I’m starting up a new topic here on my blog as it seems I cannot ride for a while.
My family history with heart disease is significant. My maternal grand father died from cardiac issues aged 49.
My father had a five way bypass aged 51, my mother a three way bypass aged about 53.
I turned 60 a few weeks ago.
About 15 years ago calcifications were noted on my left coronary artery. An incidental finding from a lung imaging test. I saw an interventional cardiologist who said ‘you look too healthy, keep cholesterol low and goodbye”.
For 14 years I had tests every two years with a Launceston cardiologist. The stress test I treated as a personal challenge. I would ask what I scored last time, ensure I went further, and would be told that I was the fittest patient he’d had in six months.
I decided to change cardiologists. Good move.
After pushing to have a cardiac angiogram, where they use a contrasting dye, I have received news that has shocked me.
I have advanced cardiac artery disease. They are in bad shape.
The radiologist was a gem. He rang me tonight and talked to me for over 30 minutes. He told me he knew me. He is a zwifter and rode in an event I was leading last week.
He has met with my cardiologist and they reviewed my results together this afternoon . There is a plan it seems.
Before I got this news, I hopped onto my bike and started peddling. The cardiologists rooms rang and told me to get off the bike. I cannot raise my heart rate.
This news stresses my heart. Exercise is my self treatment for anxiety.
My estranged sister writing weekly to hassle me about family history books she intimates I stole and had for over 30 years stresses me. Being called up for jury duty stresses me. My darling dog bilateral hip dysplasia stresses me.
Right now my health is number one. I need to nail this!!
I intend to diarise my journey. Not for sympathy but to encourage others to get this test, and to watch my rehab as encouragement.
Tony and I purchased our grave plot only two months ago. I do not intend to use it yet, and hope that the planned treatment is swift and successful.
The crazy part about this test is that there is no Medicare rebate unless you have chest pain. I have had no chest pain. I have no shortness of breathe. Yet the test has shown results that left untreated will kill me before I am ready to check out.
My motivation for this test was another zwifter, Andrew S. A fit and healthy guy who was heading to Scandinavia to ride, but collapsed whilst talking to his wife in the kitchen. She saved him with cpr and a few days later he had open heart surgery. Two months later he is back zwifting, and I note today rode 50 km.
He told me after his cardiac arrest, get this test given my family history.
I did and now I face major treatment fairly shortly that will hopefully save me before I have a significant cardiac event.
I am scared. I am motivated too as I have a long bucket list.
Get you heart checked out!
Love and hugs