Monday, February 1, 2010

CHOLESTOROL, NUCLEAR STRESS TEST REDUX



Yep, I stuck to the cardiac diet (or at least I thought I did) and my cholesterol levels went up.  Dramatically.  The Doc says I have tachycardia.  So Wednesday I have a nuclear stress test.  And if I pass it I go on cholesterol drugs.  If I fail I think it’s back to the hospital for another cardiac cath and maybe a stent or two. 
So today I’m upset.  I skipped beef for nine months for this?  I WANT A STEAK! 
Tomorrow I’ll be happy that I live in a time of cholesterol drugs and stents.  Life could be much worse. 
I covet your prayers.

8 comments:

Kattie W. Coon said...

Nearly the same thing happened to me. I took cholesterol drugs, exercised like crazy, and drastically modified my diet, but my cholesterol didn't improve. Finally my cardiologist put me on a moderate dose of Crestor (as opposed to the maximum doses of other statins I had been on). That stuff worked wonders for me. Now my HDL is higher than my LDL. Don't let them put you on inferior drugs. Find out what works for you.

You’ve got my prayers.

Pastor Bob said...

Thanks Katie

My insurance co. has already refused crestor. I'm going on some other drug called zocor. We'll see.

Kattie W. Coon said...

I've heard similar insurance woes from others. It just makes me sick whenever I hear that they refuse a treatment option (in this case a simple statin drug) that might actually be super efficacious. Crestor (still under patent) costs me twice what I was paying for other statins, but I’m willing to pay it because it works so well for me (I was able to back off some on my strict diet!). My employer has a pretty good prescription drug plan, so I pay $100 for a 90 day supply. A veterinarian friend of mine who runs a fairly upscale practice can’t afford to provide himself and his employees with a prescription drug plan that allows Crestor, so he struggles with his cholesterol. My Pastor [PC(USA)] can't get Crestor either. It’s just plain makes no sense.

Pastor Bob said...

If my cardiologist says I have to take Crestor the insurance co. will pay. It will cost me about $100.00 for 90 days too. The other stuff costs $20.00 for 90 days so if it works, fine. If not I'm gonna get my doc to have words with Express Scripts.

I had a cardiac cath last March. It said I was only about 30% blocked then so we went with diet and exercise. I really don't want to go down that route again so soon.

Kattie, thanks for your concern. I really appreciate it.

Kattie W. Coon said...

I could pay $20 for statins too, but those would be generics. I was on a max dose of Pravachol (non-generic, $50 for 90 days) for a while, and it helped a little, then I switched to the generic form ($20 for 90 days) and my cholesterol got worse. I'm avoiding generics.

I think Zocor is a fairly weak statin (as is Pravachol), and you would have to take twice as much of that as you would a stronger statin for the same effect. Don't be surprised if it doesn't work wonders for you. Your doctor will no doubt be checking you out for statin side effects at lower doses before deciding to put you on something strong like Lipitor of Crestor.

I had two stents inserted about six years ago to repair 90% blockages. I'm doing fine now.

I pray it all works out for you.

Pastor Bob said...

They canceled my stress test because of snow! And we got less than an inch. Stress test next week.

Zocor 40 mg. We'll see. I'm willing to may more for quality. Would that the Board of Pensions felt the same.

Kattie W. Coon said...

Less than an inch of snow! You guys shouldn't even blink at that. I grew up in your area (about a million years ago), and I remember walking to school in about a foot of snow. It seems to me we had to do that about once every year. Up hill both ways of course.

40mg of Zocor would be considered a medium dose. You can go up to 80mg. I started at 40mg of Pravachol and went up to 80mg. neither was all that beneficial. I'm on 20mg of Crestor now.

I hope all goes well for you.

On my last stress test, I went 12 minutes on the Bruce Protocol. I could have gone longer, but none of us saw any point to it. It impressed the heck out of my Cardiologist (me too). They kept saying "you can stop now if you want". I remember my first stress test where I couldn't even go 5 minutes. Stents, good medication, exercise, and diet did the trick.

Pastor Bob said...

They stopped me after about 6 minutes a year ago as my heart rate doubled in less than that. I expect this year to be the same. But my legs weren't tired and I wasn't breathing hard.