Carotid Duplex

I suppose it was the reasonable thing to do.

After all I am 61 years old, and I have a very bad forty year old habit.  Smoking seems at least partially responsible for every ailment known to man.  And WB, my deceased father, had in his mid seventies his carotid arteries reamed out.  He was getting light headed or something, I forget.  But they checked him and found both of his carotids were pretty clogged up, and because he had a very good heart and low blood pressure, they experimented on him a bit with a then relatively new procedure that involved going into the arteries with a miniature rotor router that had some sort of vacuum attached to keep the particles that broke off from going direct to his brain.




And then of course my brother Dan has a stroke and they find one of his carotids is 100 percent clogged and the other is 50%.

I sort of hem and haw about it.  I mean what good will it do if I do find out something.  But finally I make an appointment with my primary care person and go in and tell her what’s happened and that I would like her to authorize a sonogram of both of my carotids.  She says, like no way, because everybody in the world has family with heart problems, and if they started giving sonograms to everybody that had family heart problems they would go bankrupt.

So I say how much would it cost if I paid for it, and she says thousands and then starts to talking about these places a person can go to have some sort of scan and you pay out of your own pocket to have diverse body parts scanned.  And I ask her where the nearest place might be to go to get scanned because, now that I am in the mood, I plan to go get one of those things done that very day if possible.

But she must have been thinking about something.  Because she like points to that bed thing they have in every one of those little rooms and says lie on your back and I do and she listens to my carotids having me breathe in and out and says, Wait a minute, and goes out with my whole stack of medical documents, and is gone 5 minutes and comes back, and says, You got it.

She says she spoke with the internist on duty and, when he heard my history, he says like, “This guy needs to have his arteries checked out.”

Well, OK.  I guess that is good.  But now I am good and scared.  I mean why that complete and sudden about face?  I have to wait till June 5 to go in and have what they call a “carotid duplex” sonogram which is a fancy way of saying, Do both of them.

I don’t want to go.  But I guess I will because it’s the reasonable thing to do.  I guess.

I am nearly putrid with anxiety.

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