I went to see my doctor a few weeks ago for a physical. Since I just turned 40, he recommended that I have a CT scan to check for calcification in my heart valves. Maybe I would have said "no," when he mentioned that the cost would not be covered by insurance, but his cautionary tale about a person he knew who had collapsed and died of a heart attack at the age of 42 persuaded me that maybe this was a good idea after all.
I went in for the test yesterday and the entire procedure took less than 10 minutes. After I was done, I requested a copy of the scan for my records and they downloaded it and put it on a disk for me to take home. My doctor phoned me with the results mere hours after I had the procedure (everything looked okay, thank goodness), and I now have that piece of mind.
I wondered, however, what if I couldn't have afforded the $125 fee to have the test done since it was not covered by insurance? Is it right that a test that could have detected early calcification in the heart is not available to all men and women as part of their routine physical? Maybe I would have been the 42-year-old man who had a heart attack and left behind a wife and young children.