Coronary Calcium Score (Heart Scan)

Posted by mcphee @mcphee, Dec 14, 2016

I have a calcium score of 1,950 which is extremely high which means I am at a very high risk for a cardiac event,heart attack,stroke or sudden death.
I take a statin and baby aspirin.
I have never been sick,have excellent cholesterol,low blood pressure and I am not overweight.
I have no other health problems and I have never been sick.
But I feel like a walking time bomb which has caused me a lot of stress.
I wonder how others with this condition feel emotionally?
I am 70 yrs old.

Liked by sgarelick

Just joined the site and I'm looking to share with others who have had a high calcium score. I found out today that mine is 2960 and I am past being saddened by this. I am 61 and I am totally asymptomatic. Now I feel like a walking time bomb.

REPLY
@dpframing

Just joined the site and I'm looking to share with others who have had a high calcium score. I found out today that mine is 2960 and I am past being saddened by this. I am 61 and I am totally asymptomatic. Now I feel like a walking time bomb.

Jump to this post

Welcome to Connect @dpframing
You'll notice that I moved your message to an existing and active discussion where members are talking about having a high calcium score. Click VIEW & REPLY in the email notification to scroll through past messages, ask questions and read what others have written like @botexas and @luckyg who had a score as high as yours.

You may also wish to view some of the conversations taking place in this other discussion on Connect:
– High Calcium CT Scan Score of 1925 – Anyone Else Experience This? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/high-calcium-ct-scan-score-of-1925-anyone-else-experience-this/

Here is a great journal discussion by Mayo Clinic cardiologists about the basics and significance of coronary calcium score: https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/842348

DPFraming, Has your doctor suggested any "next steps" to help lower the calcium score?

REPLY
@dpframing

Just joined the site and I'm looking to share with others who have had a high calcium score. I found out today that mine is 2960 and I am past being saddened by this. I am 61 and I am totally asymptomatic. Now I feel like a walking time bomb.

Jump to this post

He put me 4 medications: a BP medication, a statin, a calcium absorption drug, aspirin, and vitamin B2. I am thinking of getting a 2nd opinion for more extensive testing. The main thing he stressed was to lose weight. I have to lose 40 lbs.

REPLY
@dpframing

Just joined the site and I'm looking to share with others who have had a high calcium score. I found out today that mine is 2960 and I am past being saddened by this. I am 61 and I am totally asymptomatic. Now I feel like a walking time bomb.

Jump to this post

@dpframing its always good to get a 2nd opinion . Losing weight will bring down B.P.Cholesterol and make you feel better but if your gut is telling you get a 2nd opinion

REPLY

I just got my bloodwork results back after doubling my Crestor since my cardiologist wanted to get my LDL down from 50 to 20 after my 1014 calcium score.. The good news is that I'm now down to LDL of 38, but my liver enzymes which have always been in the normal range are off the charts – AST of 148 and ALT of 232 (both should be under 40). I feel like I can't win! I'm sure I'll have another interesting conversation with my doctors tomorrow.

REPLY

I’m not sure how this forum works as to protocol so.. apologies in advance .. I too have elevated cac score. Last year 714 this year 1200, I’m on 80mg statin , baby aspirin. My blood work is all good, nuclear good, stress no problem. My doctor says live your life , have a burger once a month , continue running if you feel like a heart attack is coming get to the hospital. Geez! There’s an unsettling feeling every day I wake up as I’m sure everyone else feels. So do we wait around for a particle of plaque to break off and go upstream or downstream? I told my guys I’m open to anything catherization anything they say it’s too risky . Everything I read seems to lead to same ending.. this is a big a symptomatic waiting game . Best to all if you .

REPLY

Hello @bigbern and welcome to Connect!

I appreciate you sharing your story about your elevated CAC score. I can understand your concern when you say, "There’s an unsettling feeling every day I wake up as I’m sure everyone else feels." I am sure that any of us in this situation would feel the same.

Have you just been aware of this for the past year? How do you cope with this feeling of uncertainty? Do you have any special coping techniques that you have developed?

Teresa

REPLY
@bigbern

I’m not sure how this forum works as to protocol so.. apologies in advance .. I too have elevated cac score. Last year 714 this year 1200, I’m on 80mg statin , baby aspirin. My blood work is all good, nuclear good, stress no problem. My doctor says live your life , have a burger once a month , continue running if you feel like a heart attack is coming get to the hospital. Geez! There’s an unsettling feeling every day I wake up as I’m sure everyone else feels. So do we wait around for a particle of plaque to break off and go upstream or downstream? I told my guys I’m open to anything catherization anything they say it’s too risky . Everything I read seems to lead to same ending.. this is a big a symptomatic waiting game . Best to all if you .

