These are all the “sounds” that came to mind during my echocardiogram and carotid artery ultrasound this morning.

Previous echocardiograms have been more like a Jacque Cousteau film; this time X-files (watching a rerun of the show from Episode One) and existential symphonies came to mind.

These tests were ordered by my cardiologist due to a combination of high blood pressure and higher than usual cholesterol.

My carotid artery was ultrasounded a few years ago, looking for potential causes of my facial pain. Then, only the left side was done; findings indicated some plaque but not in levels to cause restricted blood flow and pain. This test will show if there is more build-up.

When my left artery was being tested, I was able to watch the images and sonograms. Fascinating, as Spock would say. Especially when the technician/nurse added colour to the imaging. I’m now very curious if what I saw and heard (this test did so a sound check, lol) relates to findings when the technician and doctor share information.

I am still tracking my blood pressure – more spot checking than daily. And, the same pattern still emerges: blood pressure gradually rises daily, then gradually falls back to my normal “perfect” level. A friend pointed out that the quality and quantity of sleep affects bp. Interesting – again as Spock would interject. I do have a definite sleep pattern (though I’ve never “mapped” it). To satisfy my curiosity, I am going to track my sleep and blood pressure.

May is stroke awareness month. I’ve seen the effects stroke can have on my mother and friends. If you haven’t had a heart health check, it’s worth the effort. Many clinics and hospitals offer free or low-cost heart health checks, often especially designed for women and their specific heart and stroke issues.

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feature image: American Heart Association