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[IP] RE: heart disease ...or no loaner on this pump

Tara, (and IP)

Funny you should ask. I never dreamed I'd ever be writing about this, since
there was no history of heart disease in my family -- none, nada, zero, zip!
But I'm gonna make family history because despite commuting by bike a
minimum of 10 miles a day, often more (even in the cold and snow), despite
never having been obese and despite always liking my vegetables, and despite
having terrific a HDL number of  high 60s to low 70s, and some other good
stuff I'm sure I've done, I "flunked" one of those zippity-do-day heart
scans (the one's they advertise on the radio, the one that finds calcium in
arteries.) My doctor who had ordered that  scan felt that deserved some
looking into and sent me for the super-duper treadmill test with x-rays and
dye, I beat the treadmill but still "flunked" the test, and thus ended up
getting the angiogram (where they stick a tube through an artery in the
groin and shove it up into the heart and use dye to take pictures) and there
they discovered that one of my three coronary arteries was completely
blocked, and had been so for some time. Fortunately, my heart compensated
and rerouted blood flow so I didn't have any dead ticker muscle (excuse the
technical  terms 8^P ) so they decided against blowing up any balloons in my
arteries (angioplasty) and I was excused from getting a chest zipper (from a
bypass) for the time being.
   But,  Boy! was my doctor surprised!. Boy! was I surprised. We never
really thought I was going to flunk those tests. He sent me for the scan
only as a precaution because I had had this history of cholesterol readings
over 200.
    I remember some strange chest pains from about five years ago, some
tightness in the chest and some shortness of breath, (which  I still have)
and dizziness, and pains in the arm, and now I wonder if those were signs. I
know now that I've laid down a good mess of cholesterol in my circulatory
system, and now I've got something new to worry about.
    The good things I have been doing over the last few years could not undo
26 years (now) of diabetes and (worse) 20 years of heavy smoking. (I
consider a pack a day and more to be "heavy.") I quit smoking three years
ago, an important step and one I can't strees enough to anyone out there who
thinks smoking is helping them control their carbohydrate intakes or curb
their appetite.You'd be better off with a Snickers Bar than a cigarette, and
besides you can bolus for a Snickers, but there's nothing that makes a
cigarette OK for you. I'm also a Type A personality, but I think that would
be the least of the contributing factors.
   You should know that I had had several EKGs since I first experienced the
chest tightness. They never showed a thing. I passed those with flying
colors and still do. I also get good blood pressure readings, too. I would
have passed the treadmill test had it not been for that dang camera. I think
the heart scan was the least intrusive and most inexpensive way of checking
for a problem. (then if you check out OK you don't have to get the other
tests)  The catch is, a lot of insurance companies won't pay for the heart
scan thing,(it cost about $400). Mine said it wouldn't but then did pay for
it. I had decided I would pay for it myself if they didn't because I wanted
to know.
    Tara, I guess I'm saying it is worth getting your heart checked out. The
web articles about women not having problems with the large vessesl is not
true in my case, and who knows but it may not be true at all. How many
doctors test women in their 30s and 40s for heart disease? (Mine, because
he's wonderful :^)
   BTW  I do also have the problems with the small vessels, manifested in
retinopathy and diabetes-realated arthritis.
   I'm taking a cholesterol lowering drug now and am about to start doing
daily vitamin E., and Oh, I always take my aspirin tablet every morning :^)
(and still ride my bike, etc. etc.) I hope this is helpful. I'm sorry if it
was long....nah, not really. I'm not sorry at all. This has been a jolt to
me and I wanted to talk about it. So I'm not sorry, but I'm willing to
answer any other questions if you think I can help.

Working to avoid a grabber,

>>Lately I've been having symptoms that scare me.  The first episode went
this: I was sitting down watching tv after dinner and started to feel short
of breath.  I got up and then felt dizzy.  I then checked my pulse and it
was 60/bpm. This has happened a few times in the last month.  I checked my
bg and it was 126.  I told my dr. and she is sending me for an EKG. I read
some articles on the web about heart disease and diabetic women. Pretty
scarey.  Supposedly, symptoms for heart disease in diabetic woman are hard
to pick up because they affect the small blood vessels not the large ones.
I am also a type 'A' personality and get stressed easily, which is another
reason why I'm worried.  Can anyone offer any advice as far as getting the
tests that will find the problem if there is one?

IDDM 16 years, pumping 8 months>>

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