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When I was scheduled for the Tilt-table Test I was very nervous. With my symptoms, doctors stated, that even if I didn't pass out on the test table, they were convinced I had it. The very thought of inducing a pass out was nausiating in itself.(almost to the point of making me pass out, thinking about it)
I couldn't stop thinking about it and decided to get educated about the test so I could feel confident about the procedure and what was going to happen. We, with VVS always fight not to pass out and now they were going to make me do it on purpose so they can say I have it and there is no cure!! The thought of the test was terrifing!
I came to this discussion page and wanted to know everything I could about this test. Everyone's comments helped tremendously!! I called the Cardiac Lab and explained some of the humiliating things that happen to me besides passing out, like vomiting and wetting my pants.
I only deal with female doctors and nurses,(if it is possible, which most of the time it is. After I'm extremely firm about it, they work it out, I've had many bad experiances with male doctors downgrading my symptoms, Maybe I have a harder time relating my symptoms to men, most don't understand what I am saying and I have to spell it out more, and it can get embarrasing)
I'm also very modest, as I have found out most women and men are, and that was adding stress with the thought of the test also, because of the EKG that is applyed and done during the test, and since I found out the doctor giving the test was a man. I really didn't want to be passed out half naked too on top of everything else. For some reason that part is hard to say to your doctor, so I didn't. I told the nurse on the telephone.
Upon my arrival for the test everything was worked out for me. I had to have the male doctor, but they let me talk to him first, before anything and decide then if I would take the test that day. I talked with him and he seemed to be able to understand what I was saying. I knew all about the test, I wanted to know how it applyed to me and exactly what would be done if anything were to go wrong. (including not having my husband leave in an emergency either) my husband was allowed to be with me at all times before, during, and after the test. He offered great support to me and it helped me to know after, all that had occured during my passing out there. It helped me to piece together pieces of the puzzle as to what happens during an episode.
It was also suggested that I bring an extra set of clothes, in case I vomited, etc., so I did.
The doctor left and stayed out while the EKG was applied, then the IV, I stayed fully clothed and the EKG was applyed around my bra. I didn't expect them to be that sensitive to my needs, but I was greatful all the same. (It goes to show you how much unnessary humiliation is done to you regularly, especially for us VVS people who have to take so many tests.)
The Tilt-Table bed looks like a hospital bed, You scoot down on the bed and place your feet against the foot rest. The straps are applyed, one over your legs, and one around your waist. Your arms are free to move around.
You just lay there, and they take a resting heart rate for about 15-20 minutes.
During this time another staff person came in to get something out of the room I was in. (this happens so often, and it has been during extremely humiliating situations, and since it was a teaching hospital, I've had groups of students in and out of past tests, that anyone who doesn't belong there at the test now, makes me immediately panic) My heart rate immediately jumped up and the nurse came over to me and told me to calm down. I explained my problem with people who don't belong there at my test, coming in and she called someone and said noone is to come in again. (Besides I don't think they could of gotten a resting rate if my heart is pumping rapidly)
After the Doctor arrived, the nurse locked the door. I felt completely at ease.
Then the time arrived to raise the bed. The head of the bed raises up and you feel like you are standing. You just stand there and for me, I passed out in about 10 or 15 minutes. I woke up laying down on my back, with the doctor calling my name. And my husband asking me what is my cats name. Once I answered that question. They knew I was ok.
Then I layed there for a little while my another 15-30 minutes, (I'm a little foggy about that time frame) and talked. I was happy I took the test so now my symptoms had a name, something to work with.
My test went well. I'm very glad I did the research I did, and pre-test phone call and spelled out my needs. I think the test would have been another tramatic episode to add to my list if I didn't.
The reason I wrote this is so many people want to know about the test. It's not a life or death test, so BE Prepared. You have the time, interview the situation like you do for a car and the test will run smooth for you too.
And for Doctors, Nurses, and Medical staff:
Please don't be hardened to the feelings and privacy of your patients. Patients trust their lives to you and your knowledge of medicine. Remember why you became medical persons and don't be hardened by the system. Don't make your patients have more stress because you don't listen to them. If your patient needs more time, make the time, or tell them you don't have the time. So we can find a different doctor.
Here is a link that has pictures of the test: