You Gotta Have Heart
HEARING GOOD NEWS IS SO COMFORTING. The good news that I got last Tuesday was like that. My Cardiologist told me to make my next appointment to see him a full year from now. That tells me that he assumes I will still be around a year from now.
I’ve been seeing this guy for about ten years now. It was more as a consultation from my regular doctor because of my high blood pressure. It was not because of any specific anomaly or incident.
The thing is – my appointments with him have been yearly for a while now and it has gotten to the point where they are the same, exactly the same, every year. I can write out the dialogue in advance and I know that I will have it down cold.
Every time I see him the nurse tells me to take off my shoes and socks so the doctor can check my feet. And it all goes just like this.
“OK, Mr. Kraft, your feet look good. Good color, but your left foot and ankle are somewhat swollen. Do you know why?”
“Yes. It is always swollen by this time of day.”
“Why this time of day?”
“Because I walk unevenly and after walking around all day it swells up a bit.”
“How long has this been going on, Mr. Kraft?”
“Oh, about 70 years.”
End of scene.
He and I have had this dialogue for years now. It would save time for both of us if he would just look at my chart. But we both know that ain’t gonna happen.
Actually, checking my chart might not give him the straight poop anyway. Every time I go there and the nurse goes over the preliminaries with me we end up having to make some corrections. That happened this trip, yet again.
This time her review of my chart had the dosages on my meds askew. It’s a good thing I keep track of it. Some of the previous nonsense we have uncovered in my chart includes:
“So, when did you have Polio?”
“I’ve never had Polio.”
“Really? It says here you have.”
“Don’t you think I would know?”
“I’ll delete that from the chart.”
“And you are allergic to shellfish, right?
“But you are diabetic.”
“I’m sorry, that’s wrong, but thanks for playing our game.”
It’s beginning to shake my confidence in them.
I see three different doctors there. One of them never checks my chart. Another likes to listen to dirty joke comedians, and the third once triggered a bomb scare at the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City.
Can I pick ‘em?
Despite all of this I still think I am in good hands, medically speaking. I’m still alive, ain’t I? That is my main criteria.
It’s a very simple flowchart.
All in all, I figure that the best person to keep tabs on my health is me. I’ve been with me the longest. I know what I mean when I say something like. “I have an Ow-ee on my leg.” I am available 24 hours a day for consultation, and the best part is – I work cheap. Give me a cookie or a decent cup of coffee and I will listen to me all day long. Try that at your favorite doctor’s office and see how far you get.
So, I’m done with the Cardiologist for another year, barring any sudden changes in my breathing pattern or lack thereof.
I think next year I’ll print out our dialogue so I can just hand it to him and save us both some time.