Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Hospital Tests


Over the last six months or so I've been experiencing some minor health difficulties. It's coinciding with being about to turn 60 in a most dispiriting way. First I developed heel spurs and had to visit the podiatrist for a special insert for my shoes. After some months of wearing the insert, my heel spurs no longer bother me much, but I've developed tendonitis in my right knee. I've had to give up joining the walking club for their regular Thursday ten kilometre hike and driving myself any distance is agonising.

Pôle Santé Léonard de Vinci (hospital) nuclear medicine imaging section, Chambray lès Tours.
Pole Sante Leonard de Vinci (hospital), Chambray les Tours. Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

On top of all that I've been having episodes of breathlessness and a sensation like my heart is being squeezed. Off to the cardiologist for that one, since I'd had a couple of instances where I'd nearly passed out. The cardiologist did ultrasound and made me wear a Holter for 24 hours, but couldn't find anything. So she booked me in to the hospital pronto for the big scary scans in the machine like a tunnel that they slide you in and out of, plus a couple of other tests she couldn't do in the surgery.

The hospital with the imaging gear required is called Pôle Santé Léonard de Vinci and is at Chambray lès Tours. It takes us about an hour to get there. Luckily my appointment was for 9:50am, so not too early. I got very clear instructions about which entry and carpark to go to, and we got a space just outside the relevant entrance. I checked in with the reception, handing over my Carte Vitale (State health care card) and confirming my details. As instructed I had not taken any of my medication nor had a banana, coffee or chocolate for breakfast.

After a short wait I was called through and asked to strip off my upper body so they could apply electrodes (I assume that's what you call them). I was injected with something radioactive and given a stress test where I was asked to cycle at a set rhythm for quite some time. The doctor mumbled, so I had to ask him to repeat everything! A couple of times I thought he was saying I could stop now, when actually he was asking me to redouble my efforts.

Anyway, after that I got laid out on the big scanner bed, first with a camera angled over me for about 10 or 15 minutes, and then actually slid into the tube. Inside there is a ring with a green light that whirs around. That only went on for a few minutes, then I was free to get dressed and go off for lunch. The technician left all the electrode buttons on because I had to return a couple of hours later for a second round of the same tests, but without having to do the cycling beforehand.

On departing for lunch I was asked to pay about €80, by cheque or in cash, which was the doctor's fee. I was given the paperwork to claim some reimbursement from the State health insurance scheme, and I imagine I will get about half of it back. When I finally left after the second round of tests I was asked to pay another small amount (under €10), which was the top-up insurance equivalent for the hospital fee.

After all that, none of the tests have thrown up anything to worry about. My heart rate is within normal bounds (just), I have very little sclerotization of arteries, and no congenital heart defects that they could see. It was this last one that I was a bit concerned about, based on some family history, but it seems I needn't have worried. However, it still remains to be seen why I keep having these strange episodes. I'll be discussing it with my GP and the cardiologist to see what they reckon.


************************************************

For details of our private guided tours of chateaux, gardens, wineries, markets and more please visit the Loire Valley Time Travel website. We would be delighted to design a tour for you.

We are also on Instagram, so check us out to see a regularly updated selection of our very best photos. 

11 comments:

chm said...

Wish you well, Susan, and hope the specialists find out what is it that's bothering you and why. And cure you accordingly.

sillygirl said...

I'm having some strange things too that they can't put a diagnosis to - and I'm 76. Guess we enter that age zone ( anytime after 50 I would guess) where funny things can happen.

Susan said...

Thanks chm.

Susan said...

The differential medicine diagnostic process can be frustrating too -- if you are unlucky enough to have whatever the doctors consider to be last on the list of likely conditions.

Carolyn said...

Sorry to hear about this, Susan. I hope you and your medical advisors figure it out and find the solution, pronto.

Susan said...

Thanks Carolyn.

Ken Broadhurst said...

Bon courage, Susan.

Rhodesia said...

Hope they discover the problem. Good luck. Diane

Susan said...

Thanks Ken and Diane.

Aussie in France said...

Not much fun! You need the autistic doctor on Netflix (good doctor) who comes up with a brilliant diagnosis every time no one else knows what the patient has 😉. I hope you find out soon.

Susan said...

Yes. Television has a lot to answer for...

Post a comment