Staying the Course -- 05/13/19

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Superbob

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Well, my immediate future will be medical testing, testing, testing. For my surgery in 2005, I well remember the cath, but remember only a little light bloodwork otherwise. This time, just got word from my local cardio, who is coordinating with my prospective cardiothoracic surgeon 200 miles away, that I need: a Carotid Ultrasound, Pulmonary Function Test, chest x-ray, lab work, and finally the Cardiac Catherization.

I've never had a PFT, and what I read about it, well, freaks me out. One technique sometimes used puts you in an airtight square box sort of like a phone booth only shorter and puts you through all sorts of breathing tests. I have become very claustrophobic and there is no way I could tolerate that. Another puts a clip on your nose so you have to breathe through your mouth and you do it through a spirometer. Although that doesn't sound like a barrel of fun either, I suppose I could do that -- for a while anyway.

Anyone else had a PFT? What I read was from Johns Hopkins and so seems legit. I know I couldn't get in their box so I hope that's not on the table. Once I'm through this testing gauntlet, I suppose get a surgery date. Or if I flunk, maybe I don't. Hmmmm.

Other than that, we have nice weather here -- good for folks hitting the beaches. And for the bikers, too, who are here en masse for the first of two Bike Weeks.

Hope y'all are well.Look forward to hearing from you.

Cheers,
Superbob
 

Gordo60

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I find the MRI / CAT scan chambers claustrophobic enough. So wouldn’t be keen on the test you mentioned either. Big dose of tranquillisers I think might be the go before the test.
 

Paleowoman

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Good luck with all your tests SB, and I hope that PFT one isn't as bad as you fear.

I'm having loads of tests now following my cardio review last week. I'm having MRI on my left shoulder (continuing pain) and an MRI on my sternum too as I get pain there. Lucky me as I actually find being in an enclosed space like the MRI machine extremely relaxing, I like the enforced keeping still and I like to listen to the patterns of the banging sounds that the machine makes. I'll have ear defneders on as the noise is loud but no music, just the machine noises - I'll have an hour and a half of bliss this coming Thursday. And I have an echocardiogram next week followed by the results of everything the week after.
 

Superbob

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Wow, well good luck with all your tests, Paleowoman! I'm glad that you enjoy the MRI surround-sound experience. : ) My recent chest CT was easy for me because the tech was very thoughtful and talked me through each step in a reassuring way. With the PFT -- I am going to have to explain to them beforehand that there are closed-up methods I just can't tolerate. I don't see why they can't test your breathing out in the open, the great wide world.
 

Paleowoman

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Hi SB - Can you find out what sort of PFT test you are having so that you don't worry about it ? The most common kind of PFT is the spirometry one which doesn't necessarily mean wearing a clip on your nose, and you don't sit in a booth for that. It's the plethysmography test which has you in a booth, which has mostly see through walls, but that test is not done nearly so often as the spirometry one.

I've had the spirometry test done several times because I have small airways disease. Never had the other test. They generally check the lung function before surgery because of the general anaesthetic, but even with my lung problem they were fine about the anaesthesia and only cheked things with the spirometry test, and no nose clip ! Held my nose shut !
 
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Superbob

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Hi SB - Can you find out what sort of PFT test you are having so that you don't worry about it ? The most common kind of PFT is the spirometry one which doesn't necessarily mean wearing a clip on your nose, and you don't sit in a booth for that. It's the plethysmography test which has you in a booth, which has mostly see through walls, but that test is not done nearly so often as the spirometry one.

I've had the spirometry test done several times because I have small airways disease. Never had the other test. They generally check the lung function before surgery because of the general anaesthetic, but even with my lung problem they were fine about the anaesthesia and only cheked things with the spirometry test, and no nose clip ! Held my nose shut !
Thanks PW -- That is certainly possible! I will definitely ask them when they call to set up an appointment, and explain my mental hangups if they are contemplating the put-you-in-a-box test. 😧 Thank you for the reassuring thoughts!
 

Duffey

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Hey, Superbob, I’ve had a PFT test and had no problems with it. I also am claustrophobic but it was no big deal. I wish I could remember more about it to help reassure you, but I’m afraid that I can’t. I guess that speaks to how stress free it was?
 

Kelly2632

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Dec 22, 2015
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Hi, Superbob! I remember my PFT right about 2 years ago. Claustrophobic also. Mine was in the "Phone Booth". However, at my hospital the phone booth was made of completely CLEAR material from about the waist up so as I sat and did the test I could see out on all sides! It really made a huge difference!
 

