Murmurs of the Heart — Part 4

Excerpt from JT’s email from Dec 11, 2013:

I was going to write a lengthy blow by blow report on the two doctors’ visits of the past two days, but I’ll just give you the Reader’s Digest condensed versions instead. (Was that a sigh of relief I just heard?)

On Monday Mom had a doctor’s appointment. Now I like her new doctor (Dr. B______), but I don’t like the way he keeps us waiting. 45 minutes in the waiting area. If he weren’t so convenient (the ground floor of her building) I’d consider switching. <Sigh>


Then Tuesday I had my followup with my cardiologist, Dr. M____. I think I’ve said before that I like him, but for the second day in a row a doctor kept me waiting for 45 minutes. This time in the examining room. And this was after two different people (receptionist and nurse) had grilled me with the same questions about my medication. No, it hasn’t changed since I was here a week ago for the tests.

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Anyway, by the time the doctor appeared, I was pacing. Ever tried pacing in an examining room? I was radiating attitude. Think Walter White level attitude. You’ve probably never seen me in that state, but yes, I do get really angry and annoyed on occasion.

And it didn’t get any better when the cardiologist said: “I’ve spoken to your doctor since I last saw you, and we discussed your condition. Do you feel better about it now that you’ve had some time to think about it?”

“What do you mean?” I asked. “You mean the open heart surgery? I thought that was off. Your nurse called me on Friday to let me know that no treatment was needed. I thought that meant no surgery.”

It went downhill from there.

Bottom line: my tests showed that the PVCs are rare, so there is no need to treat the PVCs. (We had never discussed treating the PVCs; I had assumed they were just part of the overall heart murmury thing.) I did well on the stress test and he thinks that overall I’m in good shape, my walking has apparently paid off. He doesn’t think I have any blocked arteries, etc., etc.

But that doesn’t mean that the mitral regurgitation does not require intervention. He still thinks I need the TEE procedure. He wanted to know why we hadn’t scheduled it. I reminded him it was because it requires anesthesia which means I would have to have someone accompanying me. After some hemming and hawing and a phone call (in which he told the other person that he trusts me; now he sounded like Walter White working Jesse), he agreed that I didn’t need to have someone come with me. Since I use a car service (Uber, it’s (mostly) very good–except during a snowfall), he could personally see to it that I make it into the car after the procedure.

I was still pissed, and in that state of mind I felt like I didn’t ever want the test or the surgery. So I asked if we could wait until after the holidays. (As you know, the holidays really mean nothing to me, but it’s an excuse that other people seem to accept.) And that’s where it stands.

BTW, he said his concern is that although I might feel fine right now, the leak might have or might develop a–he used a word that starts with an “F” I think. Flail? He said he’d write it down for me, but it’s not on the paperwork that the check out person gave me. Anyway, if I have this “flail” or whatever, it could be very serious. As in it could suddenly cause major problems or even death. So I guess I need to settle down and have some tea. Or TEE. Whatever.

And yes, I’ve just been watching the entire “Breaking Bad” series from the beginning again, as I now have the entire set on DVD.

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