In the ongoing saga of low blood pressure I found myself at the cardiologist 4 times last week.
Day One: Upon arriving it does not take a carni age guesser to know that I am at least a hundred years younger than the rest of the crowd. I am also in the minority that is not connected to an iv or oxygen tank.
The truth is, I happen to be in a rush and would selfishly love to be the first in. Selflessly, I don’t want to go in before any one of these people who could clearly use a once over and someone to check for a pulse. As I am unsettled by this thought, a woman drags herself in the door and up to the window, “I am having chest pains unlike anything I have ever felt. I don’t have an appointment, but can I see my Doctor?” As it turns out she takes my appointment and thankfully so, as poor Estelle is sitting across from me clutching her heart and breathing erratically. I proactively position myself directly parallel so that I can catch her if necessary.
As they come out calling for other people, I’m thinking please call in Estelle before she codes.
Nurse 2: “Phil”
Nurse 1: “Estelle”
Nurse 2: “Bea”
Nurse 1: “Saul”
The receptionist who is joking with all the patients as if it might be there last day, pokes her head out, “Mr. Dale are you gonna give me any more trouble today young man? Oh, and Mrs. Isenman, he’s getting to you.“
“I’ve been here over an hour is that normal?“
“Nope, he’s usually right on time, but there was a problem with the patient before you and we’ve already had an ambulance here once this morning and it‘s only 10 0‘clock“
Nurse 3: “Joan”
Mark calls to see how the appointment went.
“I’m still waiting.“
“Oh, you are? Are you filling out all the medical forms or are you just waiting to be called?“
“No Mark, they’re ready for me, I’m just so thrown by these forms. So many tough questions, like my name and my age. Then there are some real zingers like my SSN. It’s like taking the SAT’s all over again. They’re begging me to finish up and I’m trying to convince them that I’m eligible for the untimed version.
Nurse 2: “Sandy”
Look I know he’s trying. I know he was hoping I would be out so he could check it off his ‘things to remember list,’ and I know he asked that ridiculous question because he wants to seem caring, but I can’t help myself sometimes.
Nurse 1: “Jenny”
By now the hypoglycemia that they found last week during my 5 hr. glucose test is acting up and the nurse goes to get me an apple juice, that they have for “such occasions.” “Thanks, but really there’s no need to make such a fuss.” Did I really say fuss? See what an hour and a half out there did to me? “By the way how is Estelle?”
The cardiologist Dr. Seth was, thank goodness, is not what I was expecting. He was a referral from my, ‘roll your own’ Jamaican Doctor and I was thinking Seth might just be his first name, and that he may or may not have a surf board and that he may or may not have a medical license. Luckily, he is Arcaad Seth, an Indian gentleman. Look, I saw “Slumdog,” so I have a birds eye view into his upbringing. As it turns out my sympathy for his being part of a panhandling ring of blind singers does little for our deeper connection. He roboticly set me up for a series of tests to “rule out the possibilities” and sternly warns me not to drive much saying, “You could hit a school bus filled with children.“
“Thank you for that. Just telling me would not have been enough. Did the past 30 minutes with me not give you any indication that I have some excessive worrying issues? Maybe when I was telling you that when I yawn sometimes it feels like the blood gets stuck in my neck, and you snickered under your breath, like I was insane?
Wow, and that was just day one. Stay Tuned.
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