Too Much Knowledge Could be Bad for Your Health

This post is a perfect example of why playing dumb is underrated!!!  In a doctors office, there’s a fine line between what you should be privy to and what should not be part of a conventional, time killing conversation.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m one of those annoying patients who’s always trying to suck some  information out of the techs in the doctor’s offices.  You know the people who do the tests, and even though they know exactly what’s going on inside your body, they say things like, “I don’t read the tests, I just administer them,” or “You must discuss all results with the doctor.” Well, in an unfortunate occurrence, I found out why this rule is in place.

While in the cardiologist office, I was having a banal conversation with the doctor’s assistant.

That’s not a clinical term.  Frankly, I don’t know what they call doctor’s assistants.  Nurses maybe?  Was that racist of me?  Like medical profiling. G-d you really can’t say anything these days huh? (See What you Should Never Say When You Forget Someone’s Name for more on that.)

Well, lets say that the woman who took my blood, and hooked up by EKG was a bit too talky talky and in the future I will avoid such people because they like to tell you that you will die.

Let me backtrack a bit from my impending doom, as I fear I’ve left some things out.

So, a couple years back I was told that, by incidental finding, I have a bicuspid aortic valve.
Put down the phone.
Don’t dial 911, as I’m sure you were about to… it sounds worse than it is.

Frankly, many people have this defect and don’t even know it until the valve needs to be replaced, so chances are you have one too! Just sayin’.

But, in a recent turn of events I was told I most likely no longer have a bicuspid valve. Well, not so much “no longer,” as they don’t grow back like alien arms, but actually – never did.

“Wahooo.”  I was tested last week and the ultrasound tech saw 3 valves.  I was then assured that if she saw 3 there are probably 3.  This is because sometimes (because of the angle) they see only 2 when there are actually 3, but rarely do they see more valves than are truly there.  Unless they’re drunk, which is why they said “probably,” because they weren’t sure if the tech was drunk or not and frankly, neither was I.  She did tell me how attractive my heart was and I said something like, “if you saw it with the lights on you might not be so smitten.”

So, as the Dr’s assistant, AKA, the Nurse was putting on the wires to the heart monitor I was to wear for the next 24 hours, I exuberantly said, “The Doctor told me about the valves, that…” At this point she interrupted as if she knew where I was going and thought it a good time to take over (See – Why do people insist on finishing other people’s sentences for more on that one.)

Nurse: “…that, you have some leaks?  Yes, I saw it in the report.” (frowny face).

Me, hangin’ on to my triumphant discovery: “Um, no about the tricuspid valve?”

Nurse-ish Lady (who is an assistant at best):“Yes, it has a leak too but it’s very minor.”

Ok, my excitement is waning.  This is not quite the conversation I was trying to start.

Nurse-esque Lady with Diarrhea of the Mouth: “You know the mitral valve leak, like the other leaks, is minor as well?” she continued, unsolicited.

Clearly the look of horror on my face was saying, “Please I want to hear more.”

My heart is sounding like a block of swiss cheese.  Which reminds me, I’m really craving a turkey club.

Un-nurselike Lady, who should definitely have whatever license she has revoked:  “On a scale of leaks these are trace.  Well, two are and one is trace to mild, which is still nothing to worry about.”

“Okay.” I said meekly, trying to not give anymore openings for her to pipe in.

Lady who I would like to slap, but won’t because I fear the adrenaline rush will make my leaky heart explode: “You see, if they were moderate to severe, you would need to be on antibiotics before teeth cleaning and any type of procedure. The scraping and cutting can cause a blood infection and then the infection gets through the leak and that’s what kills you.”

No, “And that’s not good?” or “And that’s what causes problems?” Nope, she jumped straight to, “And that’s what will make you die!”

“But that’s for leaks which are more moderate to severe,” she continued.  “You don’t even need the antibiotics.”

“Actually, the Doctor just told me I should take them.”

“Oh. Umm… are you allergic to penicillin?”

Note to self: Stop seeing the cardiologist it’s bad for your health.

PS- Here’s what’s happening at my other site:  Redneck Jews – Myth or Reality?  – The Loch Ness Monster, Leprechauns, The tooth fairy, non lesbian female gym teachers and of course redneck Jews… do they exist?

6 thoughts on “Too Much Knowledge Could be Bad for Your Health

  1. insanitykim

    *I* have mitral valve prolapse. *I* was the one on antibiotics before cleanings, and *I* was the one docs thought had a heart infection, because of it, but it was some weird anemia that I could only cure with iron pills the size of kiwis. Yeah that was me! You keep stealing my life!

    OK so no, you are not stealing my life, but my last echo said my valve was looking better. That’s good, ’cause for real I hate leaking all over the place.

    What happened to your other doctor? Ya know, *that* one? You should keep going to him. He has other kinds of aides… (I spelled that aides and not aids so you wouldn’t think I was implying he had AIDS and then you would be even more freaked out. Don’t you just miss my comments?)

  2. Bari

    I seriously think they plant those “nurse ladies” at cardiologist offices just to drop hints of scary info. so you’ll think you’ve got more problems. It’s good for business. Who knows, they might give someone a heart attack or something.

    1. Jenny from the blog Post author

      Why are cardiologists so sneaky. I mean you hear all the stories, the rumors etc, but you don’t believe them until it happens. Cardiologist do have nurses trained to scare you into coming back!!!

  3. Tressa

    Medical semi-professionals with diarrhea of the mouth are scary. I once was informed over the phone that my MRI results were in, and although she couldn’t speak to what they had found regarding my neck pain, they had seen some shadows on my thyroid.

    “Like ghosts?” I asked

    “No, like tumors.” she said.

    “Like CANCER?”

    “Well, yeah, like cancer. That’s why I’ve made you an appointment to see Dr. I-Have-Crappy-Nurses tomorrow first thing.”

    Of course, hind sight being 20/20, I tend to appreciate an excess of information as opposed to the very tight lipped nurse who called me at 8pm a week before Christmas to tell me that pathology was back with abnormal results on my PAP and Dr. I-Have-Great-Nurses wanted to see me at 8 am the next morning. When I asked her to define abnormal she simply said she didn’t have my file in front of her, I was just her evening call list but that I shouldn’t get upset or worried as I wasn’t on the emergency list. Which was no comfort at all, but an A for effort.

    That actually has turned out to be cancer as opposed to the Thyroid thing which was just cysts.

    So, in the end, the thyroid nurse HATES me as when I did get in to see the Dr. I was all about the phone call and he was super pissed and the shit evidently rolled down on top of her.

    1. Jenny from the blog Post author

      Well, tressa I tend to agree I do dig for more. It’s hard we want to know, but it helps when the source is educated! Though frankly, I believe anyone in a white coat… which unfortunately tends to include mental patients.


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