I don't get over things easy. I hold on to issues that bother me for years. For instance, it's forty-eight years later and I'm still pissed off that the Chicago Blackhawks blew game seven of the Stanley Cup Final to the Montreal Canadians. Yeah, I know they've won three Stanley Cups recently, but I'm still upset about that one lost opportunity.
If I get this way over sports that occurred almost five decades ago, you can imagine how I am about health issues. Yeah, I think obsessive would be the word you might use. Maybe neurotic fits better? Hell, probably both! Definitely, both.
Ten days ago I had an incident. Trying to beat a red light, I ran across an intersection in my neighborhood. When I reached the sidewalk, I was sweating, breathing hard and my heart was beating out of control. Fifteen minutes later, I had calmed down and went to my doctor's office to check this out. They ran an EKG which came back normal. No heart attack. Everything was fine. It was probably a one-off incident. I asked if I should have a stress test. He said it wasn't necessary. Just be aware, keep an eye on this and come back if it happens again.
Apparently my primary physician doesn't know about my obsessive/neurotic personality.
Since then, my chest has been hurting. I'm pretty sure it's just indigestion, but in the
back front of my mind, I think know I have heart issues. So I do what any normal obsessive/neurotic human would do. I decide to go to a Cardiologist.
The first problem is I have no idea where to find one. It's Google time! Hmmm...here's one in my neighborhood. It looks like they take my insurance. They take new patients. They even have excellent Yelp reviews. If it works for a restaurant, it must work for a heart doctor, right. I make an appointment.
Thursday, I had my first meeting with my new heart team.
I fill out the paperwork and it's go time. I have a discussion with doctor #1. He asks a few questions. I give him some answers. We check my vitals. All is fine...so far. "Let's start with an ultrasound and an EKG and we'll go from there." Sounds good to me. That's what my insurance company is paying for, right?
A technician comes into the room and we start with the ultrasound. "If you hear a beeping, it's your heart pumping your blood." The good news is I did hear the beeping...phew. No bad news...yet. She followed up with the EKG. Pretty simple, except for pulling off the tabs. "All done. The doctor will be in to go over the test results shortly."
WOW! How fast is this. Those Yelp reviews were right on!
Here comes doctor #2. He's the son of doctor #1. It's a family business. There are other siblings who are also physicians. One is a psychiatrist. I probably need her more than the heart doctors. It's time to check the film.
The EKG looks good. No heart disease. We look at the ultrasound. Heart is sound, Blood is pumping. Valves are good. Then came this conversation:
Me: I had a feeling all was good. I used to go to the ER all the time for every imagined chest pain. I thought I was over that. Guess not. Looks like I'm just a hypochondriac with insurance.
Doc2: I understand. I'm the same way. It's worse with me. Whenever I feel something, I hook myself up to the machines and check myself out. I've never had a heart issue.
Me laughing: I really feel better now. I may have to write a Yelp review.
So yeah, apparently my heart doc is a bit of a hypochondriac....maybe more than a bit. It got me thinking. Are other doctors like this? Do they have imagined pains of their specialty? For instance, does my neurologist think he has brain cancer whenever he has a headache? Does my dermatologist freak out whenever she sees dry skin on her body? Does my urologist think she's having urinary tract infections whenever she has a problem peeing? I don't know the answer to those questions, but I was able to do a little research. By coincidence, I had an appointment to see my Gastroenterologist this afternoon. I'm sure you're thinking, he sure has a lot of doctors, and you'd be right, but that's a story for another time.
I've been with this doctor for more than three years. We have a pretty good relationship. I feel like I can ask her anything...so I did.
Me: Hey Dr.D, I have a strange question. It's research for a health piece I'm writing.
Dr.D: Sure. Go ahead. We'll see how strange.
Me: My Cardiologist always thinks he's having heart attacks.
Dr. D: Cardiologist? Why? When did you get a cardiologist?
Me: Uhhh...today. Anyway...So..Ummm...I was wondering if you had real or imagined stomach issues because of your specialty?
Dr. D: Sigh! Really? That's why you're here today.
Me: No...no...I really do have bad indigestion. We can move on.
I'm pretty sure I can take her answer as a no! But I really think she's wrong. I know a few therapists who have told me that they have their own therapist, whether they need one or not.
So what have we learned today?
a. I'm a hypochondriac.
b. My heart doctor is a hypochondriac.
c. My GI doc is a poser.
I'll be back at the Cardiology office in three weeks. They want me to take a stress test. I wonder if I can get the doctor to join me?
Related Post: Is it okay to stalk your doctor on Facebook?
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