Treadmill Stress Test

I Fought The Treadmill

by Alli

I had to postpone my yearly treadmill stress test. Then, my doctor’s office had to postpone the next one.

And then, realizing that I had a hair appointment on the exact same day as the rescheduled appointment, I breathed a big sigh of relief when I realized I could make the hair appointment and the doctor’s visit.

If one of those appointments would have had to be rescheduled, it would have been a no-brainer! The treadmill would have been postponed in a New York minute! Nothing comes between this girl and her hair appointment!

Do you know how hard it is to get back into the rotation if I ever had to (God forbid) cancel my appointment with my hair stylist? I shudder to even think about it.

It’s one of the top 100 salons in the country according to Allure magazine. Just ask daughter #1 how hard she had to fight to get back in after she had to cancel.  No, thanks!

Back to I My Treadmill Stress Test

This was not my first rodeo! And I knew I couldn’t eat anything for 4 hours before the test.

(Big question: Why do they always schedule it in the afternoon?) It makes more sense to me to schedule it first thing in the morning so that I don’t have to starve all day long! But, then again, I’m no expert . . .

There’s also that little business of no caffeine the day before. I’m boring and only drink decaf. Oh, wait! I can’t have decaf either! Dang!

And I know to wear comfortable, loose clothing and comfortable shoes.

I remember my first treadmill test as if it were yesterday. I bought the cutest outfit (yes, a treadmill stress test calls for a new outfit) to go with my running shoes and I was all set.

Until the treadmill girl (that’s what I call the person running the treadmill test. I call the ultrasound girl – I’m not really up on titles) informed me to go into the ensuite bathroom (lol) and take off my top and my bra!

Excuse me! Do you expect me to “almost run” on a treadmill without my sports bra? Hello!  

But like a sheep being led to the slaughter, I complied.

I’m Now Ready For The Treadmill Stress Test

This time I was ready! I left the sports bra at home and wore a regular one because I knew it was coming off. And,  that too big and too ugly hospital gown was going to cover up my cute jogging shorts.

At least you could see my shoes! And, may I add, that the treadmill girl and the ultrasound girl loved my shoes and wanted to know where I got them, etc.  Yes, I’ll show them to you!  

They are light as a feather and my all-time favorite running shoes – GoRun Skechers! Don’t tell anyone, but I don’t run.  I walk.  

So I guess that would make them my all-time favorite walking shoes that are actually made for running.


This Is How My Treadmill Stress Test Went Down!

First of all, the treadmill girl attaches all the leads to my torso, etc.  

Then the ultrasound girl comes in, has me lay on my side on the table that’s conveniently parked next to the treadmill and she takes a zillion pictures of my heart leaving trails of that gloopy gloop stuff all over. Yuck!

I have to breathe in and hold, breathe out and hold, stop talking (yes, she had to chastise me and tell me to stop talking), and stop fidgeting.

Throughout the test, I was wondering if she was still in high school and maybe working part-time because she looked far too young to be running things.  

Back to fidgeting: I didn’t realize my right hand was fidgeting with the side hemline of my shorts. Undoubtedly it makes a difference on the ultrasound! Who knew?

The Treadmill

After the first ultrasound, treadmill girl has me start the warm-up on the treadmill. The incline is already really high, in my never-asked opinion, and I have to hold to the sidebars for dear life.

I’m being a tad dramatic because they actually make you hold on to the sidebars and every 3 minutes the treadmill incline gets steeper and goes faster.

Every time it speeds up I have to look at a chart on the wall in front of me and let them know how hard I’m working. It was never really too hard, but I had to get my heartbeat up from 73 to 166.  

It takes a while and every 3 minutes the incline increases, as does the speed. At one point I thought I was on the stairway to heaven!

Here’s where the fight with the treadmill comes in!

When I reached my target heart rate (yes, I was watching the monitors, too, pretending like I knew what was going down) the treadmill girl counts down from 10-1.  

When she gets to 1, I have to turn toward her (my left) with my back against the table, jump off the treadmill onto the table, turn over on my right side and face ultrasound girl so that she can get the ultrasound of how stress affects my heart – and all in 30 seconds!  

Piece of cake.  Remember, it’s not my first rodeo!


Somehow treadmill girl (yes, I’m blaming the entire debacle on her because she’s not here to defend herself or dispute my side of the story) got to 1 on her countdown but she didn’t stop the treadmill. Were my cute shoes blinding her?

Because the treadmill was still going pretty fast and the incline was straight up, when I turned to jump up on the table, Mr. Gravity decided to inform me that what goes up must come down.  

I don’t know if I tripped or what, but I fell onto the treadmill (why didn’t treadmill girl turn it off???) and it threw me onto the floor!

I tried to jump up really fast and pretend it didn’t happen. I jumped back onto the table, spun around, laid down on my left side and ultrasound girl did her thing and when she was done, 2 nurses and a doctor had been summoned to check me out!

I kept trying to play off the treadmill burn on my right knee that may or may not need plastic surgery (maybe I’m a little dramatic here) and the treadmill skid marks going all the way down the right side of my leg.  

I didn’t even mention the pain radiating from my right arm all the way down the entire right side of my body.  I just kept saying, “I’m OK, really, it’s not a big deal.”  My ego was much more bruised than my body!

I’m not usually a klutz! I took dance lessons when I was a little girl. I was a cheerleader from the first grade all the way through high school. I played basketball in middle and high school. I tell you, I am not a klutz!

And Then What Happened

Forget what I said about my ego being much more bruised!  The day after my treadmill stress test,  I couldn’t lift my right arm above my head!  

My entire right side felt like someone had used me as a punching bag! The next day was pretty rough, too!

I’m almost back to normal, whatever that is. But,  I fought the treadmill and the treadmill won!

And next year I’ll be ready . . . with an even cuter outfit and shoes! 🙂

Do you have an embarrassing or funny doctor’s visit story?  Do tell me and make me feel a little bit better!

I Fought The Treadmill