I almost hesitate to write this as I know it’s really going to rile up Kate (aka Sledpress) but since my Medical Check List post I thought things were going rather well. Until this morning. After the blood test and ECG results came in my GP requested appointments for me to see a cardiologist and a dermatologist (for my going bald issue) and meanwhile oncology finally got in touch and I have another CT scan on Monday. Today I had the cardiologist at 9 AM, so I was up and out and in a taxi (in the rain) hoping to find something out. Alas… nope. They gave me another ECG when I got to the hospital and then I waited to see the doctor, who ended up remembering me from an appointment several years ago (I didn’t remember her, maybe that was my first mistake).
Anyhoodle, she acted very wary… saying I shouldn’t sit too close to her desk, telling me to turn my head away from her when she listened on the stethoscope. I mean, I get it. She is surrounded by possible sick people all day long, but she truly had no “bedside manner”. And worst of all was that she simply didn’t listen to me.
My reasons for being there were the following: I am short of breath almost always these days, I get that “tight skin” feeling in my arms when I stand up too quickly (and sometimes also feel a bit dizzy), I also sometimes have tightness in my chest (never actually got to tell her that bit) and, yes, the tachycardia keeps happening. ASSUMPTION was that I was there once again about the tachycardia, but I wasn’t. This is something I’ve had since I was 25 and NO DOCTOR has ever been able to find out why. So I was there because it’s increasingly harder for me to breathe and I get a “tight” pain in my arms and fingers, there’s also a tightness across my lower ribs. Did she listen to me? Did she fuck.
She was also annoyed that I didn’t know my blood pressure number – I told her it was a bit high when I saw my GP last week. So then I was told to monitor my BP twice a day (how? she didn’t say) and then go back to see my GP, who would probably prescribe medication. And then she wrote me a prescription for some drug to SLOW DOWN MY PULSE so that maybe I wouldn’t get tachycardia any more. Except I wasn’t there because of the tachycardia. Oh yeah, was also told I should drink decaf. And OF COURSE… “you are obese so these are probably related to that and you should lose weight”. This was her specialist take?
Can I tell you? I had no fight left in me after she said that. I mean of course I know that being overweight can cause health problems, or exacerbate ones you may already have, but I also know that these health problems are not “solved” by simply telling the person to lose weight. A friend of mine had similar symptoms recently and – thankfully for her – was taken seriously, was properly tested and had emergency surgery to repair a blockage in an artery. Like me, she thought she was just getting tired out by walking, etc because she was getting old and was overweight. Well nuh-uh. She had a serious but treatable condition that, without treatment, may well have killed her.
Now what? Fuck knows. I have the CT on Monday. Perhaps if there’s anything particularly dodgy with my heart it might show up there? I’ll mention it to the CT technicians (they are usually very nice) so they can have an extra look. In my vasty experience it’s usually the nurses, technicians (and sometimes even the cleaning staff!) who end up being more empathetic than the actual doctors. Wish me luck!