Tilt Table Test

You may have seen last week on my social media stories (yes sometimes I remember to post on them!) that I was going in for a procedure that I hadn’t had before and was incredibly anxious about and that test was the Tilt Table Test. My rhuematologist requested it for me as I had been having some particularly bad dizzy spells which the GP decided it was pre-fainting. The B12 injections have helped somewhat but still not 100% better. I spent the hour before the test in full anxiety attack mode it really wasn’t fun.

The test itself is pretty simple really you lay on the bed and take off your top, a gown is worn as a coat and they attach stickers similar to an ECG on your chest. You have like a bracelet around your wrist and some weird little pulsating thing around your finger. You keep your shoes on too! They strap you gently on to the bed to keep you safe for the second part of the test. Your feet are against a plate sticking up from the bottom of the bed, this is so you have something to keep you upright when the table turns. They asked me if I have any signs before the dizziness occurs which for me is my body fizzes and everything goes black and heavy.

They manually took my my blood pressure which for me was high at 102. Next they turned off the main lights apparently to help prevent neurological stimulation; which if I am honest I think it is silly as my brain literally didn’t shut up plus the two nurses were whispering in the corner which I don’t know about you but that makes me zone in on something more than if they were just talking normally. I was to lay there for 15 minutes before the next stage.

The next stage of the tilt table test is they elevate the table bed thing to 60°. I was feeling pretty sick just laying on the table to be fair which didn’t make being elevated fun. It was a very steady move from horizontal to vertical and it felt incredibly weird. I straight away wanted to be sick, I felt heavy and just wanted to drop. So they kept me there to double check that my stats had changed and really only my heart rate increased but she did say usually I would have needed to be there for a bit longer for the blood to pool in my legs for it to show any real difference.

I knew I needed to have this test and I knew it probably wasn’t going to be pleasant but I didn’t last more than 20 minutes of a test that can last up to 1hr and 15 minutes! One of my good friends from school is a cardiology nurse herself and does these tests, she asked me if they may redo it but I guess that is down to my rhuematologist. At least I wouldn’t go through an anxiety attack like I had done.

Have you ever had this test done before? How was it for you?

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