Have you ever taken your car to the shop, only to have it fail to make the ominous noise it's been making all week? Your mechanic tells you there's nothing wrong, even though you've been listening to weird creaks and sputters. Your heart can act in the same unpredictable way. If you're worried about an irregular heartbeat, it may not show up as irregular on the day that you go to the doctor for an EKG. For that reason, there are several portable versions of the monitor, which can give doctors many hours' worth of information. A Holter monitor can be slipped into a pocket or worn around the neck or waist; it provides continual monitoring for 24 to 48 hours. If you're wearing an event monitor, sometimes called an ambulatory EKG, you control when it takes information. If you always get short of breath when you're trying to fall asleep, you could push a button when you start experiencing symptoms, and doctors will get a snapshot of how your heart is acting when you can't breathe.
The reasons for needing an EKG might be pretty scary, but hopefully these five cool things have shown you that the test and the things it reveals are extremely worthwhile.