When you reach your 50's and 60's, it seems like there are countless medical screens and tests you should have done. It's a safe assumption that many people either forget or choose not to go. But for one Mitchell man, he says being proactive and getting a vascular screen ended up saving his life.
Dave Strohmayer loves nothing more than spending time with his best four-legged friend Kenny. but just a few months ago, when the two went for walks, it wasn't just the Yellow Lab who was panting.
"Didn't feel quite myself, felt kind of dragged down but I just didn't pay no attention to it." Said Strohmayer.
Dave's personal physician Dr. Dave Malters told him to go to Avera Queen of Peace to have them do a vascular screen. It's a series of three scans that check for unseen problems in the bloodstream.
"The check both the carotid arteries, the aorta looking for an aneurysm, and the legs looking for blockage." Said Dr. Malters.
After a few weeks of dragging his feet, Dave finally went to have the screening done. It's a good thing too, because halfway through the process something big popped up.
"She said we're going to go across the hall and I thought uh oh! This doesn't sound good." Said Strohmayer.
Vascular Technician June Kelly says Dave's blood was traveling through his artery at an unusually fast rate so she called Dr. Malters.
"I told her to just do a full study and the complete study found greater than 90% blockage in one of his carotid arteries." Said Dr. Malters.
"It was scary! I thought this cant be happening to me, this wasn't supposed to happen to me, it was quite a shocker." Said Strohmayer.
Dave was quickly sent to the Avera Heart Hospital in Sioux Falls to get his blockage removed and artery repaired. If Dave had waited any longer, he may not be around today.
"Usually people with blockages that severe they've been watching them for some time or they've already had a stroke, so usually you don't see it until after something bad has happened." Said Kelly.
"He averted a stroke by just a few months and it would have been a devastating stroke." Said Dr. Malters.
Dave says he's blown away looking at the before and after pictures of his artery. His experience is a perfect example why when you reach those golden years of life, a vascular screen should be first on your list.
"It kind of makes a change in your life and I tell everybody you should have it done, it's 90 bucks and that saves your life!" Said Strohmayer.
"He had no signs and no symptoms so this vascular screen did exactly what it was supposed to do and picked up a disease that was not detected in any other manner, it alerted the attention of medical personnel and then he got the proper treatment and probably saved his life." Said Dr. Malters.
Dave says his energy is back and he can actually see better than before which will be put to good use by Kenny who sure looks happy to have his best friend back.
The stroke and vascular screenings are done by appointment each Wednesday and Thursday. Each screening cost $35 dollars or you can have all three done for $90. It's not covered by insurance but like Dave, the screen could find something very life threatening. For more information just call 1-877-AT-AVERA.