Let’s call him Tim. When we met earlier this year, he was a vigorous and grounded man. After a discussion about silent heart disease and advanced methods of detecting it, I recommended a heart calcium CT scan to evaluate the possible impact of his high cholesterol levels.
I reminded Tim several times that he had to call and schedule this examination at the local hospital. Yet month after month, he delayed doing this.
Finally, he called me just a few weeks ago to say that he had gone for it. I was startled when I checked on it and found he had nearly the highest “score” of silent heart disease burden I had seen in the past 15 years. Basically, he was walking around with arteries chock full of blockage and had no clues or warning signs.
After a stress test examination that was abnormal, he had a heart catheterization showing severe blockages in all of his heart arteries including the “widowmaker” artery, the most serious location for a blockage that can cause sudden death.
After getting several opinions, he underwent quadruple bypass surgery this week.
While visiting him a few days after the surgery, I asked him why he finally went for the heart CT scan. He looked at me matter-of-factly and answered, “The psychic told me to get it done.”
Well, I’d certainly never heard that one before. He had a sincere look on his face and I asked him to tell me more.
He explained that his girlfriend regularly visited a well-known psychic and had convinced him to go for the first time. That morning his left leg ached but he ignored it and drove to the appointment. His “low-tire light” was on as he approached her office.