Meteors, Zombies & Peeing Yourself

You know, up until these past few weeks, I couldn’t complain about any of my experiences as a patron of the health care industry.

The doctors had been swell, the nurses even better – the physio people, the receptionist and appointment makers, orderlies, porters – all wonderful, the technicians doing ekg’s, eeg’s, echo cardiograms, MRI’s, Ultra sounds, bloodwork and on and on, cruddy reason to experience it all, but considering the horror stories you hear about the health care crisis, you get nervous.

Of course people are only too willing to share some horror story, about a friend of a friend who had his brain removed and replaced with a used spleen, so it seems like that’s all we hear about. Not much entertainment in a procedure going smooth as glass, with zero complications. There’s just no drama there… and lordy the folk do love drama.

Like I said, my experiences have been good, but lately things have been going a bit off the rails. I told you the other day about the clashing cardiologists. Well, yesterday I had an appointment at the heart centre, they take a sort of quarterback position with all the procedures, meds, etc etc – keep the doctors in the know and try to ensure you’re not the one getting the errant spleen.

So I go in and the nurse practitioner says “so I see you had your cardioversions, I also see the doctors noted the longest you maintained rhythm was 10 seconds”, I said un-huh… she then asks me how I felt in those 10 seconds, she asked if I could tell if the flutter & fib had disappeared, even for that brief time.

I sort of sat there for a second and then I said, “well, you know – when they do the procedure, I’m unconscious, therefore I am unable to tell you how I felt for those 10 seconds”. HEY, lady working in the heart centre, with the heart patients – people with potentially catastrophic heart problems, have you even been in a hospital before? Did you even graduate from the intensive 3 week DeVry Technical Institute Heart Program?

I’m taking the glass is half full view and assuming you have, at the very least, a passing knowledge of the procedures in which the heart patients you are dealing with are being subjected to?

Now maybe I was being mean, who am I? Whose to say she wasn’t the victim of some random blunt force trauma on her way in to work that very morning. I know for a fact, every so often a meteorite plunges through the atmosphere and strikes the earth, who am I to say she wasn’t getting off the short bus and had her skull caved in by some piece of Space ephemera.

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I’m a gonna go a step further, give her more of a break, perhaps it wasn’t her fault, maybe she was just a part of some Hospital experiment to see what the capabilities of the walking dead are in a patient exam situation. And she almost had me, I was totally ready to accept her as being a fully functioning, productive member of society. I didn’t get the tell-tale zombie smell, usually associated with those types, during the course of my initial sit down with her, she never s once said “braiiins.” I did my due diligence, some people check where the exits are, I make sue there are no Zombies in my immediate vicinity.

So, upon realizing that I was anesthetized and therefore not only was I unable to operate heavy machinery, but I was also quite unaware of how I felt at that particular point…  She says “Oh, yes of course, Ok I’ll leave that blank” ….   …right, let’s leave that blank for now I say…. while glancing down the hall, “hey ummm, is anyone else working today”…

“Before we go on, I want to tell you your next appointment will be August 23rd.” So I say “well, will that be post surgery?” and that’s when she started yelling “BRAINS” “BRAINS” and chased me down the hall. I make a joke, I don’t think she was really a zombie but I was getting pretty close to Braining her…. She looks at me all blank and says “what surgery?” So I proceed to explain the whole pacemaker decision and the implant surgery, blah, blah, then after implant, I have the surgery to destroy the sinal node, blah, blah…. I’m on the waiting list the surgeon is supposed to call soon and tell me when we are go. Ring any bells?

She stands up and says I’ll be right back.

She does come back.

Apparently my file is all over the place, one doctor saying one thing, another contradicting – surgery scheduled, surgery postponed because one guy wants more test, then overridden by initial cardiologist to proceed. Now sudden I’ve become ROE vs WADE and everyone is fighting over my right to choose. Bloody hell I thought we’d been all over this and I was all set to get the device, so I would stop feeling so bloody cruddy, plus I could drop all my heart related meds. That would be good. BUT WAIT THERE”S MORE!

So she tells me my INR – the Coumadin (blood thinner) reading, was too high and it’s been climbing. I need to cut back on my dosage right away. Hmmmm I wonder if that has anything to do with the spontaneous bleeding from the hands? Nawww, totally unrelated I’m sure.

We end out charming visit with her swearing to Zombie God that she will personally make sense of my file, she will get all the doctors on the same page and we’ll get  the surgery dates all straightened out as well as all the tests I have coming up. I say thank you and leave. Far more bewildered than when I arrived…

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I make my merry way home, damn lucky to be alive after the zombie nurse encounter and there is already a message on my phone. It’s zombie nurse, she is all in a panic, she tells me to stop taking the amiodarone (the dangerous heart rhythm drug) right away – one of the things it can do is attack your thyroid…. SO, let’s see if you can guess what happens next…. Hurray! You’re a winner, it apparently has started going after my thyroid, my TSH levels were extremely low – she wanted to make sure I stopped taking it right away and got in touch with my family doctor as soon as possible. OH, that’s not a problem, we got a place together since I see him about 93 times a week. It just makes things easier.

So I call Zombie back to make sure I heard her right, but the zombie nurse I had seen roughly 25 minutes ago, has an out of office voice mail saying she is going on vacation immediately. What? Then I email her and again out of office, she’s gone for 2 weeks. Are you kidding me. I call the reception desk and ask for some clarification after getting this maniacal message saying my thyroid was going to destroy the city, quite possible the entire west coast, it was going to make the riot look like high tea in Victoria – at least that’s how she sounded on the message – but zombies are well known for having trouble moderating their tone.

I get hold of someone who confirms I have a problem and to stop taking the pills right away and get to my doctor. For some reason I had a burning urge to pee, panicked medical professional do that to me. Particularly when they are panicking about me.

So that’s pretty much it… I had a bunch of tests and am waiting for the results…. I suppose the thyroid, as my last functioning organ felt left out and wanted in on some of that sweet sweet medical attention. Well, now it’s got it.

So let’s wrap up shall we, I have no information other than that – I’m wearing the big heart monitor now, I shaved before I went in but they weren’t happy with the job I did,  and so they dry shaved my Tom Selleck chest.. not cool. There are plenty of tests I’ve been through these past few days, no results yet, no info on surgery dates…. nothing. So there it is, When I know something, you’ll know something.

Watch out for Zombies and Peeing Yourself!

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Have a Great Day

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