Heart to Heart
After our last marriage counseling session it was suggested that we each take a trip to the doctor to have complete physicals. Although I usually go to the doctor when I feel ill or have issues with my neck, it had been some time since I went simply for a physical.
MIlton joked that I was the last person that needed to have a physical because I am “the fittest person he knows”. I reminded him that although I am physically fit, that has nothing to do with what may be happening on the inside. I made my appointment and went to visit my wonderful doctor, Rex Lagerstrom.
After all the basics, the doc listened to my heart. He noticed that my heart rate was slower than average, but thought it was probably because of the amount of working out and cardio that I do. But, just to be sure, I was sent for blood work, an EKG and an echocardiogram. You always assume (well hope) that you pass with flying colors.
The next day I received a phone call. Blood work was all fine. Three days later I received another phone call- the doctor wanted to schedule a follow up meeting from my EKG test. Hmmm, if everything was fine they would have told me on the phone. What could be wrong with my ticker?
I make a new appointment curious as to what I’ll be told. Turns out I have “athletes heart” or an enlarged heart. My first statement was “So I’m gonna die? That’s the condition all the athletes have that die suddenly on the basketball court!” He looked at me with a smile and said no. Those athletes have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy which is detected by the echocardiogram. My echocardiogram results were great so I don’t have that extreme condition.
However, he wanted me to be aware because when I decide to have children or am in a medical emergency, I’ll need this information to tell the physicians. So, I’m okay but knowledge is a powerful thing. As African Americans we so often just see how we look on the outside without taking the time to explore what all could be happening on the inside. Make time at some point this year to get a physical. It may inconvenience you for a day to go to the appointment, but it could give you a lifetime of health and happiness!!