My niece’s husband had a heart attack this week. He is 42 years old. Doctors implanted two stents in his arteries, patched him up, and sent him home the next day. Amazing. We are so thankful for the EMTs and doctors who saved him.
This incident happened to coincide with my yearly health check up. I am a bit older than 42. And I’m not exactly committed to exercising. So, of course, I started wondering how my own ticker was doing. My dad has had serious issues with high cholesterol for years. My mom has had almost every artery in her body pulled out and scraped. Honestly, the way she smokes and eats fried food, we have been surprised by her longevity. With that kind of healthy heredity, who knows what can happen?
That is why I thought maybe I should start cutting my contributing factors in half and doubling my chances of a long, healthy life. Someone needs to be around to show awkward photos of my kids to their eventual spouses and children. Since I already had a doctor’s appointment scheduled for this week, it was the perfect time to ask some questions. Happy serendipity.
I asked my doctor what I needed to do to get started with better heart health. He suggested a simple, non-evasive test called Cardiac Calcium Scoring. It is inexpensive, quick, and a good indicator of heart health for someone my age with low to moderate risks. (And, I’m not going to lie, it looks a lot like a pod racer.) Dr. Johnson says knowing my score is the first step. It isn’t covered by insurance, but it only costs $49. I’m waiting for the results….
In the meantime, I am actually contemplating regular exercise. I am lowering stress by halving my worry and doubling my prayer time. I am attempting to get sucked into TV less so I can sleep more. And I am giving up smoking. Just kidding. I only smoke meat and that is not going to stop any time soon.
But most of all, I am taking for granted half of what I used to (like ambulances, diagnostic tests, and yearly physicals) and doubling my gratitude for second chances. I am very, very thankful.