Monday, March 10, 2008

Heart Cath

Most routine health tests don't bother me. I have anxiety disorder and I'm prone to panic attacks but I can get through most things with a bit of sedation.

The thought of a heart cath sends chills of fear up my spine and I've had chest pains today because, I'm sure, of the thought of having this done.

The cardiologist today said my Thallium treadmill didn't look too bad but with the history of heart disease in my family, plus high cholesterol, high blood pressure (just diagnosed less than 30 days ago with this), diabetes, Mitral Valve Prolapse, overweight (not tons, but enough to make a difference), and my age (isn't "over 50" just grand?) he feels that a heart cath is in order.

My paternal grandfather dropped dead from his first heart attack when he was 56 or 57. My father had his first (of many) heart attacks at age 56. He'd had a quadruple bypass the month before or his first would also have been his last. He passed away three years ago at the age of 74 and had suffered for years with various heart ailments. My maternal grandmother and my dad's only sibling both died when they were 65 of congestive heart disease.

Several of my siblings also have risk factors for heart disease; three of us are on blood pressure medication, three of us are diabetic, three of us are overweight, four or five of us have high lipids, etc. And, not the same "three of us" necessarily have all the same risk factors.

I don't relish the thought of having this procedure but I also don't relish having my life cut short by something that has been a predominant cause of death in my family. I'm willing to go through with the procedure to make sure I can get a clean bill of health afterwards.

I'm putting everything in God's hands. Since Ron can't drive, and I don't want him to have to sit so long in his scooter, he'll stay home. Keith will take me to the hospital and Amy will pick me up when they say I can go home. The chicken part of me wishes someone could stay with me but if I can read a magazine while I'm waiting I'll be fine. I did talk the doctor into giving me a strong sedative to counter the anxiety attacks. He said to just remind him.

Trust me, I won't forget to do so.

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