Author Topic: new documentary ?The Widowmaker,?  (Read 4169 times)

iisrbleu

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new documentary ?The Widowmaker,?
« on: March 10, 2015, 05:10:17 PM »
4 years later and something just gave bring you right back to the early days.  I was reading the newspaper while waiting in the school pickup line and come across this article:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/if-your-doctor-sees-calcium-he-knows-you-have-heart-disease/2015/03/09/b04ee508-b789-11e4-9423-f3d0a1e
c335c_story.html

It was like someone punched me hard.  My husband just dropped dead dead from a heart attack.  Just like that.  No prior heart problems, in good health, height / weight proportional, did all the things you are supposed to do.  Just had a massive heart attack.  Just like that.  The ER doctor said that is the way it usually happens - not a long battle with heart disease - you just have a heart attack and die.

"Widowmaker? makes the case that many of those lives could have been saved if doctors employed a long-ignored, still-underused procedure: the coronary artery scan, a sort of mammogram of the heart that identifies calcium deposits. ?If you find calcium, you know you?ve got [heart] disease,? one doctor says. With such information, a symptom-free patient can be put on a diet/exercise/lifestyle regimen before disaster strikes.

If the above procedure was done, my husband might still be alive.

Just another thing to ponder.

Needytoo

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Re: new documentary ?The Widowmaker,?
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2015, 05:22:52 PM »
The link to the article didn't work. 

My husband passed away from the dreaded "widow maker" heart attack in his sleep.  His father died of the same heart attack. Three months before his passing he went to the doctor for a check up.  Everything was fine, even his blood work.  My husband was kind of passive and most likely didn't remind the doctor of his family history.  Someone that works in cardiac medicine said if they did a stress test on him they would have detected the problem.  Sure wish that was done.  I never heard about the calcium deposits.  I will have to read up on that. 


iisrbleu

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Re: new documentary ?The Widowmaker,?
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2015, 06:07:14 PM »
Not sure why the link did not work but here is the article

If your doctor sees calcium, he knows you have heart disease
By Nancy Szokan March 9

Physicians have long recognized that factors including weight, age, lifestyle and
cholesterol levels can affect patients? risk of heart disease. But as narrator Gillian
Anderson repeats several times in the new documentary ?The Widowmaker,? about 4
million Americans with no symptoms and none of the common risk factors have died of
unanticipated heart attacks in the past three decades.

Written and directed by Patrick Forbes, ?Widowmaker? makes the case that many of those
lives could have been saved if doctors employed a long?ignored, still?underused
procedure: the coronary artery scan, a sort of mammogram of the heart that identifies
calcium deposits. ?If you find calcium, you know you?ve got [heart] disease,? one doctor
says. With such information, a symptom?free patient can be put on a
diet/exercise/lifestyle regimen before disaster strikes.

More than 30 years elapsed after the scan?s invention in 1981 before it was accepted as
?beneficial? by the American Heart Association. The film blames the delay on the
recalcitrance of doctors, hospitals and insurers ? many of whom were eager to take a
different route: the ?highly profitable? use of stents, inserted via catheter, into the blocked
arteries of heart patients. But that operation usually takes place only after a heart attack or
other traumatic event makes the patient?s disease apparent. That wouldn?t have helped
those 4 million asymptomatic heart attack victims.

Interspersed with emotional recollections from people who lost family members to
sudden heart attacks and audio clips of terrified 911 calls, the movie is unabashedly on the
side of the scan advocates (who call themselves ?the calcium club?). The film recently
debuted in theaters in New York and Los Angeles, and is available from iTunes, Amazon
Instant and other sources

iisrbleu

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Re: new documentary ?The Widowmaker,?
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2015, 06:09:58 PM »
My husband had a stress test about 14 months before he died and it came out fine.  That is why he death was such a shock.  This will have to be one of those thing that I can not beat myself up for but will have to advocate for change in our medical system.  Not sure I will be able to watch the move

The link to the article didn't work. 

My husband passed away from the dreaded "widow maker" heart attack in his sleep.  His father died of the same heart attack. Three months before his passing he went to the doctor for a check up.  Everything was fine, even his blood work.  My husband was kind of passive and most likely didn't remind the doctor of his family history.  Someone that works in cardiac medicine said if they did a stress test on him they would have detected the problem.  Sure wish that was done.  I never heard about the calcium deposits.  I will have to read up on that.

hikermom

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Re: new documentary ?The Widowmaker,?
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2015, 11:53:19 AM »
The link to the article didn't work. 

My husband passed away from the dreaded "widow maker" heart attack in his sleep.  His father died of the same heart attack. Three months before his passing he went to the doctor for a check up.  Everything was fine, even his blood work.  My husband was kind of passive and most likely didn't remind the doctor of his family history.  Someone that works in cardiac medicine said if they did a stress test on him they would have detected the problem.  Sure wish that was done.  I never heard about the calcium deposits.  I will have to read up on that.

Not sure who told you that a stress test would have detected the problem but it is a very poor indicator for potential MIs in the left anterior descending artery.  That is what my husband died from. He had a stress echocardiogram and was told by the physician that he was in better shape than most college students. He dropped dead while biking less than 4 months later. The coroner told me that the left anterior descending artery was 80% occluded. It was not seen on echo nor was there any sign during the test.

I don't know if it helps you or not to know that even with a stress test, it may never have been detected.
here is the deepest secret nobody knows ...
and this is the wonder that?s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
~ e.e.cummings

look2thesky

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Re: new documentary ?The Widowmaker,?
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2015, 12:28:36 PM »
I think all these specialized tests are in essence a way to keep the medical professionals going. I can't wait for the day an iPhone app will be able to be held up and you can see for free what a 10000 test will show.

fleur

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Re: new documentary ?The Widowmaker,?
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2015, 03:01:05 PM »
I had never heard of the widow maker before and although my husband in no way fit the profile, his arteries were extremely clogged.  He went to the ER a week before he died, than ran the normal gamut of tests and said he had a pulled muscle.  Such a senseless death and I do sincerely believe that he would not have died had he been diagnosed.   Even an ultrasound on the neck arteries would have given clues.

Men here, please let me take the place of your nagging wife for a moment.  Listen to your bodies and get your concerns checked out.  Dying on those that love and need you does not make you strong.  Also, hire a snow plow if you have any doubts about your heart health.

issrbleu - i'm not sure if I'll ever be able to watch that documentary, I think it would just bring on a sense of anger and injustice that I have since been able to let go of to some extent.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2015, 03:03:52 PM by fleur »

Stargazer74

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?Knock and it shall be opened.' But does knocking mean hammering and kicking the door like a maniac??
C.S. Lewis

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C.S. Lewis

Marcy D.

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Re: new documentary ?The Widowmaker,?
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2015, 01:26:38 AM »
My husband also died from the WidowMaker.  I am dating again and will FORCE my new friend to have the cardio scan even if I have to pay for it MYSELF!.  I never want to go through this grief again.   :(