Yesterday I attended my local hospital for a further test investigating my fainting episodes. I am due to see the cardiologist again on the 17th September to follow up on all the other tests and to see how I’m getting on with the new medication. 
An exercise tolerance test involves a complex investigation of the heart and looks at how your body tolerates exercise. The test starts by walking slowly on a treadmill. Gradually the gradient and speed increases until you are running at a 45 degree angle. All of this is carried out while you are connected to an ecg and blood pressure machine. Unfortunately, I only lasted around 12 minutes instead of the 20 minutes planned. 

During the test I felt quite dizzy from the start. Once I was running at the full pace I began to feel tight chest pain and faint. Unfortunately, I ended up fainting and having a violent non epileptic seizure. I was put into recovery position and given oxygen. Then I was sent to the A&E department for 15 minute observations. Finally, after 3 hours they agreed that I was stable enough to be discharged (Thank goodness!).

Although the ordeal yesterday was very unpleasant it is in fact a good thing that the doctor and the physiologist had a chance to record all the information during my faint and seizure. The more information they can gather the better! 

It has been a very successful but exhausting first week at school. I think the fact that I was feeling so fatigued and then I had to run probably resulted in the seizure that followed the faint. So far I have managed my new teaching responsibilities without any problems. Fingers crossed with the ‘rest’ (working from home, planning and marking) days I should manage to make it through the next 6 weeks.

One thing that I noted yesterday was the impact my seizures have on a person when they see them for the first time. The physiologist who was carrying out the test said that it was quite a horrible thing to experience. This made me think about my children. It must be horrible for them to see their mum in such a state. They are so strong and so brave. Despite everything that is thrown at them they continue to show such great resilience. Proud is an understatement! 

I will try to update every few days but for now I’m looking forward to a lovely,  restful weekend! 

Thanks for taking the time to read my story. 

Charlotte xxx

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