Lisa Cummings never thought she would be alive to see her three children go to college or get married and have children of their own because she battled symptoms of heart disease for nine years without having the diagnostic. Now, more than a year after being healed, she advocates for women to fight for their heart health.
âI want women to never give up and stay hopeful,â Cummings says. âGet a second and third opinion. If I hadn’t looked for another answer, I would never have met Dr. Purvi parwani at Loma Linda University Health and may not be alive today.
Parwani is the cardiovascular disease specialist at Loma Linda University International Heart Institute who has treated Cummings and many other women with heart disease that may go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed due to symptoms and atypical presentation.
âWomen are often overlooked and misdiagnosed due to their atypical presentation of heart disease,â Parwani explains. “Here at Loma Linda University Health, we go above and beyond to properly diagnose and treat patients with the best possible tools, technologies and treatment options.”
Cummings says Parwani was her saving grace when she lost all hope of living beyond her forties. His heart battle began just 10 days after his 40se birthday when she thought she was having a heart attack. She was out of breath, felt like someone was standing on her chest, and felt a severe pain rising from her neck to her jaw and down her left arm.
She went to the emergency room to be assessed, but doctors at that hospital fired her saying she had had a panic attack. The usual diagnostic test showed no signs of a heart attack.
âAt that point, I was frustrated,â Cummings says. âI felt like I was making a mountain out of a molehill because of what the doctors told me there was nothing wrong with me. I had no idea this was just the start of my journey.
Two weeks later, her symptoms returned and she went to the emergency room again. Unfortunately, he was told the same thing. Frustrated that the doctors didn’t believe she knew something was wrong, she decided to live with the debilitating symptoms. It wasn’t until nine years later that she finally wanted to come back for help.
This time, not feeling well after a stressful week, she came to emergency care at Loma Linda University Health. It turns out that the day she went to emergency care, the attending physician was Parwani, a cardiovascular specialist for women from the International Heart Institute at Loma Linda University, who specializes in cardiovascular disease issues. in women. After hearing Cummings’ story, she knew something was wrong.
âShe listened to everything I said and did all the testing to make sure she got to the root of the problem,â Cummings said. “Her ability to listen to everything I said and didn’t say and to take thorough action gave me hope.”
With the correct diagnostic tests, Parwani was able to diagnose the problem. It turns out that Cummings was suffering from cardiovascular spasms due to a condition called vasospastic angina. Parwani determined that Cummings needed the appropriate medication to help relieve the symptoms of his heart spasms. Now Cummings is back with his family leading a busy life.
Parwani says she brings a passion for cardiovascular disease day in and day out to her visits with patients. She also advises that if you feel that something is wrong with your heart, and especially if you have risk factors, don’t question that gut feeling – get checked out ASAP. The Loma Linda University International Heart Institute is dedicated to making sure you are complete. If you are interested in all the Institute has to offer, visit their website or call 1-800-468-5432.