We traveled to Salt Lake City for stress tests the other day, and the experience was quite interesting -- to say the least. It was a bit exasperating trying to find the place, though, and since both my husband and I had overlapping appointments, we had to do a bit of chugging uphill beforehand, since the "time limit" on parking wouldn't allow us to use their regular parking. At which time we joked about having our stress test before we even got inside. But at least...parking was free.
We were handed more paperwork to fill out for financial assistance, and told 'that' hospital wasn't directly connected to our county hospital down here, and that it would be to our advantage to file for assistance with them as well since they have differing rules and regulations regarding compensation. Okay. So that's what's on my plan for "today." Re-xeroxing all of our tax forms and w2's for last year and reapplying for help/discounts with them.
We haven't struck out with Medicaid yet, surprisingly. But we don't really know the rules and regulations and income requirements to get help there either. We're only familiar with Medi-Cal (California) which is pretty strict, and which we know we DO NOT qualify for -- in any stretch of the imagination. But applying for Medicaid here in Utah is what the county hospital requires we do, before they will even consider financial assistance (other than the "token" discount they've given us so far for not having insurance), so that's what we're doing right now too.
We had the telephone interview this morning, and they are sending us MORE paperwork to fill out, and and a list of more requirements that have to be met within the next couple of weeks. Like rounding up our income for the past 3 months, (in addition to all of the tax forms and such we had to send them to apply), and another bank statement, etc.
Since I have a "bad" knee, (don't know what's wrong with that yet, as the doc wanted to check out the heart situation first, before she attacked what she called The Small Stuff ), I wasn't able to run on a treadmill. So they did something different with me. They first hooked me up to an I.V., injected die into my veins, then took some kind of imagery of my arteries and heart at rest. Since I couldn't do a normal version of a stress test, they then injected me with something that simulated exercise, plus had me "walk" on the treadmill (while being hooked up to an EKG machine) to lessen the effects of the drug. Afterwhich, they took more imaging pictures of my arteries and heart while hooked up to EKG still.
My husband had to do the running thing. They put him through literal hell for something like 20 minutes. Twice as long as the test is supposed to take. They couldn't get him up to 90% of heart capacity, so they finally called it quits. Me? Had a bad vertigo attack right in the middle of it, which scared the crap outta the technician who was administering the drug. The Cardiologist was all that concerned, but the technician kept saying: "That isn't supposed to happen. That isn't supposed to happen." And had me sit down till the drug was fully injected, cuz he didn't want me to fall down.
Usually during a vertigo attack, everything goes at normal speed. The world tips on it's axis and it "FEELS" like you're falling. But this was a bit different. The world still tipped, but it was tipping in slow motion. And it felt like we were going to go forward, right out of the window. Crazy stuff.
Anyways, the tests came back good as far as our heart and arteries are concerned. I was rated "excellent." Which means the heart is getting "more than enough" oxygen during rest and exertion, plus my arteries are in excellent condition. So no more worries there. But husband was only rated "good" because he has a blood pressure problem. Apparently when he exerts himself, his blood pressure goes through the roof, so the recommendation was to put him on a Beta Blocker for the treatment of Angina. Especially since he does heavy, manual labor all day. So far it's working.
Heart monitor results still haven't come in, but I just got the bill yesterday so they should be on my Doctor's desk by my next appointment, which is this coming Friday.
Now for the more scarey stuff--
Had a Pap Smear and Pelvic Examination yesterday which wasn't so good. My uterus is tipped, my bladder is fallen, so I'll have to go have that slinged. The good thing is that mine isn't as bad as it usually is with women my age. So that part is good. My appointment is for the 3rd of next month, the day after we see the liver specialist. And my doc says not to worry about it because it isn't dangerous, and mine will be easy to fix.
Then as an "aside," the doctor asked me if I was still having my periods, because she couldn't remember what I'd told her before. I had spoken a bit about that to the nurse before the exam, how last month was the first period I'd had in 1-1/2 years and I didn't know what to do with that since the definition for Menopause is 1 year, but apparently she didn't write any of that down on the paperwork. What I had said to her. Only when my last period was.
When I explained what's been going on with me in that department, a period coming every year or so, for the last 3 or 4 years, and this last time longer, 1-1/2 years, she TOTALLY FREAKED OUT. I mean "really" REALLY freaked out. She said that was NOT normal! That the "definition" of Menopause is going 12 months without a period, and I've long since been in that category.
Then she dropped the bomb on me. The fact that, that type of bleeding pattern is a a serious symptom of cancer. So she sent me to the hospital for an emergency sonogram of my uterus (looking for a tumor), and is planning to do a Endometrial Biopsy on me this coming Friday morning in regards to cancer.
So needless to say I'm pretty spooked. Cuz I had no idea this was anything other than normal. She emphatically said I am not having periods. I'm having "breakthrough" bleeding. HEAVY breakthrough bleeding at that.
So my husband and I are currently holding our breath....