Thursday, December 13, 2012

Living with BMD & the importance of Echocardiograms

When it comes to the month of December along with celebrating Christmas it is also the time of year when I see my cardiologist for my annual check-up. Some times I wish my appointment took place in the summer due to winter weather concerns. Thankfully this year winter has been a little reluctant to make an appearance which means that it wasn't an issue at all. This year my appointment was scheduled for 11am which is much better than the early morning appointments I was use to getting. Maybe that's because I am not a morning person. I really don't know what it is but it is always a struggle for me to get up in the morning. Anyways when it comes to my yearly check-up it is usually met with a bit of apprehension because you never really know what they are going to say.

Thankfully over the last few years all reports have come back stating that my heart function is considered to be normal. That is why each year I expect to receive the same report. I guess I am just like anyone else when we go to the doctor all we are hoping for is a clean bill of health. But at times our minds start to wonder what if they do find something. These thoughts usually flood my mind when I am laying on the medical table lined with paper that makes noise every time you move. Maybe the reason this seems to happen at that point is due to the fact that those who perform Echocardiograms are usually very mellow people who really don't say much while they are with you in the room. This might be the reason why some of us start to wonder what they are thinking. This tends to happen to me during the part when they let you hear your heart pumping - maybe I am the only one but I automatically start thinking is it supposed to sound like that. Thankfully soon after that the Echocardiogram is complete. The only other issue I have during my appointment is a bit of difficulty holding some of the awkward positions they require you to lay in while they perform the Echocardiogram. So I guess you can understand why I am always thankful when this part of my appointment comes to an end.

Once my Echocardiogram is complete I get to meet with my cardiologist to discuss my results. This year I am glad to report that for the fourth year in a row the results of my Echocardiogram still shows normal heart function for someone my age. This comes as huge relief as this is what I was truly hoping for. Now even though my cardiologist says I have nothing to worry about each year I will continue having an Echocardiogram just to be on the safe side. Over the past few year I have learned that most doctors do recommend that those of us with Becker Muscular Dystrophy have regular check ups. Now no one can really say that we are or are not going to have heart related issues because many of us already know that you could take two people living with Becker Muscular Dystrophy and one may have heart involvement while another may not. This is something for many that can be hard to understand how someone with same condition can progress at a quicker rate than others. All I can say is that if you have any concerns about the importance of regular heart check-ups and living with BMD it might be a good idea to speak to your family doctor or a representative from your local Muscular Dystrophy organization.

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