Time Frame > Beyond Active Grieving

new documentary ?The Widowmaker,?

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iisrbleu:
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:
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:
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:
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


--- Quote from: Needytoo 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.

--- End quote ---

hikermom:

--- Quote from: Needytoo 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.

--- End quote ---

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.

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