I did, right into Room 758 at Roanoke Memorial Hospital last Thursday. At the advice of a good friend who is a nurse, I had mentioned to my PCP that for the last few months when hiking, riding my bicycle or even just walking around town I’d occasionally experienced chest tightness and some pain that radiated into my shoulders and down my arms. He sent me to a cardiologist, who booked me for a stress test for Thursday. When I went in I was told he’d read it the next day and I would probably hear from him today (Monday). Instead, amid lots of talk about “highly unusual results” and spritzes of nitroglycerin under my tongue I was loaded onto a gurney, shoved into a transport vehicle and driven a whopping two blocks to the hospital, despite all my protestations that I could simply walk over there.
It took 24 hours to get an opening to have an angiogram done, which showed 95% blockage in two arteries, which resulted in the immediate implant of two stents. This was followed by 24 hours of intense monitoring, the scope of which probably only Edward Snowden could comprehend, and then I came home.
Only afterward was I told, in stark layman’s terms, that my stress test was “downright scary” and that blood work done immediately afterward indicated I might have possibly even had a very minor heart attack, or come close to it, during the stress test.
I still say I could have walked to the hospital, though.
If anyone out there is contemplating or facing a similar procedure and wants some first-hand knowledge of what it’s like, just FB me and I’ll be happy to provide details.