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I Only Lasted 3 Minutes Before I Was Forced To Get Off For Stress Test


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First off I was suppose to have a stress echo but insurance wouldn't cover that so I had to do a stress test and an echo separately in order for them to cover it.

I lasted 3 minutes. They didn't even get to ramp me up. She was told to only have it go to 60% my max heart rate but I was already there before I started the test because as soon as I stood up my heart was 130. The women really tried to make me go as long as she could but after 3 minutes my heart rate was 204 (110% my max heart rate) and my oxygen was 82 and she had to make me get off. This was just from slow walking. I layed down and after a minute my oxygen started to climb up again. Therefore, I didn't meet my insurances requirement of having my oxygen be under 88 for 5 minutes in order for them to pay for oxygen in a clinical setting. The lady thought it was ridiculous that my insurance was doing that (as do my doctors) and said that she has never seen anyone like me in the 12 years she's done that.

I don't know what to do. I won't be able to meet their requirement in a clinical setting because the doctors freak out with reason. They don't like people getting that sick or having peoples numbers look like that. I thought of asking my pulmonologist if I use one of those o2 meters they use for sleep apnea but use it during the day so It's able to show what I go through in a day since I can't do it in a clinical setting because they freak out. I don't even wanna do that though. I'm tired of making myself sick. Something needs to be done. My husband is even looking at the price of supplemental oxygen and seeing if it's anywhere affordable (let me know if you know any affordable places for it.) I also had a seizure this morning from lack of oxygen. Nothing new there.

What do you think of my results? I won't see the cardiologist until the 30th.

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Seems like you need a full workup by the cardiologist. You might be helped by having oxygen but you need to figure out why your heart is not getting the oxygen to where it needs to go. The 30th is just next week--hang in there.

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Have your docs gone through appeal processes with your insurance? A lot of insurance companies have basic standards that will be waived through an appeal process if your doctor/s write thorough notes and make the case. All insurance companies are required to make an appeal process available for instances just like yours.

I'm glad your docs will be able to see what happened. I agree with dkd, oxygen is a temp fix and the cause of this inability to maintain your oxygen levels needs to be identified and addressed.

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I agree with both of you. I really wish I had something in the meantime while they were figuring everything out though. Especially with how long they take to do everything and figure stuff out I don't want to be left completely defenseless to low oxygen and seizures while they figure everything out. It's dangerous. I do agree that it is just a temp fix though and they need to figure out what's going on.

Wow I didn't know about the appeal process's. I will definitely ask my cardiologist about that. They have at least documented it going down to 82 the only problem is it doesn't stay there if they make me stop whatever I was doing to make me sick for the required 5 minutes. I also have pictures of it at lower numbers and they know I have seizures. I will see if my cardiologist can do that.

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I have a feeling your results will get your doctor really moving on this issue. Hearing that the technician had never seen someone do what you did in their 12 years doing that test tells you how serious it was. I know the 30th seems a long time away, but your wait will bring results!

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MakeMeErised, I am glad that what you are experiencing is being documented. I hope this leads to answers and solutions.

Insurance companies have their policies, but they have appeals processes for cases like this. We do not always fit into a box. If you do not get what you need, go to the next level. You may have to push the issue along the way.

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@sue1234 Oh I really hope you're right. Although I didn't get the results I want or get pushed enough to have a seizure it really did show the dysautonomia activity that my heart rate was being so ridiculous and so was my oxygen. I'm hoping this is enough for them to at least see how my body acts to just normal walking, not even strenuous activity. I never got to make it to the strenuous parts.

@gjensen I agree. Because my lack of oxygen is related to dysautonomia related stuff it's not as clear coat as it being under 88 for 5 minutes because it's not like my lungs or something. I will definitely be asking my doctors about appeals or if there is anything they can do to increase my oxygen and decrease my heart rate. Hopefully this gives them some kind of clue on what they need to be doing.

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Have you ever done a 6 minute walk test? I've done them with patients in the hospital before during nursing school clinicals. Basically you just walk down a hallway for six minutes at your own pace with a pulse ox on and they watch your o2 saturation and heart rate. In my experience, if the patients o2 dropped to 88% or lower they would repeat the test with oxygen on and if they improved, they qualified for home o2. Not sure if this criteria is different for different insurance companies or not. Maybe you could ask your doctor about this if your stress test didn't give them the info they need. I hope you are able to get the o2 that you clearly need.

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Oh my! I am so glad they saw what is happening! I agree with everyone that perhaps now they will get to the bottom of this. Have you ever had oxygen while you are walking around? Like Krissy21 said, I would be curious to see what difference the O2 would do. I certainly hope you are heading toward more answers and the ability to feel better! Did you try speaking to the nurse for the cardiologist? Sometimes they may have the ability to squeeze you in the schedule sooner. If not, keep documenting and take it easy. My thoughts are with you. Rock on M!

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@Krissy21 I did do the 6 minute walk test but it was while I was having a really good day and they walked me really slow back and forth a small hallway. The lowest my o2 dropped was 92 because it was a good day and it was slow paced. Wow so their oxygen didn't have to stay under 88 for a qualified amount of time they just had to go under. I went to 82 so I really wish that was how it was with me. Maybe my doctors can talk to my insurance companies though.

@Raisin Nobody has given me oxygen to try but I myself am curious if it would help. My cardiologist is the 30th which I'm okay with because I have been having so many appointments lately. My neurologist is this Thursday although he doesn't have my test results.

