Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Going In Today For My Cardiac "Stress Test" On The Treadmill **UPDATED**

Wonder if it will be different than the last time I took one.

I'm 12 pounds down now from December when my Doctor told me I had to lose 30 by July. My weight will go up and down a couple of pounds during the week, but the trend has been DOWNWARD since December.

The procedure called for me to NOT take my Metoprolol this morning, but to take the Losartan, Plavix, aspirin, Furosemide, along with my Glipizide and Metformin as I normally do.

Yeah, my nightstand looks like a mini Pharmacy!

The last time I saw my Cardiologist she was quite pleased with my progress, and got quite a chuckle out of my "Toyota Physical Fitness Plan". They ran an EKG on me, and all looks good, with no signs of any complications.

The Stress Test I'm taking today will be the next-to-the-last hurdle in getting myself declared fit for Sea Duty. The last step will be conferring with my regular Doctor, and deciding if I'm fit for sea duty.

The HR lady called me in last week (she's 'outsourced' and is only on-site once a week) to see how I've been doing. She also informed me that regardless of what the Doctor says, the final decision will be mine, and mine alone, and the company cannot legally hold it against me if I decide not to go to sea.

The medical care onboard is geared more towards "industrial" type injuries, and if I were to have another "cardiac incident", it could be 72 hours before they could get me to a real hospital.

If something happens on the way to the launch site, the options are to turn around, or divert to Hawaii.

If something happens at the launch site, we have to haul a$$ to Kiritimati, where the US Coast Guard would airlift me to Hawaii on a C-130.

I've been on several launches where this has happened, so I "know the drill", and how long it takes.

In a way, I'm looking forward to this "Last Launch" for me, as it will be #20 that I've been on, but in another way, I'm not looking forward to going. The company has crippled our Internet availability, with all sites that are "Online Communities", "Auction Sites", "Photo Sharing Services", and dozens of more categories , being completely blocked to us.

This means 99% of the Ham Radio and Automotive sites I enjoy after hours are blocked, along with eBay, and ALL blogging sites.

I could easily say "I'm not going", and (allegedly) there would be no repercussions, but in a strange way I feel some sort of obligation to go, do the job properly, see another satellite soar into space, and then come home and hang up my toolbelt, Spectrum Analyzer, Signal Generator, and DMM.

I'll just have to see how the test goes today, and what the Doctor says......


Well, the test went fine, although it took much longer than I thought it would.

I was wired up with a 10-lead EKG setup, a blood pressure, pulse, and Oxygen uptake monitor, and an IV in my left hand.

The IV was one of those "Just In Case" things, and was also used to push some special contrast enhancer into my bloodstream so the ultrasound measurements would be easier to read.

The test went fine, and the Cardiologist said I'm in good condition, and encouraged me to keep at the weight loss program, and to continue with various types of aerobic exercise.

I'll have my regular quarterly check-up with my normal Doctor in early March, and that's when he'll sign off my medical certificate.


  1. Good luck with your test, DrJim. I understand the sense of duty, but in view of all the internet restrictions (unnecessary, at that) by the employer, I might just rest on my laurels and be sure, given the logistics for an emergency. It's a complicated decision, but I'm sure you will make the right one.

    1. Yeah, I'm still not sure what I'm going to do. The only thing that bothers me is pre-departure testing at Home Port, and post-launch tear-down at the Equator. In both cases, I have to walk from the main deck to the top of the Launch Platform, about 198 steps, usually carrying about 20 lbs of gear and tools.

      If I take my time it's no problem, and is more of a strain on my hips and knees than anything else.

      *IF* I have to go back and forth between where our gear is located, at the top, and one of the other rooms on the main deck, it gets to be a real PITA, real fast!

  2. Good luck, Bubba. My section of the bathroom is filled with many of the same scripts. Guess we're just a couple of pill poppers.

    1. I'd rather not have to take all these meds, but gotta do what the Doctor says!

  3. Good deal! That list is mighty familiar! And I'm sure you know it, but just in case - Plavix's patent expired a while back and there is a generic available for a lot less - Clopidogrel.

    1. Right you are, Jeff, and that's actually what I take.

      All the Doctors and nurses still refer to it as "Plavix", so that's what I call it, too.

  4. Glad you 'survived' the stress test. Now it's time to make your decision(s)...

    1. I can put the company on hold until March when I have my next Doctor's appointment, and at that point I might just flip a coin!

  5. Good luck. I know you love the gig. There are other things even more important. Take care and whatever decision you make I support.

  6. Glad to hear it all went good. Keep up the weight lose. It ain't easy but in the long run it will
    definitely be worth it :)

    1. Yeah, I'm sure hoping it takes some of the load doff my hip joints.

      I can give you an accurate weather forecast for the next 5 days by walking about 1000'!

  7. That's a wonderful report; I'm happy for you! And I know you're feeling better.

    This is a GOOD thing.


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