Jump to this post

@bigbern– I have always watched what I have eaten and did a hr. of cardio and a 1/2 hr. of resistance training 3 times a week for years. I had blood lipid work-ups yearly as part of my physical and was aware of higher colesterol and was on a statin for years that helped quite a bit with that. Even with all of that back in 2014 after a typical afternoon workout I came home for a light lunch ready to head back to work. After cleaning up, I came downstairs and all of a sudden I was feeling faint and although I did the same workout I wondered had I over did my workout? I sat for a moment and my wife asked was I OK. I thought for a moment and by then I was experiencing the typical symtoms we've all read about heart attacks. I asked my wife to grab the bottle of baby asperin and I threw about a 1/2 doz. into my mouth and I decided we should run up to the hospital to get this checked out. Although it was only a 20 min. ride, halfway there I had wished I had my wife call the ambulance. Once we arrived they rolled me into the business office even though I told them I think I'm having a heart attack. By then I was experiencing extreme pain and finally spoke up and said Mam, I am having a heart attack! They zipped me in the ER and for some reason after several tests they were not convinced I was having a heart attack. They were talking about keeping me overnight for a stress test in the morning so my wife decided to head home to pick up my PJ's & toiletry bag. I was still in lots of pain and keep complaining about the pain. The cardiologist had a tech come in to do a Echo and after a few minutes he left the room quickly returning with the cardiologist and things were ramped up quickly! I had a chance to call my wife to tell her they were going to roll me into the Cath lab stat! From the time I arrived to taking me into the Cath lab was over 3 1/2 hrs. and amazingly after receiving a single stent for a 100% blocked LAD (aka The Widow Maker) I was wheeled out to my room when I finally got to see my wife.
I have no history in my family of any of this and I believe because I was healthy and more importantly God was not ready for me to check in that I survived that. I'm back to were I started and incrediably thankful, but you never know. The only thing the cardiologist could think of is that I had a small piece of plaque break off and lodge in a narrow spot in my artery. Wow, my recommendation, call the ambulance! I was very fortunate! Jim @thankful.

REPLY
@bigbern

I’m not sure how this forum works as to protocol so.. apologies in advance .. I too have elevated cac score. Last year 714 this year 1200, I’m on 80mg statin , baby aspirin. My blood work is all good, nuclear good, stress no problem. My doctor says live your life , have a burger once a month , continue running if you feel like a heart attack is coming get to the hospital. Geez! There’s an unsettling feeling every day I wake up as I’m sure everyone else feels. So do we wait around for a particle of plaque to break off and go upstream or downstream? I told my guys I’m open to anything catherization anything they say it’s too risky . Everything I read seems to lead to same ending.. this is a big a symptomatic waiting game . Best to all if you .

Jump to this post

@thankful

What an amazing story! I appreciate your sharing it. It is a helpful example to others who might find themselves in a similar situation.

Teresa

REPLY
@hopeful33250

Hello @bigbern and welcome to Connect!

I appreciate you sharing your story about your elevated CAC score. I can understand your concern when you say, "There’s an unsettling feeling every day I wake up as I’m sure everyone else feels." I am sure that any of us in this situation would feel the same.

Have you just been aware of this for the past year? How do you cope with this feeling of uncertainty? Do you have any special coping techniques that you have developed?

Teresa

Jump to this post

OK.. so a Calcium score of 2316 and then I wrote kind of a goodbye note to my wife not intending her to see it. Anyway, just got back from hiking in the mountains of Crested Butte in Colorado where the mountains are steep and the trails are rugged. I just came from sea level in NYC to upwards of 11,000 feet and my heart was beating like a madman. Yet I did the hikes with no symptoms. So what the heck are we gonna do – wait for that piece of plaque to break off and kill us? Hell with that nonsense. These high scores indicate that plaque was building up over many many years not the fresh or loose plaque that will tend to be unstable. I've doubled the number of days I go to the gym and doubled the intensity of the workouts I do. That feels great. But I have no idea if something is lurking in the background waiting to bring me down to earth. But I'm gonna continue what I've been doing – and have even stopped the baby aspirin. What's with cardiologists? as soon as you get some kind of score or indication their answer is always: statin and baby aspirin. I started a regimen of holistic or herbal things and will continue doing that. Fact is the cardio docs only know what they know. They have ZERO idea of anything else that could be of help because they just don't study anything else. I will continue to see my cardio doc and continue on this regimen and for sure continue to work my butt off in the gym. For a while all I could think of is this one thing I read: 'if your score is over 1000 you have a 25% chance of having an event in the next year'. To that I say Screw You. That;s no way to live this precious life wondering about that.

