Sitting at home one evening watching the news, Rick Wiedmaier heard a story about how Skaggs Regional Medical Center was holding free and low-cost screenings at its annual health fair. “I’ve been a diabetic for 10 years and thought heck, it’s a cheap check-up,” says Wiedmaier. “I had had some chest pain the Wednesday before the Health Fair and thought I should talk with someone. I had a feeling it wasn’t just indigestion.”
Wiedmaier made his way to the Skaggs Cardiac & Pulmonary Rehab booth, where director Jan Harper was handing out educational material and offering free blood pressure screenings. Wiedmaier was sold, “My sister died of a heart attack in October of 2010. She was only 48 years-old. My mother had died of a massive heart attack and my brother has a pacemaker, so when the odds are stacked up against you, you need to take action.”
Good thing Wiedmaier took action by letting Harper take his blood pressure and talking with her about his symptoms, “His blood pressure was seriously high,” says Harper. “I told him he had too many symptoms to ignore and we got him scheduled to see a physician.”
“Now that I look back, I had all sorts of warning signs,” explains Wiedmaier. “My foot was numb, I was running out of energy, and a few months earlier while riding my Harley Davidson with my friends, my hand kept turning white.” Wiedmaier made excuses, blaming his diabetes, but it wasn’t until Jan raised an eyebrow at his blood pressure results and symptoms, did he think anything was serious.
Rick Wiedmaier is walking proof that regular screenings can save lives. “The physician ran a stress test, which turned out positive,” says Wiedmaier. “So, the next step was for me to go to the CATH lab and get a stent put in. Turns out I had 95% blockage! I was kind of shocked by what they found. Just a quick blood pressure at the Health Fair and telling someone about my symtoms prevented a heart attack.”
Now Wiedmaier is back to work and riding his Harley with friends. “Since the stent, no white hand and no numbness in my foot!”