Be Pro-Active About Your Health
Saturday, February 21, 2015
I currently take high blood pressure and thyroid medications. My doctors like to see me about every 6 months, just for a general check up along with prescription renewals. About 3 years ago, during one of these check ups, my dr and I had a conversation that went like this:
Him: Listening to my heart - You have a heart murmur.
Me: No I don't!
Him: Listening again -gives me "the look" - Yes, you do.
Me: I've NEVER, ever had a heart murmur!
Him: We'll keep tabs on it.
Six months later, I'm back in his office, and we have basically the same conversation, only this time, he wants me to consult with a cardiologist. I happen to know a good one through my ex, so I dutifully call, and make an appointment. I go, and have an EKG and an echocardiogram, and basically my heart is in good shape, except for one valve that has developed a calcium build up on it, not letting it close completely. The dr likened it to a "rusty screen door". I asked him what can be done, and he said, right now, we'll just monitor it and I'll see you in a year.
I've gone every year since, only this year, they wanted a more complete check up done, so I had echocardiograms done on my carotid arteries. They run up either side of your neck. My right side was good. My left side was not. I took a day off from work yesterday so that I could have a nuclear stress test, another echocardiogram of my heart, and a CAT scan done of my neck. I was at the dr's from 8:00 am until about 12:15 pm. I've already heard back from the dr's about the stress test. It was good, and the reporting dr said my echocardiogram looked good too. I have to wait for the results of the CAT scan.
I have a history of heart disease on both sides of my family, going back to my grandparents, so it really shouldn't surprise me, and yet, it does. Despite being overweight for most of my life, all of my numbers are good. My cholesterol is low, my triglycerides are low, my LDL and HDL are in range. But I have that family history.
So I'm sharing all of this with all of you, not to get sympathy, but to encourage everyone, especially those of you with family histories of heart disease, to be pro-active in your own health. Get an annual physical exam. If you're over the age of 55, start getting an echocardiogram. Keep eating healthy and exercising, but also see your doctor!
Keep A Kind Heart