"I don't have time to be sick." "I'll make a doctor's appointment for myself after the kids go back to school." "Yes, I tired all the time, but who isn't? I'm sure it's nothing to worry about..."
Wife, mother and successful business professional Shauna Holden agrees. "Like a lot of other women, between work, home and taking care of everyone around me, I constantly put off taking care of my own health," she says. "My younger sister had a major heart attack earlier this year, and I still managed to put off having a check-up. Crazy, huh?"
"I'm diabetic and there is a strong history of heart disease in my family," states Shauna. "I'm an intelligent woman -- I should know better. After my sister's heart attack, Dr. Baker, our family physician, wanted me to have a cardiac work-up. My father and my grandfather both suffered and died from disabling heart disease, and now my sister had serious heart problems, too. But that didn't stop me from trying to put it off...
"There's no denying the fact that learning they need cardiac catheterization is a frightening prospect for most individuals," states Dr. Churchill. "The fact is, everyone runs the risk of getting heart disease. The level of risk differs from one person to the next, based on a number of factors, including some things we cannot control - such as family history of heart disease, or genetic predisposition. The good news is that most are factors we can control - such as cholesterol levels, smoking, blood pressure, diet and activity levels - through lifestyle changes or, if necessary, treatment therapies. Tests like the one Shauna needed are an invaluable tool in successfully diagnosing and treating heart disease."
In Shauna's case, the good news couldn't have been better. She proudly states, "The cath results showed that my stress test was a false-positive - other than one teeny, tiny piece of plaque, my heart is perfect!"