Carmen’s story

  • Carmen's story

    I have been a community college teacher for 20 years and even though there have definitely been some trying times, I have loved every day of it. I never saw myself doing anything else or ever even retiring, even though I am 58.  

    I have been pretty healthy my whole life, but about a year ago, I suddenly started to get fatigued. It started soon after I awoke and became more pronounced as the day went on. I felt like something was not right, so I made an appointment to go see my doctor. 

    I told him that I simply had no energy, and that the most basic of my household chores knocked me out. Feeling like this just wasn’t like me—and I wanted to know what was wrong so that I could fix it.

    The doctor said, “I am concerned with the fact that your one symptom, fatigue, is a coronary artery disease equivalent. I have seen a number of patients with critical coronary disease who told me that for a period of several months before their problem was diagnosed, they had no energy and felt washed out. They’d wake up in the morning and feel fine, but as the day went on, they’d try to do something but feel exhausted for hours afterwards.”

    As you can imagine, hearing something like that is really quite shocking. Lucky for me, my doctor was really on top of this and didn’t waste any time.

    You Can't Change Destiny?
    My doctor put me through a series of tests, one of which was an EndoPAT® test, which he described as a test that could predict a heart attack seven years in advance. The EndoPAT® measured changes in my Peripheral Arterial Tone, which contributed to my final EndoScore. He said this score would be a very strong indicator of the health of my heart, future risk, and would basically tell us where to go from there.

    My EndoScore was 1.56, which was very low, and indicated to my doctor that further examination was needed. He referred me immediately to a cardiologist and it later turned out that I had an almost complete blockage of the left anterior descending coronary artery in my heart.

    A week later I underwent a successful balloon angioplasty procedure to correct the damage. As I was lying there in the recovery room I couldn’t imagine what would have happened if I hadn’t gone and seen my doctor. 

    A few weeks after that I went back to my doctor to not only talk about my progress, but also thank him for giving me an EndoPAT® test. I really feel like the EndoPAT® is what saved my life. If I hadn’t had that test I never would have know how urgent the situation was and that I had to act fast. 

    I look at life in a very different way now and make sure to make the most out of every day. My fatigue is gone and that allows me to do what I love the most, which is teaching. After my surgery, I started using a pedometer to make sure that a day never goes by where I don’t walk 10,000 steps.

    Four months later, I went back in to see what my new  EndoScore was and it was a much higher 1.69. Needless to say we were both delighted!

    I feel like I have been given a new lease on life and there is no doubt in my mind that is because of my EndoPAT® test.