Hi healthunlockeders I'm back having survived the 'Bike of Pure Torture'. Yes Rob was waiting for me and he was actually rubbing his hands and smiling so I smiled back and followed him through to the torture room. He sat me down by the Bike, his new toy and said its ok to keep my oxygen on for a little longer but then it would have to come off as the test was done without.
He then explained to me that an anesthetist would have to be present to monitor things while the test was being carried out and he would stop the test if he saw something he didn't like. Rob then started preparing me for the wiring up which started by him shaving off patches of hair and then literally rubbing down these areas with a kind of sand paper so a good connection was made by the sensors. This was pretty painful but you don't show them any weakness, well they are torturers arn't they and I was determined to not talk.
He then strapped a mask onto my face good and tight and then tested it for leaks so there was no cheating, then he sat me on the bike and adjusted everything to suit me.
He coupled up a finger oxymeter and another to my right ear, my sats were hovering around the 90 mark at this point.
The anesthetist said ok and we were off, well this bike was so easy to turn the pedals at the required pedal speed of 60 rpm I thought this can't be it but it was so I settled in for what to me was seemingly going to be an easy ride in the country.
They had told me beforehand that I was only to stop when I couldn't continue or when I was told to stop, a few minutes past and I'm still cruising along a nice country lane in my mind with the wind in my back, it was all to easy.
Then it started, I noticed a little breathlessness creeping in but not to drastic, the pedals were still easy to turn and I was finding it easy to keep them turning over at 60 RPM on the digital display in front of me.
Things then started to take a turn for the worst my breathing was getting faster and faster and that 60 RPM in front of me started to fall to 58 so I brought it back to 60 but by now I was really chuffing and thinking ok they'll tell me to stop soon but they didn't so I pushed on, I was gasping at full throttle now and feeling in a very very bad place but also I know that's what they wanted to get all their readings for a good diagnosis. The anesthetist was still happy so I pushed on until I could stand it no more when I shouted ok I'll talk.
The seat of the bike was lowered and I stood there leaning on the handlebars trying to get enough oxygen in to recover and slowly but surely I came back to normal.
I can honestly say that I took myself to a place I've not been to before and had pushed myself to the edge of passing out, my sats had dropped to 70 and the anesthetist said he was about to stop me when I shouted enough. I had only been riding the bike of torture for just over 7 minutes but it seemed so much longer.
The good news is my heart did everything it was supposed to and apart from my lungs the rest of me is in pretty good shape still. If it wasn't for my poor 30% gas transfer I would be as fit as a fiddle. .
The anesthetist showed me an image of my last CT scan and showed me the one bit of lung he would describe as normal, it was very small but luckily its enough to keep me going so I'm gonna look after that piece of lung as if my life depends on it. Oh dear it does, Dam it!!!
If ever your asked to do a cardiopulmonary exercise test don't be put off by this post because it really is only as bad as you make it.
It seems I am just plain stupid or a little bit crazy.
Oh yes I did get Rob to take a pic so I apologise for my topless pose now before you all report me.