As I exited the Cath Lab, I felt a sense of relief wash over me as I realized the procedure was over. An angiogram with adenosine-stress cardiac magnetic resonance imaging isn’t the most comfortable procedure to endure; especially if you have to ‘use the bathroom’ twice during the procedure.
Wheeled on a gurney into recover, my two doctors, Drs. C. Noel Bairey Merz and Chrisandra Shufelt followed. Once I came to a stop, Dr. Bairey-Merz leaned in and said, “Well, the good news is we know what’s wrong with your heart”. That’s all I needed to hear. While the doctors continued to talk, I didn’t hear a word. Ten minutes into it I looked at Dr. Shufelt and asked her to promise me that she would find my husband and son in the waiting room and explain to them what I couldn’t comprehend.
This was the culmination of five years of seaching for a doctor who could find what was wrong with my heart. As a young woman experiencing chest pain, I was told time and again that ‘I was too young’ for heart disease or perhaps I needed to ‘lower the stress’ in my life. In actuality, all I needed was a doctor with the skill set and mind set to listen to me objectively.
That is exactly what I found in Dr. Bairey-Merz and her staff at the Cedars-Sinai Women’s Heart Center. These fine doctors have been leading the way in women’s cardiac research for several years now. Under their care, I am now participating in my third Research Study. Each study I’ve participated in has greatly bettered my situation.
As of December 2007, I have had the piece of mind in knowing the name of my condition; formely known as ‘Cardiac Syndrome X’, better known as Ischemic Heart Disease. I can honestly say that, had it not been for these fine doctors and the research they’ve done, I wouldn’t be telling you this story right now.
It is now my focus in life to get the word out about Ischemic Heart Disease and where women in a similar situation can get the care they so desperately need. There are a lot of us out there; they are waiting to be found.
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