Cardiopulmonary exercise test Part 2

Cardiopulmonary exercise test  Part 2

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. :)


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45 Replies

  • It sounds terrifying!

    Well done you for holding with it!

    Me? I'd have spilled the beans just at the sight of the bike! ;-)

  • I've seen you at the top of the Malverns so I know you wouldn't talk that easy. Its not easy to get up there even for fit and healthy people.

    Tony x

  • Omg Tony you did well in my book 7mins sounds fantastic to me.Does sound torturous though bit of R&R tonight for you well done you :) Janexx

  • Hi Jane, Sharon is torturing me now by making me watch Emmerdale and Corrie, bring me back the bike please!!! it was so much easier. :) xxx

  • Well done Superman. Very impressed with your willpower. I continue to be your tailend Dozy. Xx

  • I felt my winglady was watching over me so with nothing to fear those pedals just flew round.

    Thanks DD

    Tony xxx

  • You were absolutely brilliant...clapping my hands. Well done Tony xx

  • Thanks Jolyn got to do your best when the healthunlockeders are watching. xx

  • I'm with frose Tony!

    Have you got your breath back yet??

    Just goes to show how you much can manage on one good bit of lung that enables the not-so good remainder to function somewhat.

    No doubt you'll soon be running around the countryside, if you're not already and snapping with your camera as well.

    Anyway glad that's over for you.

    Sara xx

  • Yes Sara my breath has returned and has improved a little too. I find that after breathing tests my breathing improves but when I ask if I can have a machine at home they always turn me down. :)

    It seems all that stretching of the lungs clears them out so maybe a seven minute workout to the max is whats needed everyday or the transplant team to ring.

    As for running around the countryside with my camera the dam weather is proving to be a problem, the river walk is still underwater and my lungs are complaining at anything below 10 degrees so the exercise bike is coming back indoors from the garage for now and I'll hope for an early spring.

    Tony xx

  • Well done u. I'm off to the QE hospital for the day for breathing tests on the 14th jan ...... OooOhhhh hope no bikes involved lol Xx Sonia xx enjoy the rest now xx

  • I go to the QE for my 3 monthly transplant check ups and I've never seen any bikes there so you might be lucky. I could phone the transplant team if you like to see if they can find one for you. :)

    Good luck on the 14th Sonia, who knows if they call me I might be there to and remember if you have a blue badge its still free parking there unlike many other hospitals

    Tony xx

  • Good job it's free tony when ur there for hours, and would be great to bump into u, u never know, did u watch food unwrapped a fit girl only managed 10 mins at 80 rpm so u did fantastic u should be well chuffed. Take care x Sonia x

  • I had to pay £4.50 for 3 hours today but that's Worcester, the blue badge helps you get nearer the door but they still charge full wack.

    4 years ago before there was any sign of my lungs giving out I could never have imagined things could change so much. Still the way I see it is it could be so much worse and at one time it certainly was.

    Thanks again Sonia and remember don't let them technicians break you especially when they walk you down that very very long corridor for your 6 minute walk. My last walk I only managed 420 meters but I have got close to 500 on my best.

    You now have a target to beat. :) xx

  • Seven minutes was a long time to keep going Tony, so very well done. That mask looks stifling and I can't imagine it's purpose other then making it impossible for you to breathe. 70 doesn't sound too bad a desat, considering the extent of the exercise and without 02. Did your heart rate remain low and if so did they give you an explanation ? I think it's amazing that you could pedal at that speed for seven minutes. Next year, Tour de France :)

  • Nothing on this test showed a reason for the low heart rate noticed by myself and my fit to breath physio while exercising hard.

    I guess this is good news if and when I'm on the transplant operating table, my heart will need to be on top form that day.

    My ICU experience helped me with the mask as I have spent some time in a C-PAP mask which is quite a challenge when the pressure is turned up high.

    The anesthetist told me the lowest de-sat he had seen was 70 on the bike so I matched his record but It felt lower to me as I've recorded 67 on a 6 minute walk test and I didn't feel quite so bad.

    This was by far the hardest I've pushed myself and if they get that bike out again i'll be running in the opposite direction with my oxygen turned up high. :)

    This year I'm determined to go for a slow cycle ride to Upton Upon Severn now that the Abscess has cleared and I can finally sit on the saddle again. It should be a lot easier without the face mask and with my oxygen on so roll on the better weather.

    Tony x

  • No one expects the Spanish Inquisition - well done lad :)

  • Ha Ha, those respiratory technicians are very good at making you talk it seems but I made them wait as long as possible for it.

    Thanks eye's and great pic once again of the bald eagle.

    Tony x

  • It all seemed so easy at first flibberti but once I had desaturated it was pretty hard going to say the least. Those last few minutes seemed like hours, its times like this you have to draw on your experiences and try and think to yourself its only out of breath and nothing to serious. :)

    The anesthetist and technicians liked what they saw so I've got to be happy, it seems my heart is in good shape and ready for the Transplant so now would be a good time for the phone to ring eh'.

    Tony xxx

  • Well done Tony you are a brave little soldier and you deserve a medal for that. It does sound like torture! Did you tell they everything they wanted to know? :) x

  • It seems my heart is in good shape which was the main concern. My heart rate behaved and did what it should under load so worries are over for now and I can concentrate on staying fit ready for transplant.

