I am a retired call firefighter of 30yrs on the job. I was the Captain of the Call Force of Hudson, NH, which was a combination dept at the time.
My close call is a medical save of myself. We all talk and push to have colonoscopy checks, breast cancer checks, and yearly medical checkups. Well, I have a new one. A Calcium CAT scan of the heart. My doctor recommended getting a baseline since I am 68 years old. The test is not covered by Insurance but it’s less than $200.00. Not many doctors even know about it. Well, it saved my life.
I am healthy, not overweight, never smoked, exercised, and play pickleball. NOT ONE CLUE as to any heart issue.
So I did this 15 min CAT scan procedure and my results were shocking. The test results give you a number. Below 400 is better than above, (my wife was 80). I was 2966, yes 2966. I had a 97% chance of having a heart issue for my age.
So I went to a cardiologist who recommended I go for an angioplasty. He didn’t even bother with a stress test. So I go for the procedure and failed because I was 90/80% blocked and needed quadruple bypass surgery. My heart was a pumping time bomb that could have stopped at any moment.
So I had the operation which went well and I am now recovering. Because I didn’t have any heart damage and was healthy, my recovery is much easier than those with a heart attack.
Lessons Learned: First off always listen to your doctor and take their recommendation. In my case, it’s all about the family genes. Ask your doctor about the Calcium CAT heart scan and if they know about it. If I went by “I feel fine” I could have been dead tomorrow. We are scanning everything else so let’s do the heart too.