Yesterday I was experiencing chest pains that were bad enough to prompt me to call the doctor. I said the magic phrase 'Family History' and they decided to bump a few appointments to clear a spot for me that day, as opposed to scheduling for today. I gotta be more careful how I use that phrase.
While my doctor is good, I get the impression that she specializes in delivering babies and helping women through pregnancy. So I wasn't surprised that after taking my blood pressure and listening to my heart, she referred me to a cardiologist. Along with that, she arranged for me to have some blood work done, as well as an Electrocardiogram, or an ECG for short. It's the test that reports back the electrical activity going on in your heart, with output like what is pictured here. (No, that is not my test result. I shamelessly stole this one from the internet.)
In order to collect the test data, I needed to strip down to the waist, and also make sure my ankles were exposed. From there, leads were applied to each ankle, and to about 8 different places across my chest. It's not painful until the doctor starts removing the sticky tabs from your chest, and only then if you happen to lose a few hairs. The doctor's cold hands were a greater concern.
The other part of why I was at the medical clinic today was to collect blood. That meant I had to fast for at least 10 hours prior to arrival. I'm guessing that most people do like I did and show up first thing in the morning, since fasting through the day would really suck. I normally hate getting needles stuck in me, but this was okay. Better than my average trip to the dentist, at least. At least now they will have an idea of just how bad my cholesterol is.
Hopefully all of this will help the doctor determine what caused my discomfort yesterday, and ideally, what I can do to prevent it from happening again.