07 September 2011

Rain day—here's another reason I bike-commute

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

It's been raining, usually lightly, since late last night, but that's not the primary reason that I drove to work today. I'm scheduled for an entry appointment with my cardiologist. Yep. Heart problems, stroke, poor circulation, low pulmonary function, and how I can avoid them are my topics with Dr. Tim Markus of the Dayton Heart Center.

I just turned 60. How did that happen so suddenly? Did I know anything about its coming? So I've been setting up tests and interviews. I want to have a baseline of my condition now, and maybe some idea of what I can expect of myself in the next decade. Because my father died of a sudden-onset heart attack and my mother of a stroke that left her weakening for a month on her way toward death, and because I am now ten years and seventeen years, respectively, from their ages at death, it's time for an investigation of what their genetics has manifested in my body.

I started a month ago with a simple body fat analysis at the University of Dayton. I've also requested a lactose threshold test or a VO2max test from the same UD physiology department. Today I saw the cardiologist to see if any standard cardiac tests are in order. After an entry EKG and interview, he suggested an exercise stress test just to quantify what I've experienced in my heart training on the daily commute and an echocardiogram because of the results of an echocardiogram from ten years ago. He also suggested two other tests that are available at local hospitals, a "heart saver CT" (an coronary calcium scan, available from Kettering Hospital and Good Samaritan Hospital) and a "lifeline screening" (an ultrasound of arteries in the neck, belly, ankles, and arms, available from Kettering and Good Sam).

Non-ride conditions
Temperature: 59 to 63°F throughout the day
Precipitation: constant light rain, 1.46 inches since 5:00 a.m.
Winds: ranging from 6 to 11 mph from the northwest

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