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Old 02-22-2013, 05:23 PM   #1
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Having Dobutamine test done

I wasn't sure where to post this, so my apologies if this is the wrong place. I'm having the Dobutamine Stress Echo Test done on March 7 and am very anxious about it. I guess I don't like the fact of feeling out of control because of having the medication injected into me. I'd actually prefer to walk on the treadmill but can't because of my back.

I had an EKG done last month because it was required before I had a colonoscopy. Now I'm having fusion done to my sacroiliac joint on March 11 and another EKG was required for this. When I was to my family dr. on Tuesday, she went over the results of my blood tests and EKG with me and said everything looked fine and that I was good to go for surgery. But then when I got home 15 minutes later, their office called and said that she looked at the EKG again and said that it looked a little different than the one that I had done last month, so now they want me to have this stress test done. At first they were going to send me for the one where you walk on a treadmill, but I told them that I can't do that because of my back. If I could, I would.

I have anxiety to begin with, and now I'm really worried because of having to have this test done. I'm a very sedentary person because of my back and very overweight (weigh about 250). I have high cholesterol, controlled by simvastatin and high triglycerides. My grandma died at age 65 of a heart attack. I'm 56. I read that there is a slight risk of having a heart attack when having this stress test done, which really makes me extremely nervous. I don't think my hands have stopped sweating ever since I found out that I have to have this test done. I know this probably sounds ridiculous, but I'm afraid of dying from this test! Even if I make it through the test okay, I'm afraid that they'll find out that I have some kind of a heart problem and that I won't be able to go through with my back surgery. I've been in pain for so long with this sacroiliac joint dysfunction that I can hardly bear the thought of not being able to have the surgery done. The dr. said that if I don't do okay during the test, then the surgery is off and I'll have to see a cardiologist. Who knows if I'll ever get to have that back operation in that case. Mostly though, I'm really wound up about this drug that's going to be pushed through my system for this stress test. I wish that I wouldn't worry so much! I think my chest is hurting now because of anxiety. Any words of advice would be appreciated.
Cathy

 
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:43 AM   #2
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Re: Having Dobutamine test done

Hi Cathy,

I had a 'chemical' stress test done in 2009 - I was pretty much the same as you, I didn't like the idea of not being in control of my own heart beat.

The test is nothing to worry about, they inject the drug very slowly - I never even knew my heart rate had increased until I saw it on the monitor.

Try not to worry, you'll be fine and the test doesn't take very long.

Good Luck.

 
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:08 PM   #3
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Re: Having Dobutamine test done

Vyking,
Thank you so much for your reassurance. I've really been stressing out about this. I hate to think of the next week and a half worrying about this. Your words help make me feel better, and I really appreciate that.
Cathy

 
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:42 PM   #4
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Re: Having Dobutamine test done

You'll be fine Cathy it's really not as scary as it sounds.

 
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Old 02-25-2013, 03:57 PM   #5
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Re: Having Dobutamine test done

I sure hope it's not as scary as it sounds. For one thing, I don't like not being able to control my own heart rate. Another thing is I'm worried about the fact that I'm so sedentary because of my back. I sit all day along and only get up to go to the bathroom and do the dishes. I'm here thinking, "How will my heart be able to take the stress the dobutamine will cause when I get zero exercise normally?" I don't know if they let a person know immediately if he/she has done okay on the test, but if they tell me I didn't pass it, I swear I'll start bawling. I've lived with this back pain for so long and want so much to get this operation done and if this stress test stops that (by showing that I have a heart problem...gosh I hope not), I think it will devastate me thinking about having to wait for who knows how long to get the operation done. I want this pain to go away. Now I think my anxiety has been causing my chest to hurt. I've never had any heart trouble before, but the physician assistant who I see told me that I'm a "ticking time bomb" considering my obesity and high cholesterol and triglycerides. That doesn't exactly give me confidence to have this drug pushed through my veins to stress out my heart. I'm really trying to not be so worked up about it, but when I'm naturally an anxious person to begin with, it's hard to not worry.

 
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:43 PM   #6
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Re: Having Dobutamine test done

It will be an experienced doctor who gives you the injection (at least that's the way it's done in Aust) it will be injected very slowly while the doctor monitors both you and the equipment - they also have a drug to reverse the effects so there's no need to worry.

Usually the results are sent to be analysed and then given to your cardiologist or Doctor.

 
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Old 02-26-2013, 01:06 PM   #7
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Re: Having Dobutamine test done

Thank you again for reassuring me. I feel better now about having it done. I'll probably be nervous on the day of the test, but I'm really going to try to not dwell on it until then.

