Some time back, we booked Cliff with Dr. H. He shuffled through the late Dr. D's notes and gave us the three prescriptions Cliff needs; unfortunately, he looked at the wrong note and prescribed the wrong strength of Metropolol. Now, I could understand this happening, because there had been changes in the past; so I figured he probably skimmed past the most recent one (a time-release) and saw the one Cliff originally took. The prescription he sent home with us was double the strength, and not time-release, and Cliff was to take it twice a day.
What I hold against the man is this: he wouldn't listen to me when I called back and said, "This is not the dose Cliff takes; if he takes this, his blood pressure will drop far too low."
Oh no, he tried to figure out a reason why he'd changed the prescription and was not going to change it. I was almost in tears by the time I finally convinced him. The man is young, but that's no excuse. Doctors need to listen to their patients.
So, the office lady suggested Dr. John for this visit. I didn't even know they'd added yet another doctor, but I said yes, I'd try him.
Today I met this doctor, and I liked him just fine. I told him I usually see the nurse-practitioners, but that the lady in the office insisted it's time I saw a doctor. He looked at my charts and said, "Yes, I'd say so; the last time you actually saw a doctor was in 2006."
Wow, that was the time Dr. G stitched my leg up, just a few days before Cliff's heart surgery!
Honestly, there isn't that much for a doctor to do with a healthy specimen like myself, but he asked all the right questions: "Any diabetes in your family?" My mother. "Any heart disease in your family?" My mother took a prescription to help her frequent atrial fibrillation, but she lived to be ninety-two. "Why was your blood pressure medication changed?" Because the first one gave me a chronic cough. "That's very common," he said.
He listened to my lungs and heart and my stomach (seriously, my stomach? He probably heard it growling from hunger). He asked about my last mammogram, and I told him it was around a year ago just before my breast reduction. He made a note of this surgery, since I'd never mentioned it to anybody at this practice before.
"Have you had other surgeries?"
I told him about my minor knee surgeries, and that I have knee issues but so far have avoided knee replacement.
"When did you last have a pap smear?"
No way, Jose. Just leave me alone unless I get symptoms, OK? I had enough of the embarrassing pelvic exams over a span of thirty-five years, and I never got over the blushing.
I didn't say all that; actually I just told him it had been a long time, and he moved on.
"Have you ever had a colonoscopy?"
No, I would have, but I never knew who or where to call for an appointment. I explained to him that one of my dad's brothers died of colon cancer, and that my sister had some issues a couple years ago.
"I'll call and take care of the appointment," he said.
They're supposed to call me and set up an appointment; we'll see if I finally get this done. I know all about the procedure, having heard first-hand stories from many relatives. Everyone says the worst part is the preparation. They all say to stay very close to a bathroom during that time.
My worst worry is having to spend a day without coffee, but I'll live.
Here's something I'm wondering: One of the most common search phrases that brings people to my blog is something like this: "Can't stop coughing" or "coughing my head off" or "coughed for three years".
I just happened to connect the coughing to my first blood pressure medication on my own, then did some Google searching to confirm my suspicions. But I wonder how many people have a chronic cough without ever connecting it to their meds. I wonder if doctors ever quiz people about this, or warn them this can happen. I can visualize people on Ace inhibitors losing sleep from all that coughing just like I was, never knowing the cause.