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by bblair
I don't know, my brother, who is an MD, at age 58 or so was taken off the treadmill and sent directly to the hospital. Of course, he wanted to drive, typical scenario. Yea, they took him to the hospital where he works and did a quad bypass. He was originally set to go on vacation in a few days.

My younger brother!
He's still among the living, right? I'd call that a success!
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Old 12-15-23, 07:51 AM
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I asked the doc, "should I be worried?" He said no. Someone will call you.

6 days later, no call. Someone's not worried. I just want to get it out of the way.
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Old 12-15-23, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by bblair
I asked the doc, "should I be worried?" He said no. Someone will call you.

6 days later, no call. Someone's not worried. I just want to get it out of the way.
Didn't find anything, results are in the mail.

If they'd found something, you'd have had a phone call or they would have met you at the door with an ambulance.

Don't worry, be happy!
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Old 12-16-23, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
Didn't find anything, results are in the mail.

If they'd found something, you'd have had a phone call or they would have met you at the door with an ambulance.

Don't worry, be happy!
Actually, he did "find something" on the calcium score, which is why he wanted to do the stress test. I have not had that done and am waiting for a call to schedule.

I did ride 43 miles yesterday and plan to today also. I don't love a cold headwind, but 53 degrees in December in Ohio, ya gotta take advantage.
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Old 12-16-23, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill
People with cancer call stress before a test “scanxiety,” because we get CT scanned, MRI’d, bone scanned, PET scanned, etc.
But the same thing happens with stress before blood tests, ECGs, and yes, stress tests.
Before surgery, I “failed” my otherwise normal ECG, diagnosed with bradycardia.
“I ride a bike” unfailed me.
Anyhow, the stress you are feeling now is unfortunately all too normal.
(As to your last question, Dr. Paul D. White, one of the founders of the American Heart Association, advocate of exercise for prevention of heart attacks and strokes, avid bicyclist, died of a stroke - at 87. A local bike path is named after him.)
-mr. bill
r.e. 1st bold -- This PERSON with cancer actually never heard of scanxiety but it sounds cool.
r.e. 2nd bold -- I walked into the ECG room for scan before my bilateral Orchiectomy. Nurse had me lay down, affixed the leads and turned on the recorder. She expressed concern because she could not get a good reading reason was my heart rate was 32bpm. I had to carefully get up, move around and when 39bpm was hit was told to lay back down. Every time my Anesthesiologist would come in for her/his intro before surgery the nurses would have to inform them that "His BP and HR are normally low due to bicycling and marathons."


Originally Posted by bblair
Due to a high calcium CT score (613) my doc is sending me for a stress echo test. I'm 67 yo and getting stressed about the stress test.
Like many of us here, I ride 4-5000 miles a year, spend my vacation riding up mountains and wear a heart rate monitor. Sure, I am slower than 20 years ago, but no chest pain or limitations. Actually, I am enjoying cycling now more than ever.
So, bottom line, has anyone here been fit, totally asymptomatic and still "failed" a stress test?
P.S. Suddenly, my tinnitus and enlarged prostate don't bother me any more.
r.e. bold -- Tinnitus has always bothered me because "It was there" whereas my Prostate Cancer diagnosis was never expected before DRE exam and BIOPSY. I was totally asymptomatic

Originally Posted by bblair
Actually, he did "find something" on the calcium score, which is why he wanted to do the stress test. I have not had that done and am waiting for a call to schedule.
I did ride 43 miles yesterday and plan to today also. I don't love a cold headwind, but 53 degrees in December in Ohio, ya gotta take advantage.
My doctor FELT the cancer when she performed her DRE but of course could not confirm that it was PCa. From that moment of being told "SOMETHING is WRONG" I expected to be told "YOU HAVE CANCER" so waiting for the BIOPSY RESULTS did not cause stress since being a pessimist I expected the worse -- metastasized PCa. Luckily my PCa hadn't metastasized BUT it is GLEASON 10 -- the worse biopsy pathology results.

Take a CHILL PILL and do some more riding. GOOD LUCK

p.s. -- hours before my bilateral Orchiectomy, I bicycled to the starting point for our group's ride that day and told the guys that "my boys will be leaving town later in the day" and explained what it meant.
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Old 12-21-23, 08:47 AM
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Just wanted to check in, so you don't think I ghosted the thread or died of a heart attack.

I couldn't get an appointment for over a month from now. Big Health Care Conglomerate with multiple locations in multiple cities, so I guess that's just how it is.

We are planning a long trip in a few months and want to buy our flights, so I called my doc for some guidance. No reply, so I guess I will risk the cancellation fee and try not to worry about it. My SIL, who is an MD, but not a cardiologist, thinks that stress tests are way over prescribed. With the amount of cycling that I do, he feels that I should not worry since I do a "stress test" 3 times a week w/o problem.

So unless something weird happens, I will check back in next month. Happy New Year!
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Old 12-21-23, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by bblair
Just wanted to check in, so you don't think I ghosted the thread or died of a heart attack.

I couldn't get an appointment for over a month from now. Big Health Care Conglomerate with multiple locations in multiple cities, so I guess that's just how it is.

We are planning a long trip in a few months and want to buy our flights, so I called my doc for some guidance. No reply, so I guess I will risk the cancellation fee and try not to worry about it. My SIL, who is an MD, but not a cardiologist, thinks that stress tests are way over prescribed. With the amount of cycling that I do, he feels that I should not worry since I do a "stress test" 3 times a week w/o problem.

So unless something weird happens, I will check back in next month. Happy New Year!
Are you, or could you be on a standby list in case someone cancels?

Dan
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Old 12-21-23, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by _ForceD_
Are you, or could you be on a standby list in case someone cancels?

Dan
Who knows?

To update though, I just a phone call to answer, ok to go ahead with my plans, not a rush. So I guess I will just count on doing the test in a month and flying to Taiwan a few weeks later to see my son.
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Old 01-18-24, 02:49 PM
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Quick bump:

Echo stress test tomorrow morning.
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Old 01-18-24, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by bblair
Quick bump:
Echo stress test tomorrow morning.
Finally getting it done.

I had a PYLARIFY PSMA PET/CT scan a couple of weeks ago and the results showed that my PCa(Prostate Cancer) is back and next up is another biopsy in 3 weeks from tomorrow to see just how bad.
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Old 01-18-24, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by OldTryGuy
Finally getting it done.

I had a PYLARIFY PSMA PET/CT scan a couple of weeks ago and the results showed that my PCa(Prostate Cancer) is back and next up is another biopsy in 3 weeks from tomorrow to see just how bad.
My minister said it’s okay to say it’s not fair. I asked if it’s okay to say it’s effed up.

I’m so sorry.

-mr. bill
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