 
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:11 AM   #8
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Unhappy Re: Having Dobutamine test done

Comeonnow, your post sounds as if I could have written it myself. I have sciatica and I need two knee replacements, so I am very inactive also. I'm overweight and I'm older, so I'm worried this test will kill me. I'm having my test done this wednesday, March6th and its all I can think about. I even wake up in the morning with the test on my mind. Like you, I need surgery, but they won't do the surgery until after this test is done to find out what shape my heart is in, even though I have had no heart symptoms. And like you I'm worried I won't be able to have surgery at all and will have to live in horrible pain the rest of my life. One part of me wants to have the test in order to know if something is wrong and needs to be corrected. The test could save our lives if we need treatment.. but like you, I'm also worried the test itself could kill me or harm me in some way that I haven't thought of. I would much prefer to walk on the treadmill, but like you, I can't.
I wish you well on your test. I"m sure we are just being neurotic worrying like this and everything will be fine in the end. I've talked to others who've had the test and they say its not that bad. Then why does it take four or five hours? I guess its a necessary evil.
I hope to read your results afterwards.

Last edited by Lorene78; 03-04-2013 at 08:16 AM.

 
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:15 AM   #9
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Re: Having Dobutamine test done

Comeonnow, your post sounds as if I could have written it myself. I have sciatica and I need two knee replacements, so I am very inactive also. I'm overweight and I'm older, so I'm worried this test will kill me. I'm having my test done this wednesday, March6th and its all I can think about. I even wake up in the morning with the test on my mind. Like you, I need surgery, but they won't do the surgery until after this test is done to find out what shape my heart is in, even though I have had no heart symptoms. And like you I'm worried I won't be able to have surgery at all and will have to live in horrible pain the rest of my life. One part of me wants to have the test in order to know if something is wrong and needs to be corrected. The test could save our lives if we need treatment.. but like you, I'm also worried the test itself could kill me or harm me in some way that I haven't thought of. I would much prefer to walk on the treadmill, but like you, I can't.
I wish you well on your test. I"m sure we are just being neurotic worrying like this and everything will be fine in the end. I've talked to others who've had the test and they say its not that bad. Then why does it take four or five hours? I guess its a necessary evil.
I hope to read your results afterwards.

 
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:40 AM   #10
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Re: Having Dobutamine test done

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorene78 View Post
Then why does it take four or five hours? I guess its a necessary evil.
Over here we do it over 2 days.
The first part is the 'stress' part - they give you the injection and do the monitoring etc, you then wait a short while before having the heart scan done.

On the second day they do the 'resting' heart scan.

I don't know about 5 hours but it does take a couple.

Good luck to both of you.

Last edited by Vyking; 03-04-2013 at 09:42 AM.

 
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:49 AM   #11
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Re: Having Dobutamine test done

Thanks for the reply Vyking. We can't eat breakfast, then we go in and have an EKG and blood pressure check and resting scan. Then they do the stress part. Then we have to eat a meal and wait for however long, then they inject some other radioactive stuff and scan again. All in all its supposed to take 4 or 5 hrs, but alot of it is waiting around.
So I guess we'll have the results the same day. Very scary to think about! I'm so afraid of the dye and radioactive stuff and the test. But then we wait for the results which is also very scary to think about.

The thought of having an angiogram is horrific to me because my cousin died 7 months ago when the doctor accidently went through her artery and she bled out on the table. The whole mess sounds terrifying to me now, but I guess thats what we have to do in order to try and save our lives when something is wrong. There are no guarantees in life. On the other hand I have other cousins and friends and my daugher who have all had the angiograms and stents and it saved them and they are all fine now.

 
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:03 AM   #12
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Re: Having Dobutamine test done

I'm sorry about your cousin.

The Angiogram I had caused me to have a cardiac arrest on the table - apparently the catheter 'tickled' the wall of my heart and sent it into an abnormal rhythm.

The odds of that happening were 5000 to 1 - so I guess I was just unlucky.
Having said that, there are risks in any procedure and the Angio was the only 100% way of knowing if I had blocked arteries, so it needed to be done.

 
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:08 AM   #13
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Re: Having Dobutamine test done

And did you have blocked arteries? Did you need stents?
I already have abnormal rhythms whenever I am stressed, but I've grown used to them over the long years. Doctors have said not to worry about them, but I sure am worrying about them happening during the stress test!!!

 
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:57 AM   #14
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Re: Having Dobutamine test done

Yes, I had 3 blocked arteries - one 90% in the Left Anterior Descending (nicknamed the widowmaker) one 90% in the Left Coronary Artery and one 70% in the Right Coronary Artery, I was admitted the day of the Angio and had a triple bypass 3 days later.

None of the arteries could be stented, my surgery was in Oct 2009 and I feel great now.

 
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Old 03-04-2013, 12:26 PM   #15
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Re: Having Dobutamine test done

So let me get this straight. You had three blocked arteries when you had the stress test? WOW.
Had you been feeling badly before the test? I would think with three blocked arteries you would have felt awful.....

 
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