We haven't visited the cardiologist for two or three years; Dr. Deblase, our primary care doctor, did all the same procedures as the specialists, and when I asked him if Cliff needed to go elsewhere, he said no.
And then Dr. Deblase got cancer and eventually died.
So Cliff has been pretty much in the hands of nurse-practitioners since then. One of them has had him cut back on his Lipitor twice in the last year; that's great, as long as it's really the right thing to do, because Lipitor is very expensive. But I decided it's time Cliff saw his heart doctor, just to make sure.
What's that? Well of COURSE I took pictures!
Before this was taken, when we first met this guy, we were not impressed. There had been a new program installed in the computers where he worked, and he spent most of his time mumbling at the computer and trying to figure it out, rather than dealing with Cliff.
Cliff took a nuclear stress test, then returned to the room where I was; we waited together for the results of the test, planning where we'd go out to eat after this doctor was through with him.
Our plans were interrupted when he came into the room with charts in his hand and said, "Well, there's a problem."
Those were some life-changing words, let me tell you. He wouldn't even let Cliff drive to the hospital... and we'd been riding around on a motorcycle for months!
We neither one like going to the cardiologist's office. You have to make an appointment about three months ahead of time, and the people at the front desk are often rude. However, I remind myself that without that doctor, or one like him, Cliff would probably be dead. I might be, too, if Cliff had had a heart attack while we were on the motorcycle.
I guess I should pause for a moment and give thanks for specialists, one and all.