The Tilt Test Has Been Scheduled

English: Kirnu, a steel roller coaster in Linn...


I’m not ashamed, ever, to say how I feel. Obviously you all know that by now. I’m honest, sometimes too honest but writing gets my feelings out, the good, the bad and the ugly. The anxiety, the fear, the fibromyalgia symptoms and most lovingly, the food.


Because I had another collapse/fainting/black out episode/severely bruised my leg and had a huge bump on my head… I now have to have a series of tests. I keep telling all these stupid doctors that I am sure it is due to my low blood pressure. 85/60 wouldn’t you consider that as a cause?

I have salted my food, adding pretzels and potato chips and nothing seems to help. Doctors bug everyone about high blood pressure but as my internist always said, “Yeah, I have low blood pressure too, just sit up slowly and salt your food.” After twelve years do you think that’s been working? Apparently not. You were only interested in this now because I told you my rheumatologist had suggested an idea and would run it by my nephrologist. All of a sudden you wanted to get involved? Like you forgot I asked about this for the last twelve years??!!

Nothing like a little medical competition.

But still, they have to rule out everything else first. Gotta love the medical industry, schedule those tests, pay the bills, I’ll see you for seven minutes, kick you out at eight. Insurance number? Same address? Medications? The same, doesn’t matter, fill it out again, we know you were here yesterday. Rules are rules.

English: Blood pressure measurement.

As one of my favorite doctors, my nephrologist, put it you must have: “The Vomit Test.” Thanks Doc, not the right time to be friendly and casual even though I’m sure your intentions were honorable. I can’t even say the name of the test without feeling like I am going to throw-up. I am dreading this, although I admit, the nurse who is monitoring the test has probably seen it all. Actually, not really, I am dreading it more than anyone or anything.

I HATE the feeling of being nauseous, dizzy, off-balance, I have always called this test “The Dreaded Tilt Test” and so here we are. My cardiologist talked me into it and since his father (coincidentally) was my pediatrician growing up and because I like this dude I said I would do it. But NOT HAPPILY. (I can still cancel and I am considering this.)

I’m the nerd who has to take Dramamine for a long car ride or any ride in a boat. Those big cruise ship lines where they say you don’t feel a thing? Been there, done that and definitely needed a drug for anti-nausea. I HATE ROLLER COASTERS. Went on a baby roller coaster once and screamed my head off, never to be seen on a roller coaster again.

If I’m feeling nauseous just thinking about the test I can only imagine what the test itself is like when they swing me around from start to finish, in rapid movements, in different positions. They said it only lasts about thirty minutes. For me, this is thirty minutes in absolute hell. If I see this contraption and it is anything like the Disney tilt chairs or like a small roller coaster, I am out of there. Cancelling has never looked better. Help!

“The vomit test?” Really?


7 thoughts on “The Tilt Test Has Been Scheduled

  1. I’m not sure why your doctor would call it “The Vomit Test.” It is more like the fainting test…but it will be the safest, most secure faint you will ever have. You lie on a table for 5 to 10 minutes. During that time, they gave me some breathing tests — all part of the experiment. Once that is over, they raise you from lying to standing. You are securely strapped to the table, so if you do faint, you won’t go anywhere: you won’t fall, you won’t hit the floor, you won’t hurt yourself. And if you do faint, they put you back into the horizontal position IMMEDIATELY and the test is OVER. I was told that I could tell the technician AT ANY TIME if I wanted to stop. But I stuck it out for the 10 minutes required. During the test, they take your blood pressure, heart rate and have you attached to an EKG machine. I didn’t faint, but since I was off my beta-blocker, my heart rate and blood pressure where bouncing all over the place — up, down and sideways. I have had this test twice and really, it wasn’t so bad. But I also had neurologists doing the test, so the protocol might be different since you are seeing a cardiologist. I have heard that sometimes they insert an IV and administer a medication to challenge your blood pressure. But I suspect since you have fainted and they are trying to figure out why, they won’t do that to you. But you know what? Ask them what they are going to do before you get started and if you don’t want that part of the test, tell them NO. I think they’ll get enough data in the first 10 minutes of you being upright to figure out what the problem is.


  2. Is this the astronaut spinning chair test? I had that. It wasn’t as bad as you might think, really. At least not with the guy I had giving it. Press your head against the restraint, do not let it move around and it’s better. The moment I said, I feel like I’m going to throw up. they stopped. and didn’t start it back.

    If it’s the tilt table test, I didn’t think it was as bad as the spinning chair test. and I will only tell you why after the test. But I haven’t had that.

    And you would think the person with the extreme balance disorder would be the one to tell you if it was the test from hell….because I thought it would be. I threw up on every car trip I ever took as a kid. Can’t sit in the back seat still. You know how I am.

    But low blood pressure can be dangerous, I can’t believe they just scoffed it off. I have low blood pressure too. Not as low as yours now, it has been lower, to the point where they wouldn’t let me leave the hospital at one point. Found out my potassium levels were off.
    It’s just a little low now. And that’s OK, but too low, is not something to play with.

    Take care of you. What are they looking for with this test? My spinning chair test was part of my vestibular testing. To see if my ears could balance me. They may use the same chair for other tests…I’m not sure.

    good luck….keep us posted.


  3. Sorry to hear that you are scheduled for the upsidedownandaround test. I you decide to take it, I hope it’s as easy as possible.
    You’ve probably heard this advice over and over. I was tired of all the money I was paying for Dramamine, so I bought a set of those bands which use acupressure on a certain spot on your wrist and helps with the nausea. I’ve only had them a couple of days, but they have worked so far. Know you are supposed to get the upsidedownandaround test, but these might have. I think the name is something like Sea Bands?


    • I would love to use anything and thanks so much for understanding. but in the vomit test, you are allowed to wear absolutely NOTHING. believe me, i thought of sneaking in a dramamine but I suppose it defeats the purpose, Selena said she had the test and will talk me through it. Thank God for all of our friends!!!!


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