When Narayana was in his mid-50s, he began having chest pain. He thought it was just heartburn, and went to see his regular physician for treatment. After medication didn't seem to help ease his discomfort, he went back to his doctor, who decided to do a cardiac workup. The EKG indicated that something was wrong with his heart.
Narayana was then referred to cardiologist Cesar Molina, M.D., who also serves as the medical director of El Camino Hospital's South Asian Heart Center, and he has been seeing him ever since. For more than 18 years, Narayana has worked with Dr. Molina to improve his heart health.
"When Dr. Molina first told me that I would need to be treated at the hospital, I was shocked," recalls Narayana. "I couldn't believe there was something wrong with my heart."
But, sure enough, during that first trip to El Camino Hospital in 1994, Dr. Molina found a blockage in a major artery, which was initially treated by angioplasty and then later through cardiac bypass surgery (with cardiac surgeon Robert Mitchell, M.D., who has since retired).
Given that Narayana was relatively young at the time, he knew he would have many years ahead of him where he would need to stay on top of his heart health. And, working with Dr. Molina for the past two decades, he has done just that.
Dr. Molina has closely monitored his cholesterol and adjusted his medications as needed. Narayana has a cardiac checkup every year, and never misses an appointment. He takes aspirin every day. He exercises and watches what he eats. "Dr. Molina has even recommended classes in meditation to me," Narayana adds.
"I think it's so important to have an ongoing relationship with your doctor if you have heart problems," recommends Narayana. "I am happy I have stayed with Dr. Molina all of these years. He is a good doctor."
This year Narayana will celebrate 50 years of living in the United States, since leaving his home country of India when he was just 24 years old. Narayana, congrats on your upcoming anniversary date, and for taking such excellent care of your heart health!