Local Man Encourages Preventive Heart Checks After Finding 70% BlockagePosted on 02/17/2023

Douglas Parsley is feeling better these days, which is remarkable because he didn’t know he was ever feeling bad. That’s something he realized after he had a stent installed to relieve a 70% blockage in blood flow.

“If you had zero blockage and woke up with 70% blockage, you’d notice it,” he explained. “But when it happens over time, it’s like the old analogy about the frog in the water pan. If you gradually turn up the heat, the frog gets used to it and doesn’t know it’s in trouble. I guess I was the frog in this situation.”

He realized quickly after the stent was installed that he hadn’t been feeling as well as he could. The stent allowed for more oxygen to flow through his system, which he said changed how he felt almost immediately.

Parsley’s recovery came about because he decided to have his heart health checked preventively. He has a younger brother who suffered a heart attack, and says he knows someone else who lost a brother unexpectedly to one. Those experiences led him to surmise that, even if he felt okay, it might be a good idea to make sure there weren’t any issues hiding beneath the surface. He considers himself lucky he found out about his blockage the way that he did.

“I didn’t have a clue I had a blockage,” he said. “I just knew my younger brother had at least one heart attack, so I thought I should probably get checked out. I’m two years older and haven’t exactly been watching my intake of saturated fats.”

That decision led to other changes in his lifestyle. He said he goes to the LIFE Center on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays now, has lost weight and regularly has his blood pressure and vitals checked. After stumbling upon a blockage in the “widow-maker” range – a term he said emphasized how seriously he was at risk – he also encourages others to get checked, themselves.

“If you think there’s even a remote chance you may have a problem, it wouldn’t hurt.”

As Parsley’s story demonstrates, you may not actually know how much it’ll help until you do it.

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