RE: Susan B (16 Apr 2011) "Cardiologists/Electrophysiologists"
I greatly appreciate your prayers and your efforts.
On Thursday when I arrived at work I was feeling out of sorts and nauseated. I attended a 7:30 staff meeting and felt shortness of breath while simply sitting. When 8 o'clock rolled around, I slipped out of the meeting and had my nurse perform a 12 lead EKG on me. It was atrial fibrillation at a rate of 176. Now my estimated maximum heart rate for my age would be a rate of 159 beats a minute. I have basically been at 110 beats a minute persistent atrial fibrillation at rest for three months now. I faxed a copy of the EKG and left a phone message for my negligent cardiologist, and returned to the meeting.
When the meeting ended about 8:30 a.m., I presented a copy of the EKG to the clinic medical director. We went directly to his office and he asked me what I wanted him to do. I asked for a prescription of a beta-blocker, a common drug used to slow cardiac rhythms. I then walked it to our pharmacy and told them to fill it "Stat." In a few minutes later it was ready, I took one, and proceeded to see my first patient of the day. I was short of breath simply sitting and slowly talking with my patient. I became diapheretic (started to sweat) by the simple effort of writing a prescription. I informed my nurse that I would go ahead and see the one other patient she had placed in a room, but that was going to be it for the day. I then laid down on one of my exam tables for over an hour to regain my strength, and allow the beta-blocker to start to work.
I drove home, vomited, then slept in my recliner from about 10 a.m. to 4:30 PM. I forced myself to get up so that I could drive to the local store to buy some Gatorade, which was my only sustenance for the next 24 hours. I spent about three hours (in slow motion) on the Internet searching for "Cardiologists/Electrophysiologists" in the Sacramento area, and found one that looked promising. I was in bed before 8 PM to get up at 5:30 the next morning.
I was weak but feeling a little better on Friday morning. First thing, the medical director came and checked on me, and asked me if there was anything he could do. "Yes, please refer me to an Electrophysiologist." Something you do not routinely ask your boss. (I was going to try to make the referral on my own.) He had me follow him to another doctor's office who reportedly was "better connected with the physicians in Sacramento. It turned out that his connections were all at Kaiser, an HMO not covered by our insurance. I then mentioned the one doctor that I found on the Internet. The medical director's eyes lit up and stated that years ago this doctor would occasionally fill in at our clinic. Both of the doctors agreed that he was an excellent cardiologist.
The medical director stated that we need to get this doctor's number. I immediately handed him the printout I made from the Internet, and he went right to this speakerphone. Within five minutes, half of it on hold, he got me an appointment for the next "business Day." At lunchtime I rushed home to get copies of all of my tests, to fax to the cardiologist.
Please be praying for me during my visit with the electrophysiologist on Monday, April 18, at 2 PM Pacific time. A family practice physician was able to do in five minutes, what a cardiologist could not accomplish in over 10 days. The difference is not training or education. The difference is caring and then responding. Too many doctors are taking our money and insurance, and failing to do the work. We should not allow it to continue.
I would be very interested to see if "my new cardiologist" is on Professor Sanders approved list.
Please also pray for my nurse, Pam; and my boss Dr. Genato, M.D.. I have no idea if they have any needs, but they are good, caring people.