New Day Herald

Rinaldo Porcile shares with the Traveler

An Ounce of Prevention Worth a Pound of Cure

Allow me to get to the heart of the issue, my physical heart that is. Hopefully this may well serve you or a loved one.

As the years go by I hear, from people I know, a lot of folks having heart issues and it all seemed a bit abstract ‘till I got a direct learning opportunity.

To begin with all medical questionnaires ask at some point your family’s medical history and for good reason. On my mom’s side high cholesterol and my grandfather’s dying from a heart stroke sounded a bell.

My numbers, especially HDL (bad cholesterol), had been high for a good many years, even though I tried some dietary changes and supplements. My exercise routine was yoga but this lacked cardio workout, big time.

This went on for many years ‘till last November when I got an inner call to get a Treadmill Stress Test where I got the chance to walk on a treadmill with increasing speed and incline while strapped to an EKG monitor. To my surprise, I was exhausted rather early on, definitely much earlier than I had anticipated.

What surprised me the most is that this took place after my recent 8 month gym membership where I was making huge improvements in muscular health and cardio routines. Maybe the word surprise is not right, I was shocked.

The cardiologist who was present at the stress test said something to the effect “looks like there’s something we need look at but need more information” and I quickly got his contact numbers ’cause heart care is not a causal issue, or at least not so in my mind.

I quickly called his office afterwards that same day saying “I need to get further tests as soon as possible” and got to see him within 48 hours to get a recent blood test done. Unsurprisingly HDL (bad cholesterol numbers) were high as well as Triglycerides. He suggested statins, which I had dismissed for the past 3-4 years as unnecessary, but now this issue took on a different ring or importance after my exhausting episode with the Treadmill.

I took the information and experience as an opportunity to be highly proactive and intentional about following up and taking care of myself as thoroughly as I could from this point on, including getting two other tests the following three weeks which included an Echogram to evaluate the physical health of my heart – the results were positive — and a Lexiscan Stress Test for further evaluation of a possible blood flow obstruction, which revealed an angiogram was required to determine exact location and extent. This took place 5 days afterwards.

Once again I’m in uncharted territory, yet somewhat familiar as the same cardiologist who was present in my first stress test is the same one doing the Angiogram.

The Angiogram showed three areas of obstruction but only one requiring immediate attention and this was cleared and a stent placed to hold the arterial opening. In hindsight, I compliment myself for listening and following thru on what was quite obviously a most important matter.

I will see how this year develops, making the necessary dietary changes, necessary meds, exercise and keep a watchful eye as I am the only one besides God who is with myself 24/7.

Additionally, I cannot express enough the huge amount of support I received from my Ministerial family and loved ones during and after the process, which included my wife’s angelic presence the day of the procedure.

In retrospect, here are some of the things I’ve learned in the process:

1) Make sure you have top notch primary physician who is proactive about your health care.

2) Your family’s medical history could serve as map of sorts of what to watch for in your health journey.

3) Take prescribed medical tests and lab work in a timely manner.

4) Eat healthy, keep physically active including a cardio building activity.

5) Listen and take care of your body’s language, in other words know we’re one Team.

A big hug to you all from my loving Heart,


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