Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Healthy Heart: EKG(ECG) Heart Testing

Does this post sound boring? Because if it were me and I had never heard of this, it would sound boring. In fact, that was me until about a month ago. I read this young widow's story about losing her husband to a heart attack. She was completely taken by surprise because he had always been very athletic and physically active. After reading the story, it really hit me how blessed we are to have the medical knowledge and technologies that we do, and that we need to take advantage of them before it is too late. After her husband's death, the woman has spent her time encouraging others to get EKG heart tests done to prevent horrific events much like her own. I had nooooo idea what an EKG heart test was when I originally read the article, so I made a note of it to talk my my doctor the next time I took little Yogurt Drop in for her nine month check-up (no shots this time!). Hopefully, what I learned will be helpful to you as well and you can take advantage of the information! I know that I will. EKG(ECG) stands for electrocardiogram. It is kind of self-explanatory. This is what they show people getting in the movies a lot of the time. Like in the Santa Claus (yes, I love that movie) when they stick those little things on good old Tim Allen's chest while he runs on a treadmill and his heart beat shows up in lines that go up and down.  My doctor told me that they can do an EKG when you are at rest, or while you are jogging. A test that is done while you are at rest will most likely only detect abnormalities in your heart beat that have taken place after a stroke/heart attack, mild or extreme. She said that if you are looking to find out whether you have clotting within your arteries, an at rest EKG heart test is not the best way to go. But, it is very helpful to get done after experiencing such traumas in order to find out how healthy or injured your heart is. She said that the best way to find out if you have clotting within your arteries is by having your cholesterol checked. If it is high, it is likely that you may have clotting which can lead to strokes and heart attacks. She said another way that could be helpful is to jog while getting an EKG. If your heart's beat is normal when at rest but becomes abnormal while you are exercising, this could also be a sign of clotting within your arteries. I am pretty sure that to have an EKG done you need to go to a specialist and that you can get your cholesterol checked by your family doctor. Let's take this seriously girls and guys! Our healthy is not only our happiness, but the happiness of our family and friends. Health tragedies tear the family apart every year, physically and emotionally. Let's do our best at taking advantage of the technologies we have today. Luckily I have great insurance right now, and so most of the fees for both going to a specialist and a doctor are covered. But, if you don't have insurance, there are plenty of other ways to make sure your heart is healthy. First, see if a doctor's office near you will do it for free or discounted even if you do not have insurance. If that does not work out, look around for a health fair near you because a lot of the time they will check your cholesterol for free,and sometimes even do the EKG tests. If that does not work, contact your county's health department for information on discounted heart tests. Here is a cute picture of little Yogurt Drop after her heel prick to cheer up the post!
Yogurt Drop found some chocolate chip cookies soon after she got her heel pricked. It definitely made her day...and a mess.