There was an error in this gadget

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

POTS Testing - Day 2

I had left the Neurology Hospital with a 24-hour BP/HR monitor with a diary and instructions about how to use the monitor and the sorts of things to record in my diary. This started with me recording my BP 5 minutes before eating, then ten minutes after to see how food effects my BP. I then had a very brisk walk to work so these things were all recorded.

I did not sleep well that night. Aside from the fact I had a nasty cold the BP monitor was going off every hour, so was waking me up hourly as well!

In the morning I foolishly decided to run a few errands in the notoriously busy Oxford Street before going back to hospital. This was definitely a mistake - especially when feeling unwell.

*****************************************************************************
I arrived into the lovely calm of the day ward and shown to another nice green chair in a room shared with others having intravenous medications - mainly for MS. I was then taken back to the Autonomic Unit for my final testing situation - the 'feeding' test.

I told my scientist of the day that I was not well, but we agreed I could proceed with the test, and I requested to be given a soya-milk complan drink as I am presently on a dairy-free diet.

The test started with a few base measurements starting on the tilt-table, in a horizontal position, after this I was tipped again to 60 degrees and left there for ten minutes. I did feel some fatigue and nausea, but not much else. My scientist then bought me back to horizontal and then fed me two plastic cups worth of the liquid meal I had to consume, whilst lying flat, and I had to drink the meal through a straw. It was strange doing this, but I managed to swallow the drink, which tasted quite pleasant. I then had to wait 45 minutes in order for the drink to be digested, but had to remain on the tilt table, horizontally. I was covered with a blanket and said I would probably fall asleep - although I was asked to 'preferably' remain awake to avoid my BP dropping, as would be the case if I slept.

Sleep, it seemed, did not feature in the agenda, particularly with a BP monitor going off every 5 minutes. My HR rocketed and I started to have palpitations. This went on, past the repeat of the ten minute tilt-test and actually went on for several hours after the test. This was not something I expected to happen, neither did my scientist. Although people sometimes do have palpitations (as per having POTS) they don't normally last too long. I had to be taken back to the ward and further monitored for a few more hours. My 'resting' heart rate ranged between 80-110 beats. As a precaution I was also given an ECG, but this was normal. I was also given more food in order to try and stabilise me. I did eventually feel better and got home at about 8pm. I should imagine the fact I had a bad cold and chest would have possibly had an effect on my tests and their outcome. However, I will definitely say that this 'Feeding Test' was no where near as bad as I had expected, even despite the outcome of my testing - which was unusual. Nobody should worry about this test or indeed any other POTS testing.

I get the results of my tests at the end of the month.

Everyone was absolutely lovely at hospital, and nobody should worry about having POTS testing - although some aspects of the testing are slightly unpleasant (as in my Day one experience) nothing lasts too long. You will be fine, and they will really look after you even if something strange does happen! At least it is not like being at A&E where nobody believes your symptoms or thinks you are making it up!

No comments: