Originally Posted by PS Fun Dude
... Since I am constantly being reminded that I am in charge of my own health care, regardless of my accepting treatments offered, I have chosen to research my options thoroughly prior to making treatment decisions for myself.
To me, in order to get the best quality care, we MUST be pro-active with our medical care. We cannot fully trust medical professionals to take the necessary time to thoroughly research our health problems, and provide to us a full diagnosis and best course of treatment. It will just NEVER happen, that is, unless we have the money to pay for the very best.
Quit smoking at age 30, began again at age 56, pack a day, average. Intend to quit within 10 days.
Smoking is one of the worst things that you can do to your heart. The 100+ chemicals in the smoke play havoc on one's nervous system and metabolism.
Smoking, again, at age 56 isn't exactly what one would call pro-active in their own health care!
Having reviewed some echo results on this board it seems a gargantuan chore to cut/paste relevant info to fit my own hence I am hoping to gain some insights prior to my appointment with Cardiology on the 24th of this month from those on this board, whom I thank, profusely, in advance!
I've been struggling with Heart Failure, Persistent Atrial Fibrillation, Insulin Resistance and Immune System problems for over 23 years. That said, I consider my echo results as critical information that allow me to be more pro-active.
I go through a clinic to get my Echocardiogram, without a prescription. I am the only one to get the FULL results. What is most important to me is the comparison of this year's echo against last year's echo, to see if my heart disease is getting progressively worse, progressively better, or staying the same. In fact, I am expecting my echo results in the mail any day now, for which I am excited about, and apprehensive about, both at the same time!
You fortunately have your 2004 echo to compare against your current echo. Unfortunately, your current echo does show some worsening of your heart disease.
Most concerning is that you have signs of beginning valve disease, enlargement of the left atrium and thickening of the left ventricle wall. Actually, IMHO, this is a warning shot over your bow, warning you to take better care of your heart.
I have much more advanced heart disease. I've been able to get progressively better over the past 23 years by not smoking, eating an extremely healthy diet, significant exercise, avoiding things that irritate my heart, limiting stress, getting on the most effective heart medication available, and keeping my blood pressure at very healthy levels 24 hours per day.
Medication is not the only answer to good heart health. Lifestyle changes have the most positive impact on heart disease, IMHO.