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A Full Body Scan saved my life. I’d never even heard of them until my brother in New York invited me up to have one done. It was 2001 and I was planning to go to New York anyway for my 40th high school reunion. I was 57 years old and feeling fine.
My older brother had recently had a body scan. He said “since you are coming to New York why don’t you have a scan too” . His offer to pay for the bodyscan was too good to refuse and I said "great go ahead and schedule it while I’m in New York for the reunion".
We all assumed the results would be good and this would be the base from which we would measure any future problems. I had a physical recently that was normal except for slightly high blood sugar which I controlled with diet. I had lost 20 pounds giving up all sugar and snacks. I was walking a mile a day and feeling fine. I had no symptoms of anything wrong - even my ekg was excellent.
The scan itself was easy. I was only at the center for an hour. I can’t tell you how surprised I was when they called me in to review my results and recommended that I see a cardiologist as soon as I returned to Florida for a thaliuim stress test. I was surprised the Scan found something, but felt I needed to do exactly what the doctor recommended.
Needless to say I flunked the stress test. Next step...an angiogram. Of course first I had to find the right cardiologist. I wanted an interventional cardiologist (someone who regularly does this procedure).
The cardiologist told me that she could more or less pin point where the blockage was just from looking at the stress test results. We scheduled the angiogram. If major blockage is found the next step is an immediate angioplasty and perhaps a stent put in place to keep the blocked artery open.
They found that I was 80% blocked in the right descending artery ( the widows artery) and I feel that if I did not have the scan I would have continued my lifestyle which included smoking until I had a heart attack and either lived or died.
I am an independent insurance agent working primarily in the health insurance market. I have been listening to other people’s health problems for many years since. I often thought ‘how lucky I am’ since I really had no health problems.
I grew up in a home where my father was always going to the doctors (he died at age 56) and my mother who is now 90 used to say “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. “
I guess I listened more to my mother and her advise and looked to her excellent health at age 88 having gone to the doctor 2 times in the last 50 years!!
I have now been given a 2nd chance. I who never wanted to quit smoking, quit cold turkey. I bought a treadmill so the rain is not an excuse for not walking. I was put on medication for high chloresterol ( mine was never that high and my internist had never suggested I needed any rx for that).
Since this has happened to me I have heard stories from so many women my age who did not have the warning of the scan and instead had heart attacks.
My brother apologized for suggesting the test to me because I had to go through the procedure and of course the worry. I told him he saved me from something much worse and I am very grateful that he suggested I have the body scan done.