Superbob

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Hi, Superbob! I remember my PFT right about 2 years ago. Claustrophobic also. Mine was in the "Phone Booth". However, at my hospital the phone booth was made of completely CLEAR material from about the waist up so as I sat and did the test I could see out on all sides! It really made a huge difference!
Thanks Kelly! Honestly even with see-out sides, not sure I can do this. Will walk up 15 flights of stairs to avoid elevators, even those you can see out of. Whenever they get around to calling me to set an appointment, I will tell them of my concerns and plead for the spirometry option.
 

Duffey

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Good strategy, Bob. Communication is key and I think they will work with you. I had to undergo a MRI of my head many years ago. I told the neurologist that I couldn’t, that I was too claustrophobic. My husband, who worked at the hospital and is often in the room for MRI and CT scans, asked if he could stay with me during the test. The doctor was agreeable and it was decided that if I signaled that I was too anxious, Bob would insist that they stop. Bob kept his hand on my right big toe throughout for reassurance, and I was able to endure the MRI. Knowing I had control over the situation made it possible. I can lend you my Bob, Superbob, if that will help!
 

katm

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Joined
Nov 15, 2012
Messages
79
Location
U OF M
Well, my immediate future will be medical testing, testing, testing. For my surgery in 2005, I well remember the cath, but remember only a little light bloodwork otherwise. This time, just got word from my local cardio, who is coordinating with my prospective cardiothoracic surgeon 200 miles away, that I need: a Carotid Ultrasound, Pulmonary Function Test, chest x-ray, lab work, and finally the Cardiac Catherization.

I've never had a PFT, and what I read about it, well, freaks me out. One technique sometimes used puts you in an airtight square box sort of like a phone booth only shorter and puts you through all sorts of breathing tests. I have become very claustrophobic and there is no way I could tolerate that. Another puts a clip on your nose so you have to breathe through your mouth and you do it through a spirometer. Although that doesn't sound like a barrel of fun either, I suppose I could do that -- for a while anyway.

Anyone else had a PFT? What I read was from Johns Hopkins and so seems legit. I know I couldn't get in their box so I hope that's not on the table. Once I'm through this testing gauntlet, I suppose get a surgery date. Or if I flunk, maybe I don't. Hmmmm.

Other than that, we have nice weather here -- good for folks hitting the beaches. And for the bikers, too, who are here en masse for the first of two Bike Weeks.

Hope y'all are well.Look forward to hearing from you.

Cheers,
Superbob
I had the PFT 7 yrs ago and I was in the phone booth type space. I’m a bit claustrophobic but it wasn’t too bad. I just remember it being long and feeling like I couldn’t always give her what she wanted me to do. I had surgery 61/2 yrs ago and I have unofficially entered the waiting room. I go for another TEE tomorrow. Good luck to you, let us know how it goes.
 

Superbob

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Apr 21, 2005
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Coastal Carolina
Bob kept his hand on my right big toe throughout for reassurance, and I was able to endure the MRI. Knowing I had control over the situation made it possible. I can lend you my Bob, Superbob, if that will help!
Thanks Duffey, I would borrow your Bob, but I think you need him there to hold your toe. 😁 Seriously, great post -- reminder that reassurance is available. Did my carotid ultrasound today. It was easy. Tech can't tell me results, but in explaining why the taking of blood pressure in each arm, she said big differences can mean problems. Well, mine were something like 113/70 one arm and 110/68 other -- so no problem on that score. (And in trying to quote from just part of your post, did I zap the other part? Sure hope not -- but I just see part of it there now.... OK, whew, I see it all back now! Was having flashback to editing problems of yore....:rolleyes:
 

Kelly2632

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Messages
9
Location
Metro Atlanta, Georgia
Thanks Kelly! Honestly even with see-out sides, not sure I can do this. Will walk up 15 flights of stairs to avoid elevators, even those you can see out of. Whenever they get around to calling me to set an appointment, I will tell them of my concerns and plead for the spirometry option.
I went to the bottom of Hoover Dam a very long time ago ... on the elevator... then looked up. ALL of it was claustrophobic. Makes me sick just thinking about it. There MUST be something that they can do for you!! Sending positive thoughts and groovy vibes!~
 

dwhist

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Joined
Dec 30, 2011
Messages
131
Location
Elmhurst, IL
I find the MRI / CAT scan chambers claustrophobic enough. So wouldn’t be keen on the test you mentioned either. Big dose of tranquillisers I think might be the go before the test.
I had valve done coming up on 8 years. My doctor gave me prescription for Xanax. I have had other medical issues and have had 4 MRI's over the last few years along with some other tests and medical procedures. It helped to take a Xanax an hour before an MRI or the night before some of the procedures to sleep and before heading to hospital. My doctor said he was prescribing for me as there was no reason for me to suffer if the pill could help. Also, let the MRI technician know of your concerns and they will be very good at keeping you comfortable.
 

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