Enjoy Your Menopause!

November 21, 2008

How Much Heart Damage do I Have?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Beverly Mahone @ 8:23 pm
Tags: , , ,

The amount of my heart damage will be determined on Tuesday, November 25 when I undergo a Nuclear Imaging procedure.  The apointment is at 8:30am.  It was the option I chose instead of the heart catheterization.

I was told I couldn’t eat anything but I had to be sure to take my medication.  I must wear loose fitting clothing and a bra that has NO underwire.  I will be positioned on an examination table. A nurse or technologist will insert an intravenous (IV) line into a vein in my hand or arm.

The exam will begin with a stress test, which will require me to exercise either by walking on a treadmill or pedaling a stationary bicycle for a few minutes. While I’m exercising, the electrical activity of my heart will be monitored by electrocardiography (ECG) and my blood pressure will be frequently measured. When blood flow to the heart has reached its peak, I will be given the radiotracer through my IV. About a minute later, I will be instructed to stop exercising and go back to the examination examination table.

Approximately a half-hour later, the imaging will begin. Once the technologist has positioned the gamma camera, it will move slowly in an arc over my chest.

Images of my heart obtained after I exercise will be compared with images of my resting heart.

The entire procedure lasts between three and four hours.


  1. I have had this procedure done twice in the past and I only glowed for a little while afterwards–just kidding! Seriously though, it doesn’t hurt any more than working out on a treadmill does and the scanning part is just plain boring! I would suggest a fully-charged iPod with your favorite relaxing music. I have also had two heart caths done and have to admit the arterial puncture hurts a bit, but they give you such good drugs to pass the time. I don’t have the same problem with my heart that you do, but they run the same kinds of tests. I made a note on my calendar to send prayers your way on the morning of the test.

    Comment by Teri Dempski — November 22, 2008 @ 4:37 am | Reply

  2. Hi Bev,

    I had this Nuclear Imaging procedure. You described it perfectly. I was put on the treadmill. I had this in August when I was hospitalized with chest pains. I am thankful that it wasn’t a heart attack I was having (as I was afraid was going on). Once they ruled out a heart attack, they did the testing to see if there was any damage to my heart. Thank God there wasn’t.

    But, I do have to see about myself. I was told to “de-stress”, as well as to eat better (correctly). I do have hypertension, and heart disease is in my family history. I am definitely a high risk.

    I am thankful that you’re sharing your story here. When I was a teenager, my mother had Congestive Heart failure. I didn’t understand it then. What you’re doing here is helpful and something that everyone needs to read. Thanks for being here!

    Carla Nix – from Twitter!

    Comment by hashiki — November 22, 2008 @ 4:41 am | Reply

  3. Bev,

    I hope the results of your procedure turn out to be all you hope for and more. I just learned yesterday that my younger brother needs a catheterization on the same day as you’ll be undergoing your test. They found a blockage and need to know the extent of the problem before they can come up with ways to best treat it.
    These things provide all of us with a wake up call to eat better and take better care of our bodies as we age. Thank you for sharing your journey so openly. You are an inspiration.

    Comment by Eileen Williams — November 22, 2008 @ 6:06 pm | Reply

  4. Envisioning a healthy heart and inspired journey. That sounds like a strange thing to say, but illness has brought me some of my most amazing epiphanies about life and love. I am even more inspired along those lines after reading the cover article in this week’s People on Michael J. Fox’s battle with Parkinson’s. Like Eileen, I am so indebted to those who share openly their medical challenges, so we can all learn. Thanks, Beverly.

    Comment by Joyce Mason — November 30, 2008 @ 8:15 am | Reply

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