Sunday, February 15, 2015

What's Ipecac up to now?

I haven't posted anything regarding my health in a while.

A couple of weeks ago I had my first annual physical since our family doctor retired and we switched to a new practice. Everything looked fine, except for an anomalous reading in my ECG (the heart "ping" machine). So, my doctor referred me to a cardiologist.

Nine days ago, I went in for a stress test. I did pretty well on the test, getting my heart rate up to 170 bpm, and my ultrasound showed no problems other than a small heart murmur. But near the end of the stress test, one of the little lines on the ECG which was supposed to go up, was going down. This indicated that my heart wasn't recovering quickly enough when my heart was racing.

The doctor said it might be completely normal for me, but since I am diabetic, he wanted to run another, more comprehensive stress test, the nuclear stress test. So this Tuesday, I will have radioactive gunk injected into my bloodstream through an IV and then undergo another test. This will include a look at the blood flow into my stomach so I'll have to eat during the test at some point, and I'll be at the cardiologist for four to five hours. Oh joy.

(I should note that all of this preventive medicine is possible only because I have good health insurance. Having to pay full price for these procedures without health insurance would be financially devastating, and I make more than your average American. If I were to forego the tests because of cost, and eventually have a heart attack, the financial toll would be much higher for me, for my employer, and for the economy. That's why even poor people should get access to affordable healthcare. Even if you can't find it in your heart to help out the poor in America, it's cheaper for everyone if they have healthcare rather than go into the Emergency Room after a traumatic medical event. There are no losers when everyone in America has affordable healthcare.)

So, that's my update. I'll let you know how it goes.

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