My Angiogram

I can’t even bear to think about the possibility. Mikee, my brother, could have had a massive heart attack had his cardiologist not sent him for an angiogram.

He had been having difficulty inhaling deeply, and was a bit out of breath climbing the steep hills on morning walks with dog, Annie. My sister-in-law suggested that he consult a cardiologist, which he did. Although a stress test didn`t detect any problems, his Atlanta-based cardiologist (Dr. Steven Eisenberg) prescribed an angiogram and quite literally saved his life. They discovered that his left-anterior descending artery (dubbed “the widowmaker” for a reason) was 98% blocked.  A heart attack would have been lethal, given the location and extent of the blockage. Mikee had two stents put in his heart. He now exercises daily, has dropped 40 pounds, and- over the course of a year- has been able to halve the dosage of meds he was initially prescribed. At a check-up with Dr. Eisenberg, a year after the stents were put in, the doctor commented to an attentive intern, “We wish all our patients would react like this.”   

I am a Montreal professional organizer, neither a nurse nor a doctor, yet my social work background has taught me to look at the totality of a client’s life. If a client`s lack of organization prevents her from taking care of her health, and she is open to discussing this aspect of her life, we may talk about it.

At my family’s urging, I booked a stress test with a cardiologist. Dr. Marcel Fournier told me that I was in better shape than most women my age, which was welcome news, but that there was some irregularity when I was pushing at the higher exertion levels. The doctor said, “I could send you for some other tests which would probably yield inconclusive results, and end up sending you for an angiogram after a year. Instead I’m going to refer you directly for an angiogram, which will give me a clear picture of what’s going on in your heart.” He also took into consideration the considerable cardiac history on both my parents’ sides of the family.

Luckily, all was clear, and I’m good to go for all your downsizing, decluttering, and organizing needs!

Please take care of your health and listen to warning signs that your body sends you, whether it’s shortness of breath, blood in your stool, a lump in your breast, tingling in your fingers, or whatever else may arise. I can’t stress the importance of this strongly enough.