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I recently had to repeat the 6-minute walk test for insurance purposes as well as take a first time exercise stress ECHO for cardiac work-up. Lots of Lammies have shared experiences and frustrations about these tests in the past. Since I can not attend the Patient Benefit in LA, I wanted to share my experiences on 360.
If you have similar stories about frustrations with the 6-minute walk test, the exercise stress ECHO, or other tests and you can not attend the Patient Benefit then please share them here where clinicians can read them.
My Story: I recently had to re-test for the 6-minute walk test for insurance purposes. Fortunately I was able to have the test conducted in a cardiac rehabilitation center versus the narrow hallway of my doctors office. This was much more relaxing because I did not have to avoid bumping into patients or nurses while walking. However I was disappointed because the test did not capture my biggest personal challenge which is walking on an incline or up stairs. Walking on a flat surface for me is easy compared to walking up a flight of stairs. At the end of the re-test I did not show any significant change in my walk test score even though what I am able to do in my daily activities has changed significantly.
A few weeks later I went to my cardiology office for my first exercise stress ECHO. The nurses had to administer an IV drug used for ultrasound imaging called Definity in order to get a baseline ECHO before the stress test because my lungs were trapping too much air. After walking on the treadmill, the technician was not able capture images even while using Definity because my lungs had become more inflated from walking on the treadmill. It was really disappointing to go through the entire test experience and not have usable results.