Is it too much to ask for a doctor with a legal driver’s license?

by Bella Rum

One of the many things I could do to simplify my life (and it doesn’t include the obvious… like cleaning a closet) is find a local cardiologist. Sounds like a reasonable thing to do, doesn’t it? If you’ve been reading around here for a while, you’re probably thinking, um, why doesn’t she already have a local cardiologist? Reasonable question. I mean she’s had this heart issue for a couple of years now.

Can you believe it’s been almost two years since I was diagnosed? I find that stunning. Can you believe half of the summer is gone? Never to be reclaimed? I know, I know. Life is fleeting and all that. So grab an inner tube and get out there.

Back to the cardiologist. Why don’t I have a local doc? After all, this is not tonsillitis we’re talking about. What if I had an emergency? We stayed with Dad for three years (about 70 or 80 minutes from here). When we moved back to our house, I only had one appointment left with my primary care doc down there. The plan was to keep that appointment and then get a local primary care physician, but she detected A-Fib during that routine exam. Then all hell broke loose, and she connected me with a wonderful cardiologist – down there. I felt safe with him. I was familiar with her, and I trusted her judgement. I figured I would get the initial “stuff”(cardioversion, etc.) over and done with, and then get a doc up here. This explanation has already gone too long to make a long story short.

A nurse/friend gave me a list of four or five good cardio guys here and admonished me for not making the change sooner. So I promptly put the list aside and continued to visit Dad and my doctor once a month to get my INR checked. H goes with and takes me to lunch, and it’s actually a very pleasant day for both of us and Dad. But I need a doc here.

So I dug the list out of a drawer in the office, and ‘H’ suggested a guy he went to when they were looking for issues with his lungs and wanted him to get a little heart check… just in case. His name was there on the list, but I recalled my friend saying that he was new, and she didn’t know him personally. A nurse/friend of her’s had recommended him. ‘H’ said he seemed “fine” to him.

Now would be the time to tell you that ‘H’ and I have completely different opinions of doctors. I like someone who actually went to med school and has crossed the threshold of puberty. ‘H’ is more relaxed about these silly things. If the guy plays a doc on TV, ‘H’ is fine with him. If he has a toy stethoscope around his neck, ‘H’ is fine with that, too. ‘H’ is one laid back guy. I am not.

I visited this doctor a couple of weeks ago. I swear, when he walked in the examining room, I thought it was Doogie Howser. He WAS Doogie Howser. You have no idea the restraint it took not to ask him if they were cousins. He couldn’t have been over 13 years old. Okay, I exaggerate. Maybe 16. Okay, 23… 25… I felt like asking him if he wanted an ice cream cone. You guys, he was SO young.

Then he set about wanting to change two of my meds. He wanted to put me on a new drug that has been on the market about five minutes and that my other doctor told me he would not even consider until it had been around for a while. He told me to let other people take it for a few years and let’s see what happens. His primary objection was that if I started to bleed, he would be unable to reverse it. He would have to wait until it was completely out of my system. This would require hospitalization and blood transfusions, etc. He said the drug would probably prove to be fine, but he preferred the conservative approach. For about 20 minutes, Doogie tried to get me to agree to try the new drug. It was a little disturbing. And I was like come on, let’s go to the park and I’ll push you on the swings.

Then I left and tripped over his tricycle in the hall on my way out. Lawsuit pending.

When I asked ‘H’ how he could send me to someone who’s that young, he said, “What? He was fine with me.” When “H” says something is fine, it means it’s legal, barely edible, or a doctor capable of writing his first name in cursive.

The search continues for a doc who is over drinking age and does not work for the pharmaceutical company. I’m on my way to get my INR tested this morning. No worries.