Thank you for your kind words :)

Another thing my husband mentioned is that oxygen would be pointless unless they get my heart rate under control. 204 beats per minute isn't even pumping blood. That is just from brisk walking so I imagine I'm probably 250ish going up the stairs. It's very insane to listen to my heart beat after going up the stairs. My husband thinks that the tachycardia might even be causing the oxygen drops but I don't even know. Sometimes my o2 drops first and then my heart beat goes up afterwards like 2 minutes later and sometimes it's the opposite. Maybe they could fix them at the same time? Either way they really need to do something about the tachycardia or else there is no point getting oxygen because I'm going to continue getting really sick.

I'm not crazy right? This seems abnormal to other people to right? The people doing the test certainly thought it was abnormal but I'm scared I'll go to the cardiologist and have him be like nope that seems pretty normal to me.

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No, it is not normal. And I'm hoping you get to see an electrophysiologist. Mine looked at my holter monitor results and asked what I was doing when my HR was 140, and it was when I was washing my hair. I said "should someone's HR be that high when when they're washing their hair" and he said no. The regular cardiologist that I had seen a few months before just told me I was out of shape and needed to exercise more. Yours is a lot worse, so I can't imagine them thinking that you're normal. I really hope you get some answers soon.

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@dkd thank you for validating me. When I go to the cardiologist I'll have to bring up the electrophysiologist thing. They said my holter monitor was okay too and that i just showed tachycardia which was something I already knew. I'm so glad nobody has tried to tell me I'm out of shape. I would go off and ask for a new doctor right then and there. When you can't even stand up without your heart rate shooting through the roof and your oxygen sinking it's really hard to exercise as much as a normal person and I wish they were more supportive of that fact.

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It's great that what you have been experiencing is documented! Not so great that you feel so ill. (I know the feeling.) I hope your Cardiologist has some insight into what is happening with you. Is is easier for you to exercise while laying down? Do your heart rate and O2 sats misbehave the same way? I ask because you could try to build yourself up again carefully by doing recumbent exercises that won't precipitate an attack.

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@IceLizard Ikr. Despite the fact I didn't meet the oxygen requirements or get to have a seizure I think the test results being like that after a brief walk can make them see why something as strenuous as stairs would cause my oxygen and heart rate to be much worse and cause seizures. They always believed me about getting this sick but now I feel like I have proof and they can at least see that my heart rate and oxygen have crazy responses to normal things. Unfortunately even if I'm sitting or laying down if I do physical activity my body still misbehaves. Even rolling over in bed is enough to make my heart like 150. My body just doesn't like to move. I have tachycardia even sitting down though. My resting heart rate is usually between 100-115 whenever I'm looking at an 02 meter. It sometimes does go to the eighty or ninety's but normally it averages close to 100. Then whenever I do anything physical it starts to climb. I do weight lift 2 times a week which is a struggle for me but the fact I get to take breaks between sets makes it doable. I recently started hula hooping a few weeks ago too with a weighted hula hoop and if I do it 5 minutes at a time I'm actually okay surprisingly. I won't question it though lol. I did the recumbent bike before I got this sick and unfortunately it didn't make a difference. I still wound up progressing and I progressed so much that I couldn't even do that.

I know you guys can't give medical advice but from your experience does this sound closer to POTS or Innapropriate Sinus Tachacardia. Keep in mind I haven't really had blood pressure problems in several months. I have all of the symptoms of both and the blood pooling and everything but my heart rate and oxygen seem to be the main thing that's killing me so much and causing me so many problems. For all I know the oxygen could just be a response to my heart rate (that's what my husband thinks.) Can you have both? If your resting heart rate is at least 100 what's the difference because I feel like I meet the requirements for both. My heart beat increases about 30 beats per minute when standing (sometimes a little higher or lower) but it's always above 120 when I stand (it was 130 for the test) but it doesn't matter if I'm sitting or laying down. If I'm laying down and roll over that will be enough to make my heart go too fast so it acts inappropriately both when I'm laying down and sitting. So it's not just a postural/ when I stand up thing where it acts inappropriately. I'm not really asking for a diagnosis because I know you can't do that but I'm pretty confused about where I lie since I pretty much meet the requirements for both and I'm not sure what the difference is in a case like this. My doctors don't know about sub diagnoses enough to be very useful either.

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I'm wondering about your resting heart rate only. Have you been worked up for the usual things that might cause a high heart rate? Like, iron deficiency anemia and hyperthyroidism? (I'm no expert or even a medical person, just thinking out loud on WHY would your resting heart rate be high to begin with?)

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@sue1234 Yep my levels are perfect for both. I've been checked for all of that stuff and it all came back normal. This didn't start until around the time I got sick so I think it's all part of the dysautonomia. That's why I'm kind of wondering if it could have Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia

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Okay what do you guys think of this I just found it online.

" Symptoms of IST

  • Palpitations
  • Shortness of breath
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Fatigue
  • Resting heart rate of greater than 100bpm
  • Sleeping heart rate of 70 – 90bpm
  • Minimal exertion, heart rate will rapidly reach 150bpm


Potentially related symptoms:

  • Drop in blood pressure upon standing
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Syncope
  • Pre-syncope
  • Sweating"

I seem to fit all of that and my test shows that so I wonder if I should mention it to my doctors?

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Hang in there. Sounds like you have a lot to discuss with your doctor. I'm glad that they were able to get some information. Wish the staff could have seen everything happen that you have described in the past observations.

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I know it would have been amazing if they could have seen how bad it gets, but hopefully my results from very little activity give them an idea of what would happen if I did more activity. Yes, I have quite a lot to discuss with my doctors hopefully everything goes well. Wish me luck.

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