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A scan everybody should consider doing! - Arcticdude - 02-19-2014 17:20

I went last November and tried out the newfangled technology of an EBT scan. It's essentially a very fast cat scan. It's fast enough to pretty accurately look at veins and arteries in a given area to see how they're doing, blockages, aneurysms, etc. Just doing the heart area took about 3 minutes and only required me to take my shirt off. Cost at that time was minimal, but in hindsight, it would have been worth several hundred.

I had essentially no previous issues. I was finding I'd run out of steam fairly quickly, but attributed it to becoming an "old fat guy". Genetically high cholesterol was my main reason for doing the scan, but figured I'd be seeing patients who've had it done and wanted to learn more about it.

Turns out I had a fairly large aneurysm right at the junction of my aorta and my heart. It was large enough that once detected, most thoracic surgeons would immediately operate to repair it. So off I went to a recommended cardiologist, who then ran the more standard tests. Confirmed the aneurysm and found a poorly functioning aortic valve, which was what was causing my quick loss of energy.

So maybe I'm not an old fat guy, yet!

Anyway, within a week of seeing the cardiologist, is was sitting in the thoracic surgeon's office discussing surgery. They felt things were dire enough to want to do this before Christmas! I put it off until mid January. Yesterday was my first day back in the office. I still get tired quickly, but feel things are improving steadily, now.

My point for disclosing all this is that had the aneurysm ruptured, I would have not survived long enough for the wife to hang up from calling 911, much less getting any kind of help. Absolutely no indication of this issue. I was EXTREMELY lucky to not have had a rupture while driving the bird! Not only would I be dead, but probably the resulting accident would have killed my wife and other innocent parties.

I'm not a real fan of technology, because its mostly succeeded in the dumbing down of society and little else. But there are some advantages to it and this technology is one of them. I will probably spend the $600 and get the full body scan done. If I've got one aneurysm, why can't there be more is my thinking. While this last month has been one of the toughest of my relatively short life, I don't regret taking the route I did. In six months, I'll probably be extremely glad that I chose it.

So I would strongly recommend everybody have an EBT scan done. I truly hope you will find absolutely nothing!

RE: A scan everybody should consider doing! - davidbrady - 02-19-2014 17:45


Thanks for sharing your story. I know it's extraordinarily personal information. Laying your personal story out there for everyone to see in hopes of saving another persons life says everything about who you are. I'm very happy to hear that you're on the mend, back at work, and feeling better. Looking forward to many fruitful years to come for our Arcticdude! Thanks! Smile

RE: A scan everybody should consider doing! - Arcticdude - 02-19-2014 18:29

It would certainly be good if I can help somebody else. I hope they don't run through the complications, as I did. My surgeons and their nurses all told me that most patients experience 1 or 2 complications, 3 in extreme cases. Turns out, I put all of those folks to shame! I essentially had every normal complication, as well as a few new ones! I'm sure being younger and in acceptable shape helped me survive, but I coded at least once in ICU and gave the surgeons enough of a scare, that they were quite worried about me a couple of days. I guess I'm to ornery to die just yet!! Tongue

That all being said, I would still undergo the work, even knowing how it would play out. So far!

RE: A scan everybody should consider doing! - Fred Hulse - 02-19-2014 20:51

Thank you John for sharing your experience with us all.
We all need to be slapped in the face once in awhile to awaken our thoughts to the possibilities of a very serious consequence.
We are elated that the procedure was a success and you are back to being the remarkable person you are.

RE: A scan everybody should consider doing! - Arcticdude - 02-19-2014 23:29

Thanks for the compliments, Fred. January and February 2014 have been truly absolutely miserable to get through, but at least it seems they're behind me. I'm being told that it could take 6 months (or more) to fully recover. Mentally, I'm not sure I ever will. Of course few have ever felt I was right in the head! Big Grin At this point, I'm just hoping I can get back to where I was in November. Currently, there's an extreme lack of stamina. By lunchtime, I'm pretty well beat and I'm trying to stay in the office until 5. Needless to say, not much gets done in the afternoon. At least I'm upright and able to try.

Thanks, again.

RE: A scan everybody should consider doing! - patticake - 02-20-2014 23:56

Will you be well enough to make the April rally?

RE: A scan everybody should consider doing! - Arcticdude - 02-21-2014 14:20

I'm currently hoping to, Steve! Though right now, things seem questionable!! Fighting a whole bunch of recent onset nausea, which just makes me feel even more like crap.

RE: A scan everybody should consider doing! - Ms. Bee - 02-21-2014 19:16

I'm so sorry you have had to go through this and with all the complications, but so thankful you caught it in time.
Right decision to get that cat scan, eh?
Hope you feel better and regain your strength soon!
Get plenty of rest, relaxation, eat nutritiously, and don't work so hard or long.
You need time to heal!
Doctor sez.

RE: A scan everybody should consider doing! - patticake - 02-21-2014 20:07

Do I need to drive for you? We can hook my truck behind your truckBig Grin

RE: A scan everybody should consider doing! - Arcticdude - 02-22-2014 20:14

Thanks, Jenn and Darrell! It was definitely fortuitous to do the scan when I did. It would have been really interesting to have done a scan a couple of years ago, to see what was going on then. Too many questions that will go unanswered!

Steve, I should be good by mid April. I'll take 2 days to do the 400 miles down and that will tell me what the Sunday 1 day return will be like. Debe can do some driving, if need be. She can't do any worse than I did in Spring! Wink Thanks for the offer, though. I'll certainly keep it in mind.