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Posted Jun 10 2010 12:09am

Today, I went to have Echocardiogram done. I’m home safe now.

I enjoyed the easy and nice drive to Logan Heart Centre.

I had organised Go Via account for the now electrically charging toll. I’m not happy about the toll all electrically charged because of added fees on top of the actual toll. But, I’m not going into detail here.

If I want to, I could use detour to avoid the toll. Considering my condition, I believe it is wise to just pay the fee and take the shortest and easiest route possible.

I was organised. I checked and double checked the direction and the map. I had the list of medication just in case I’m asked. I had referral paper and print out of the last ECG. I had a bottle of water. I took camera just in case I had the opportunity to shoot something nice or different.

I drove on speed limit, but I was pleasantly surprised that the travel time was almost half as I planned. There was hardly any traffic.

When I arrived, there was no patient waiting. Because of the ear-drop medication, it was a little trouble understanding the receptionist. But there was no complicated conversation required.

The technician was very nice. Judging from her reaction, she has reasonable understandings about ME/CFS.

I lie on the specially designed table on my left. She explained what she was going to do and clearly instructed me what I should do. Although I thought it was going to be easy because I lay on the table, it turned out to be very exhausting. I also had dyspnoea from lying on the left (I don’t know why). She asked if I was okay during the scan. At the end, she asked me to lay on my back for a couple more scan, and breathing became much easier.

It was very thorough and she covered every angle. It was different from the last Echocardiogram I had at a hospital. She explained the sound I hear occasionally is my vascular sound. Through out, she asked me to breathe in, breathe out, hold breath, or breathe away.

Did I say it was exhausting? I became so fatigued and weak, so she helped me getting up. And I felt lightheaded when I got up.

Since she seemed confident, I asked about Tilt Table Test (TTT) in public hospitals. She was sure that Royal Brisbane Hospital does it. She couldn’t tell me off her head, but she was positive that many public hospital should be able to do the test. Dr TL already referred me for TTT to PA Hospital. Since I haven’t heard from the hospital yet, I was starting to worry. I also had a talk with Dr TL and it is possible that I would wait for a year (or longer) for the test.

With the exhaustion and weakness, walking back to reception area was harder. Each step was efforts and my balance was dodgy. The receptionist seemed to understand my difficulty. After I signed Medicare form, she came out from the counter to open the heavy door for me.

From there to my car was still effort. I took a couple of steps, then I felt I was so fatigued and couldn’t take anymore step. I also felt the wave of lightheadedness or vertigo. So, I had to stop and take a deep breath and rest. Then, took another couple of steps. My car was right in front of the entrance, but it felt a very long way walk…

Once I sat in my car and had the bottle of water, I started feeling okay. When I was confident again, I headed home.

There was no photo taking opportunity and I had to drive home straight.

When I got home, I was happy that everything went smooth, and was proud with sense of achievement.

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