Friday, July 30, 2010

A trip to the cardiologist

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.   

This is the guy he's going to see; here he is in 2006, telling Cliff after his angiogram that he's going to need open heart surgery.  
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. 

Because that doctor contacted this heart surgeon, Dr. Gallion, who, a mere two days after the angiogram, was doing four bypasses to Cliff's heart.  In this picture, he's telling us the surgery went just fine, thank you very much.  I hope Cliff never needs a heart surgeon again, but if he does, this is the man I would want in charge.  All the nurses, and former patients of his we talked to, seemed to think he walked on water.
I guess I should pause for a moment and give thanks for specialists, one and all.


Anonymous said...

Working most of my life with doctors I know that none of them truly walk on water, but some of them come damn close. ~Mary

Lori said...

I'm glad Cliff's going to be seeing his cardiologist for a check up. It never hurts to be sure about things. Glad he had such good doctors taking care of him when he had his bypass.