Just a quick check-in to summarize my latest (and final!) cardiologist visit a few weeks ago. You may recall that in a fit of being uber-thorough, my cardiologist suggested that I do an echo-stress test. Did the test uncover an underlying reason for my weak arm, and the bike incident?
The test itself was not nearly as difficult as I had anticipated: just 10 minutes of walking on a treadmill. Psssh, not really much “stress” for anyone who is at least one step above a couch-potato. Near the end, the technician asked if I wanted to quit, and I said “hell, no! Let’s kick this thing up one more notch!” (I had a secret agenda: StarMan had taken the same test a week earlier, and I was determined to out-do his time on the machine!) When I stepped off the machine, I felt slightly dizzy, but most noticeable was the weakness in my right arm. I was convinced that this weakness was going to show itself in the test results, and then we’d get to the bottom of this problem.
When I met with the doctor later that week, he looked over my test results in a weirdly admirable manner — his face had the same look that an artist might have looking at a masterpiece painting. The good doc informed me that I have an extraordinarily healthy heart and vascular system, paused to marvel at my low blood pressure, and inquired about my life style that would lead to such an admirably healthy specimen of a heart. We decided my vegetarian diet must be performing magic, because I’m definitely not exercising as much as I should! I asked if a vein in my arm might be partially blocked and responsible for the problems there, and he shook his head “no” in the most confident manner. His advice? That I should mention my arm problem again to my neurologist, because as far as he was concerned, the weakness/pain was unrelated to any cardiovascular problem. He informed me that he didn’t expect to ever have to see me again, and bid me adieu!
In summary: the strange chest pains, the arm weakness and pain are definitely not heart-related. That’s something to hang on to, I guess. Nest step? A follow-up appointment with my neuro, because this arm thing just isn’t resolving on its own. I don’t get the really intense pains anymore (I haven’t experienced those in at least 2 months now), but my arm gets notably weak every time that I exercise. The mystery continues…