Carolinas Imaging Gives Me an A++.

| January 30, 2013

by Susu Bear

Finally, confirmation that all my efforts at healthy living are paying off.  Whether or not the scale is on my side, my health is the main reason for the years of exercise, dieting, obsession with sleep, watching my sodium, quitting smoking years ago, and wine in moderation (oh please – we both know that’s just an excuse).

Last week,  I had my arteries screened at Carolinas Imaging Services for atherosclerosis (plaque deposits in my coronary arteries and a leading indicator of heart disease).  I scored a  “0”.    That’s a YAY, for unlike math the lower my score here, the better.  My score is a little validation that I what I’ve done so far has worked.  And now I have a great baseline for comparison as I age and my risk of heart disease increases.  To be fair, this doesn’t mean I get to go out and eat 5 cheeseburgers tomorrow.  (Or, maybe, to be unfair……)  But this does indicate that I have what’s known as a very low level of hard plaque, which is one of the major indicators for having a heart attack.

Carolinas Imaging Services is a new client for and we’re excited to have  them onboard.  We think they fit right in with our coverage of women’s health issues.  Beauty inside and out, right?

When I had the opportunity to get a Cardiac CT “Calcium Scoring” exam, I jumped at it.  Honestly, it isn’t an expensive procedure at $149, and  I am totally on board with knowing whatever I can about my body.  I have annual mammograms, have had a bone density test, a colonoscopy, two different annual physicals, and annual skin cancer, dental and eye exams.   If I had any of the leading indicators for developing heart disease, I might have already checked this Calcium Scoring out with my doctor, but it’s just recently started to gain more coverage in the news.

Other than being over 45 in age, I don’t have any of the typical concerns.  But since my credo is that knowledge and prevention are 90% of the battle, I was happy to have the test and tell you all about my experience with it.

I’m only going to cover what is was like for me.   For the full & technical detail, head over to their website at, give them a call and/or talk it thru with your doctor.  You should have a doctor’s order to have it done anyway, and it may (or may not) be covered by your insurance.

For sure, it was the most pleasant, uneventful medical exam I have ever had.  Super short – maybe 15 minutes in total once I walked in the office door.  Not at ALL intrusive.  No squishing, no prodding, probing, sticking.  Not even a blood pressure cuff.  They don’t weigh you, so you don’t have to “dress for the scale.”  (Oh wait, is that just me?)  You don’t even have to take your clothes or your shoes off.

I went to the Carolinas Imaging Services office at Morrocroft in SP, but you can also go to Matthews, Ballantyne or Huntersville.  You can’t drink coffee / caffeine for several hours beforehand, so go first thing in the morning if you need your cup or two to get thru the day.

You fill out some paperwork and then you just go in and lie down on the bed for the CT machine.  That’s the big circle thing that does the xray-ing.  It doesn’t look anything like what I have seen on House.  But then, jury duty doesn’t look anything like what I have seen on Law & Order either.

They hook up a few EKG leads to your chest,  you make a couple of quick passes through the circle and you’re done.  Seriously.  Th Th That’s all y’all.  They send the results to you or your doctor and  then your doctor will advise you of any next steps based on the results.

If you are over 45 (40 for men) or have any of the risk factors below, you may want to check it out.   It’s a relatively new screening tool, and it’s affordable peace of mind.  The risk factors for heart disease are:

–  a family history of heart disease
– high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes
– a history of smoking, high stress levels or a sedentary lifestyle.

During February, American Heart Month, Carolinas Imaging Services is offering CT Calcium Scoring for only $99.  Which makes this the perfect Valentine’s Gift for me to give my husband.  What could be more romantic than knowing you have a healthy heart right?  Oh, alright, if you insist I will toss in a new tie or some boxers from Brooks Brothers.  And a bottle of good red wine to help maintain our healthy hearts for the next hundred years of marriage.

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Retail marketer who loves shopping, fashion, design, travel and dining out. NOLA native, Francophile, and DC-lover living in Charlotte since 1998. Married to a die-hard Wahoo for over 20 years, mother of one teenage boy, a labradoodle and two cats. I'm the creator & editor of scoopcharlotte - if you think you'd like to join our program, email me at today!

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