Thursday, November 5, 2009

A medical opinion

In the ambulance on the way to the hospital after my bike accident, the volunteer EMTs were having a challenge getting a proper ECG on me. They kept saying it was "backwards." When I got to the hospital, the hospital staff re-did it and said it was OK.

I was a bit surprised when I got a copy of the ER report that I needed to begin to haggle with the insurance folks that there were all sorts of non flattering comments regarding my ECG but the most troublesome was the summary of "ABNORMAL ECG." No mention of this was made while I was at the hospital so I bounced the report off my regular doc. He said that these tests are often aggressively interpreted by a computer and that it couldn't have been that bad since they let me leave the hospital. He looked at the detail and said that it was the same as it always was (normally abnormal I guess) but it wouldn't hurt to go to back to a cardiologist for a follow up since I hadn't had gone in a few years. So I did.

The cardiologist felt that he should be aggressive in testing since there was some family history of heart issues, I'm fat, I'm getting old and it wouldn't be good for me to stop getting older by dropping dead while training. After what seemed about a gazillion tests (echo cardiogram, stress test, cardiac calcium CT, carotid artery ultrasound) with most indicating no issues (he was concerned with one part of the stress test but said the CT gave him the all clear), the net was to continue to exercise, lose more weight, and come back in a year. In his opinion the best weight for me to be in a year would be no more than 230 lbs (BMI <30).

A perfect ending to this story would be that everything was OK and that I wouldn't have to go back for a much longer time. Looking back at this, I guess I should be happy even though the stress test wasn't completely clean. I'm sure another full suite of testing will be done next year so I've got that to look forward to.

So on to weight loss after all it is body composition Thursday. The number this week was -2.3 lbs (Total = -75.8, WW3 = -5.6 ). In spite of noshing on a few of the trick or treat candies (OK, I admit it - I ate more than I handed out) and big party at an great restaurant Sunday, I was able to rally to get where I was. How? I really don't know, but I not complaining.

This means next week will be tough and will require more focus. I want to keep the weekly weight loss as going down between 1.0 and 2.0 pounds. That should be sustainable and get me where I need to be at for the doctor in a reasonable time. It also will help me with my athletic misadventures too.

Imagine how different the test results and his opinion would have been if I hadn't lost the weight I've lost already and hadn't increased my fitness. I think I'll be thinking of this on my long run this weekend.


Carolina John said...

yea it goes to prove that anytime you can increase your overall health by any means the improvements show up everywhere. i've got the family history of heart disease too so I have to keep watch on the same factors. you can lose the weight, just keep a positive outlook and keep making forward progress.

Unknown said...

I had a battery of tests last year after an abnormal EKG as well. Scary stuff, heart disease. Sounds like a very positive result though if they told you to basically keep doing what you're doing (exercise, lose weight, etc).

Mel-2nd Chances said...

glad that you got the testing done, and that you're taking it seriously. My son's father passed away Sept 5th at the young age of 34 of a heart attack. He was diabetic, overweight, and had family history.. unfortunately, he ignored all of the above and the warning signs in his last few days. Please take care of yourself, and keep listening to the docs. :)