I am honored to be featured in this week’s Spark Newsletter.
|Welcome, Fierce sisters! This week, in honor of American Heart Month, we’re sharing a special story from Forever Fierce Community member, Loretta Sayers.|
As we age, we’re told over and over again to “get your heart checked”. But what does that really mean?
Read on to learn about Loretta’s story and her journey to a healthy heart. And find more about Loretta at her website, Instagram, and Facebook.
| The cards were stacked against me…or so I thought.|
When I was 11 years old, my mother died of a heart attack. She was 48 at the time. By the time I was an adult, one of my main goals was to outlive my mother’s death age.
That was the easy part because I took my health seriously my entire life. I have never been one for eating junk food or fast food and exercise has always been a priority, although through fun rather than “work”.
But when my sister died of a heart attack this past July, I thought it was time to do more, to find out more, about my own heart health. This was partly prompted from getting an abdominal CT Scan after suffering from diverticulitis. That scan showed calcification build up on my abdominal aorta.
I found a cardiologist who was taking new patients and made an appointment as soon as possible. When I met with him and he listened to my family history as well as the results from my CT Scan, he recommended I get a complete picture of my heart health.
He said, “If you have calcium build up on your abdominal aorta the chances are pretty good you have calcium build up in your coronary arteries too.”
The first test he recommended was a cardiac CT Scan to determine coronary calcium. The test is not covered by most insurance and the cost was $150 but it is the best non-invasive way of discovering the presence of plaque in coronary arteries.
He also suggested a stress test, which was covered by my insurance.
I scheduled the calcium scoring test and was instructed to have no food or coffee on the morning of the test. It was a quick and completely painless, easy test and the results would be sent straight to my doctor.
After that test, I went back to my cardiologist for the stress test. I was ready with a loose-fitting top so I could be hooked up to an EKG and had tennis shoes on to walk on the treadmill.
The stress test was easy and every few minutes my blood pressure was taken during the test. Partway through the test, my doctor came in to give me the good news. My calcium score was ZERO! He had explained earlier that a score greater than zero meant I would most likely need to be on medication.
So even though I’ve had high cholesterol for years there would be no need for me to be on any medications to ward off heart disease. This was the best news I could have received.
I am glad I know that I am not only doing the right things for my health but more specifically my heart. These tests were easy and non-invasive and if you have any family history of heart disease I highly recommend finding out as much as you can about your heart health.
Thank you, Spark for featuring my heart story!
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