Hello, Darlings! Today we are going to talk about Heart Screenings For Women Over 50-LifeLine Screening Services. Today is my birthday, I am now 55. This year has been one devoted to thinking about health. COVID and possible complication you can have due to the disease has everyone thinking, am I healthy?
I am really good about going to my annual doctor’s visit for blood screening, and my gynecologist for pap smears and mammograms. But after my mom’s death, I started to worry, do I need more?
Heart Screening For Women Over 50- Review Of LifeLine Services
Heart Attacks That Could Be Prevented By Health Screenings
My mother died on April 27th from a heart attack involving the LAD artery, also known as the “Widow Maker”. She displayed symptoms, for many years of heart disease that she chose to ignore, and hide from her family. My mother had a huge distrust of doctors. Plus, she was fearful of what they might find out, having been a smoker for 50 years, and in poor health. So she chose to live as an invalid, keeping family/friends away.
I lived 9 hours away from my mother and would talk on the phone with her 3 times a week. She was always happy and cheerful, I did not have a clue to her health conditions. When I would suggest a visit, she would always make excuses, she did not want me to know.
After she died, I had this huge guilt about not being able to help her sooner. The “if only” nearly tore me apart.
My parent have been divorces for decades and live in different states. While my mother was a secret invalid, my father lived a very active lifestyle enjoying tennis and golf. But he too chose to ignore the signs of a heart attack.
After an afternoon of playing golf, my father collapsed. He just blew it off as being dehydrated from hot summer sun. After resting, he even went to lunch with friends that same afternoon. Days later he could barely move and was having breathing difficulties, only then did he seek help.
He was recovering from a heart attack. Luck was on his side in that the place of the heart blockage was not life-threatening, and his heart was already creating a new pathway. But test revealed past heart damage, meaning this was not his first.
He is currently participating in Cardiac Rehab as he works to gain his strength and energy. At the same time, he has made changes to his diet and lifestyle.
My Decision To Seek Screening For Potential Heart Issues
After both parents have heart attacks, only months apart, I starting thinking do I have a history of heart disease. Both of my parents have a history of lifestyle issues such as smoking, heavy drinking, and poor diet.
I decided to take control of my health, the first step is with knowledge. Am I at risk for a heart attack? I learned about LifeLine Screening Service from a fellow blogger. LifeLine is a company that provides low-cost health screen services to corporations but also to the communities in 48 states.
I looked online and found that LifeLine Screen Service was available in my community at local hotels, several times a year. Signing up online was easy.
LifeLine has several different screening services to choose from. I was especially interested in the Cardiovascular and Stroke Screenings. The cost was $130 (with discount), a bargain to give me “peace of mind”. LifeLine does not accept insurance but is an excellent option for those who don’t have insurance and would like preventative screening as the cost is less than a doctor’s visit.
Once I signed up online, I received email and postcard reminders. Due to COVID, I had to reschedule my initial visit twice.
What Are The Cardiovascular And Stroke Screenings
The Cardiovascular And Stroke Screening that I signed up for included:
All of the screens were done by certified screening technicians and my results would be read by a doctor who specialized in cardiac and stroke detection and prevention. It would take 21 days for me to get my results by mail. If the technicians detected any life-threatening issues the day of, they would alert me at the screening.
My screening package also included a Bone Density screening that will alert me to signs of Osteoporosis.
What Happens At The Screening
The week before my screening, I received an email with a video walk-thru and instructions about my appointment. All the screenings are “non-invasive” and most use ultrasound to take measurements. I was instructed to wear loose-fitting clothing that I would keep on the entire time. You will also want to wear easy to remove shoes.
I arrived at the screening center, which was a local hotel, at my check-in time. Weeks before my screening I received a phone call from LifeLine and I was asked to go ahead and pre register. This involved a list of questions, mostly about medical history and lifestyle. So when I arrived the day of I was ready to go.
Adhering to COVID protocol, I wore a mask the entire time and my temperature was taken upon arrival. I was also asked questions involving my possible exposure to COVID during the last 14 days.
Screening Are Set Up As Stations
The hotel ballroom area was set up with stations, using dividers for privacy. My first station was for Atrial Fibrillation and Abdominal Aortic Disease. I was asked to lie down flat on the table and electrodes were attached to take measurements for Atrial Fibrillation. Then an ultrasound was used to detect Abdominal Aortic Disease. The total testing at this station was less than 10 minutes.
The next station was for screening for Carotid Artery Disease. Again I was asked to lie flat on my back. The screener used ultrasound to take measurements of my arteries. This test took about 10 minutes.
The third and final station involved screening for Peripheral Artery Disease and Bone Density. I was asked to remove my shoes and lie on the table. Blood pressure cuffs were attached to both arms and ankles, and measurements were taken. Then an ultrasound was used to scan my leg and take measurements for bone density. This scan took a little longer but still less than 15 minutes.
I had to wait between screenings, but my total time from check-in until I left the building was 1 hour. At the time of my screening, there were 6 other people getting screened, rotating thru the stations.
What Is Next?
Knowing that there are not any immediate issues, has given me “peace of mind”, which was my goal. I will receive my results in 21 days via mail, at that time I can give them to my doctor. If there are any minor issues, those can be addressed and futher testing scheduled.
In the meantime, I am working hard to reduce my weight, lower my A1c (the test for diabetes) and live a healthy lifestyle.
Rainy Weekend Ahead
After 4 days of simply gorgeous weather, it looks like a rainy weekend. So I am going to take advantage of the rain and start some of my Spring Cleaning
Check Out my Spring Cleaning Series- Part 1 The Kitchen