Liked by thankful, dpframing

REPLY
@hopeful33250

Hello @bigbern and welcome to Connect!

I appreciate you sharing your story about your elevated CAC score. I can understand your concern when you say, "There’s an unsettling feeling every day I wake up as I’m sure everyone else feels." I am sure that any of us in this situation would feel the same.

Have you just been aware of this for the past year? How do you cope with this feeling of uncertainty? Do you have any special coping techniques that you have developed?

Teresa

Jump to this post

Thanks for your kind words, nyartist. They mean alot right now.

REPLY
@hopeful33250

Hello @bigbern and welcome to Connect!

I appreciate you sharing your story about your elevated CAC score. I can understand your concern when you say, "There’s an unsettling feeling every day I wake up as I’m sure everyone else feels." I am sure that any of us in this situation would feel the same.

Have you just been aware of this for the past year? How do you cope with this feeling of uncertainty? Do you have any special coping techniques that you have developed?

Teresa

Jump to this post

I love your positivity!! I was just telling my wife I posted some feelings on this forum and not certain what would come of it . Thank you so so much for your words. I hope everyone with this crazy unexpected disease out of nowhere can get it fixed. Me , I’m going to go get at it I’m not sitting back waiting for a myocardial event or whatever they call it . I am not willing to wake up everyday or after every run thinking I’m going to have something happen to me , really .. it’s not for me it’s for all my fam that I’m totally in love with and connected every minute of the day with most of these kids way to young to deal with big old Dad , coach etc having some medical problem they won’t understand . I think we need to get proactive as a community of those who have been given this news and do everything we can to fix this and get to living the next 20 or 40 years like we should!

Liked by dpframing

REPLY
@hopeful33250

Hello @bigbern and welcome to Connect!

I appreciate you sharing your story about your elevated CAC score. I can understand your concern when you say, "There’s an unsettling feeling every day I wake up as I’m sure everyone else feels." I am sure that any of us in this situation would feel the same.

Have you just been aware of this for the past year? How do you cope with this feeling of uncertainty? Do you have any special coping techniques that you have developed?

Teresa

Jump to this post

Thank you Teresa! I am only in this for a year. Last year out of no where my cardiologist gave me the news , it was the beginning of the summer , I went dark for almost two months .. then I realized that it is what it is , I don’t like that saying at all but for the first time I realized it was for me lol .. anyway now I’m just mad at the fact that all I’m ever told is basically take the meds , watch your diet , and if you don’t feel right or if you think your having an ‘Event’ get yourself into the hosp! Not for me. I deal with it this way Teresa.. I am so thankful my cardiologist said to me there’s one text I want you to get, it’ll cost you out of pocket but I think it’s worth it and that was the cac ct . If he hadn’t suggested I get that text .. who knows I could have bitten the bulletproof already. I’ll never forget him for that . But now I and all of us in this community have to not lay down and wait for a piece of plaque to chip off and we’ll you all know what’s next . So Teresa in answer to you I cope with this now as I’m mad as heck that there’s no real proactive answers or therapy that makes me wake up in the mornings and say oh yeah I’m on that regiment. But I can tell you for certain I’ve just begun figuring this out and the fight has just begun! Best to you and everyone . I’m here for anyone to reach out . Best Big Bern

REPLY
@bigbern

I’m not sure how this forum works as to protocol so.. apologies in advance .. I too have elevated cac score. Last year 714 this year 1200, I’m on 80mg statin , baby aspirin. My blood work is all good, nuclear good, stress no problem. My doctor says live your life , have a burger once a month , continue running if you feel like a heart attack is coming get to the hospital. Geez! There’s an unsettling feeling every day I wake up as I’m sure everyone else feels. So do we wait around for a particle of plaque to break off and go upstream or downstream? I told my guys I’m open to anything catherization anything they say it’s too risky . Everything I read seems to lead to same ending.. this is a big a symptomatic waiting game . Best to all if you .

Jump to this post

Thank you so much for that post sharing is so important to me . Thank God you pulled through Jim that is a great story. You must have a new appreciation for that sun coming up every morning! God bless ya ! Bern

REPLY

I am same situation and don’t know options or my future!

REPLY
Please login or register to post a reply.