"Having a HeartScan saved my life," said Barbara Fadely following her March quadruple heart bypass surgery. An echocardiogram technician at Henry County Hospital's Imaging Department, Barbara said she knew something was wrong with her, but after a multitude of tests, nothing was clearly amiss.
"I feel vindicated. I told everyone something was wrong," she added smiling.
Barbara said she just felt tired, a tiredness that kept increasing month by month. With her symptoms, her primary care physician, internist Mark Davisson, MD ordered a treadmill and nuclear medicine workup which she passed with flying colors. With continued symptoms her physician then sent her to Indianapolis for further diagnostic testing which included a tilt table test. This test is used to evaluate how your body regulates blood pressure to simple stresses. Still no clear answer to her tiredness, her physician continued the search with an EKG, a diagnostic test Barbara performs on others every day. It was again, inconclusive.
"We were missing something," she said. "Yes, it was just after the holidays and I was pretty busy at work, too. But even in the winter I would break out in a sweat and the tiredness just kept getting worse.
"I quit exercising," she added. "Anything to stop from feeling so exhausted." There were no signs of heart trouble before and a limited family history of heart disease.
"I called the first day the Hospital announced we were going to offer $99 HeartScans. The Hospital thought this screening was important enough to offer it to employees for free and am I ever glad they did."
A patient on the second day the HeartScan (a quick and painless CT scan that detects cardiac calcium buildup) was offered, Barbara's score was off the charts at over 1,000.
Barbara outlined the rapid progression of her treatment that began immediately following her HeartScan. Results were sent to her primary care physician, Dr. Davisson, who that same day set up a consultation appointment for her with cardiologist Nathan Millikan, MD for the next day. When she arrived at Dr. Millikan's office he not only had her recent HeartScan to inform him of her condition, but also had looked at her previous tests. She found herself at St. Vincent Heart Center within the week for her cardiac cath.
"When I looked up before the procedure began and saw Dr. Millikan's familiar face, I knew I would be okay. It was comforting to know I was in his care for the procedure.
"After the test I started having chest pains," she explained. Dr. Millikan scheduled me for surgery with one of the heart surgeons for the very next day."
Barbara had quadruple heart bypass surgery and was up the day after surgery. She was released and attended Cardiac Rehab at The New Castle Clinic where she kept religiously to her three days a week visits. She says the exercise makes her tired, but it's a new and wonderful physical tiredness she is happy to have. "I feel so much better now," she said jubilantly.
Back to work in Cardio at the Hospital, you can find Barbara preaching earnestly to everyone on the benefits of the HeartScan.
"It only takes a few minutes," she said. "It's painless. And, it saved my life."