Saturday, January 13, 2007

In the beginning . . . the doctors really pissed me off!

The clock began ticking for me one day when I was 14 years old. My grandfather took me to the beach and bought me TWO ice creams. That night he died of a heart attack at age 65. Twelve years later his son (my uncle), a strapping fireman, had dinner, laid down on the couch, and died of a heart attack. The ticking became louder. Two decades later my mother was at a party in Memphis. That night, in a hotel room with her friends, she said "I feel dizzy." Those were the last words she spoke. That night the ticking became unbearable.

These people were all healthy, vibrant, and symptom free one moment and dead the next. But, heck I was even healthier, exercised vigorously 3-5 times per week (I'm a basketball junky), and ate pretty well. I had just come from the doctor who checked my cholesterol. He told me, "I have seen 50 people today and your cholesterol is lower than ALL of them. You don't need any more tests. Go home and relax." But, just to be safe, I had a heart scan anyway and there it was - heart disease.

That first week was hell. I was afraid to do anything and could not find anyone to explain what the heart scan meant. My doctor told me not to worry, that anything there had been there for a while. I searched for the top cardiologist in the area and prevailed upon him to do a "nuclear stress test" (needles, radioactivity, and lot's of expensive machines). The results were negative but I pressed the cardiologist for more. He finally gave me a prescription for Lipitor.

That's when I got mad. I thought, "these guys are quacks!" The heart scan says I have heart disease but the best docs and technology say I have no problem. To top it off, they hand me a prescription to lower my cholesterol. What the hell!? My cholesterol is already really low. How can that be the source of my problem?

That was six years ago. The real problem, then and now, is that there is cutting edge technology to ferret out hidden heart disease and treatments to halt and even reverse it. But, much of the medical community is either too apathetic or too invested in fixing clogged arteries or selling one-size-fits-all prescriptions to get you the information you need.

Well this blog aims to change that. Get set for reviews, research, rants, and anything and everything that is at the cutting edge of curing heart disease. So sit back while I grind my axe and cut through the crap. After all, if you have heart disease, this IS a life or death situation!

Looking out for your heart health,


HeartHawk

2 comments:

Michael said...

Unlike you, I have no heart disease in my family. However, like you, I have worked out regularly, heart healthy diet, etc.etc. What a surprise when I got the results of a heart scan I had, just for the heck of it, over four years ago. 1,400! Rather than recount my history since then, I have posted it into this site's Forum.

I look forward to hearing what you are doing about your crusty pipes!

HeartHawk said...

Michael:

Yeah, it was a real kick in the ass when I got the news and it worried me sick for a long time. Fortunately there are plenty of ways to fight back (God knows I've tried a lot of them) with some success and some failure. The beauty is my yearly heart scan tells me if I an winning or losing the battle so I can make corrections. 90% of the docs out there have no clue about heart scans or simple "cures" (for some) like taking niacin (although you have to take a boatload - up to 3 grams a day). Even better are the new drugs in the pipeline although the one I was counting on, torcetrapib, was pulled from testing because it was killing people ($30 billion down the drain for Pfizer). Stay in touch and keep up the fight!

HeartHawk

 
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