    Thanks coughalot

    Tony xx still marching on :)

  • The boy done good !!! but then I knew you would

    You are my HERO....and I think all of your friends here on HU have you as their hero too

  • It was pretty hard going but I got the results I wanted. The Ticker is in good shape and ready for the transplant team to make the call.

    Bring it on, I'm ready and after seeing the ct scan of the mess my lungs are in probably the sooner the better.

    Thanks sohara, xx

  • Oh Tony! Its supposed to be serious but you did get me laughing. it sounds like you did very well. I don't think I could do 7 minutes cycling.

    Take care. Mavis. X

  • A sense of humor comes in handy when your ill don't it. I'm glad I put a smile on your face Mavis and I got some good results from the test so all's good eh'.

    I'm determined to get my bike out of the garage this year and have a slow cycle ride to Upton Upon Severn for a pint at a river side pub.

    Tony x

  • That sounds wonderful Tony. Im not good on a bike. I got rid of mine eight years ago. I wasn't using it so when we moved into an apartment I got rid of it. I do walk occasionally but otherwise I'm lazy and use the car. It used to be good on a bike when there wasn't much traffic but it can be manic now. X

  • I used to cycle with the family at the Forest of Dean, there were old disused railway lines converted for cyclists and walkers, not a car in sight. It was safe and fun but I know what you mean about the dangers of riding on the roads so I used to try and stick to country lanes of which there are plenty nearby.

    I'm going to give it a try this year if I can remain well so roll on spring and summer.

    Tony X

  • I only managed 2 minutes on the dreaded treadmill so that's amazing

  • It felt easy for a while but then once your body is burning more oxygen than your lungs can supply its only a matter of time before it all goes pair shaped.

    For a while I honestly thought I was going to cruise through the test but I was very very wrong. :)

    Getting out of breath ain't a lot of fun but we learn to live with it don't we, I have a treadmill and bike at home but due to some home improvements there stuck in the garage and I'm unable to get to them. Anyway the temperature is a little warmer today so I'll venture out for a walk soon.

    I bet your 2 minutes on the dreadmill felt like 20 minutes, time fly's don't it when your having fun.


  • Not had one of them, but well done for pushing it to your limits. I have done many a walk test on the treadmill for my heart. I had one were they wanted to see what they would see if I got to 150 bpm. They wired me up in the same way, glass paper and all and removed the few hairs I have on my chest. Told me to rest on a chair. Once they were ready and happy said OK get on the treadmill 2 steps and I was beating at 159 bpm. They stopped the test and I had not even got on the treadmill :(

    Be Well

  • That glass paper isn't much fun is it but it sort of prepares you for what lies ahead. 159 bpm is very high, I remember watching my heart rate in ICU pounding away ay 120 bpm every day for months whilst lay in the bed. Its now in the 60s when I'm lying quietly so I'm pretty normal when not on the move.

    Its a good thing you didn't get on that treadmill or your heart beat may have broken the machine. :)


  • The night I had my heart attack I went to 216 and the machine went a bit noisy in the EMU ward.

    The problem now is I have PH which at times needs a faster rate to get the O2 to my lungs

  • You are a legend Tony, good luck mate

  • Thanks Tony, hope its not to hot for you out there at the moment and the air con is working, its been pretty cold here but were up to around 10 degrees today so I'm gonna venture out for a steady walk. :)

  • Extremely well done Tony- all set for the op now? Love Margaret x

  • The heart is good, the abscess has cleared so I'm all ready for the phone to ring, until then I'll keep as fit as possible and be patient.

    Thanks Margaret xx

  • Awesome Tony, gold stars for you :) :) Delightful and informative account of the bike of torture. Keep on and stay strong, you're a legend to us here xx

  • Hi 02, that bike was pure hell at the time but strangely enough my breathing is very good today so maybe a little torture each day can be good for us.

    Were all legends here on healthunlocked 02, you've done some pretty amazing things yourself.

    It seems we all inspire each other to improve ourselves to get out and do things that we once thought was impossible. :)

    Tony x

  • Yikes! Just yikes! x

  • Ha Ha, scary pic eh' but just be thankful I didn't ask them to do a video. It seems I have some work to do in shedding some of those Christmas puddings and chocolates I've piled on and a little fake tan might help to. :)

    I got the results I was hoping for so riding the bike of torture was worth it in the end and maybe just maybe I've started a new fashion trend for cyclists.

    Sorry I scared you Lesley.

    Tony xxx

  • You are, of course, most forgived Tony xx

    Digging my treadmill out from the myriad of boxes surrounding it and put those very unused muscles to use. I reckon 15 seconds is my first goal ;)

  • Be careful now, it pays to take it steady to start with :) maybe just moving the boxes will do for a warm up eh' . My dreadmill is buried in the garage as we've been having work done on the house but I'm gonna dig out the exercise bike, There will be no more 7 minute sprint sessions for me and full oxygen too, ah such luxury. :)

  • Well done Tony by the way I like the mask I'm not saying its an improvement lol

  • I thought that the face and the body would be too irresistible for everyone so I did the decent thing. :)

    Thanks onamission.

  • I love the country lanes. We have a couple where I live that I used to take my Grandchildren but I never seem to get time now. Maybe in the Spring when the weather is better. I took a photo of one place I went and painted a picture from it. I will try to put it on here. X

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