A Nurse with a Gun

Friday, May 12, 2006

Pressure

My blood pressure was too damned high at my re-check. The employment nurse informed me I would have to show proof that I was under the care of a physician for my BP prior to orientation.

I thought about just calling in a few favors, but then decided to be a straight arrow and go do what I should do anyway. I left and attended to my AM dressing changes, and by 10:30AM I was cooling my heels in Dr.O's waiting room. I had last seen Dr.O back in 2002. My wife had convinced me to see a physician back then. Before that, I had seen a doctor when I was processed out of the Navy in 1991.

I had watched Dr.O practice in the hospital when he was a young doc in town and I was a young nurse on the floors. I had been impressed. O would really try to ascertain the root of a patient's problem, not simply treat apparent symptoms and move on. He spent more time than any other physician I have ever seen dealing with patients. He was a physician who practiced for the love of medicine rather than the check it provides. At least that's how I recalled it.

Dr. O's staff agreed to work me in before lunch. As I sat in his waiting area filling out forms, I realized I did not have my insurance information with me. I gave my wife a call, and asked her to bring it. Thank God for my wife. I was at a slow boil in Dr.O's waiting room. The idea that an employee health nurse could obstruct any further progress towards a job in surgery based on a blood pressure of 154/94 made me furious. 45 minutes passed. My wife finally arrived. Thank God for my wife.

We waited for another 45 minutes, until every person left the doc's waiting room. Even the drug reps were worked in before us. That pissed me off. Finally, my name was called, and I went back to see Dr.O.

He was a bit grayer than I remembered, but still the same man. He sat with me during his lunch break, asking the right questions to get at the source of my high blood pressure. Since I knew the questions, I also knew the answers. When he brought up SSRI's I told him there is no way in hell an anti-depressant will pass my lips. He made a couple of parries with the notion, but I blocked any option of an antidepressant. I am fundamentally opposed to them.

He wanted a CXR, a Chem 20, CBC, UA and a EKG. As Dr.O ate a po'boy sandwich, his staff drew blood, shot film, and wired me for electrical activity. I took a look at the EKG. I was in NSR with no QRS or ST aberrations. Good. See there? Healthy as can be. Dead eye Dick Cheney might have problems, but not Xavier!

Dr.O also wanted a ECST. I told him that would have to be scheduled in June. He asked which cardiologist I wanted on board, and I chose Dr.C, another doc who I had watched as a new kid on the block and for whom I held a great deal of respect. Finally, Dr.O prescribed a angiotension II receptor antagonist. I couldn't have done better myself. He gave me a bag of samples, and I prepared to leave. My wife asked for something that showed I had been there. Thank God for my wife. The window woman gave her a copy of Dr.O's progress note with an illegible signature, and my wife requested that it be stamped. The window woman was evasive, but my wife was persistent. She finally got it stamped. Thank God for my wife. I tossed the progress note on my dashboard among the other pre-employment papers, kissed my wife, and drove off to complete the rest of my workday, two and a half hours behind schedule.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"O would really try to ascertain the root of a patient's problem, not simply treat apparent symptoms and move on. He spent more time than any other physician I have ever seen dealing with patients. He was a physician who practiced for the love of medicine rather than the check it provides."

And you're surprised he was running late?

Sounds like a good doc. Waiting around for him is a small price to pay.

9:27 AM  

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