Posted by: guinness222 | January 15, 2009

Me, Doctors, Nurses, and common courtesy!

       Once upon a time there was a patient (read: me) who loved life liberty and Guinness, and the pursuit of happiness. But he hated not knowing. He was a poster child for “I wanna know now!”

      Well one day he went to the nice Doctor he liked and had spent time training the Doctor to “tell it all” , don’t do the “Well we’ll keep an eye on it”, or the “Maybe we’ll try this pill for a few weeks or so.” He, (the patient) had gone to one of those “life sign screening” things at the local church, and did not get the results until the week after the annual physical from them. (Yes threats of disembowelment, performing a cranial rectal inversion form of therapy on the entire staff, etc. were all used to motivate the screening company to get me the results BEFORE the physical,…well they didn’t. (We will seek suitable revenge next year when they come around again, I’m working on a concept now. Remember, don’t get mad,…get even!)

        Anyway I get these results which are basically a lot of medical mumbo jumbo speak, but clearly says “You should forward these to your Doctor as there appear to be indications of some blood velocity variances in the right carotid artery” So I drop them off at the office and ask that the Doc give me a call after he’s reviewed them. That was a Monday morning. Wednesday morning, the day before New Years Day, he calls me at 7am at home, on my cell phone to tell me he wants me to get another more “in-depth” ultra sound test. So I call the Hospital, get the test scheduled for that afternoon, go in and “bada bing, bada bang” it’s done. That was two weeks ago.

       So a week ago I start calling to see if anyone can tell me what’s happening. (Patients rights apparently don’t come into play on testing) I had this conversation before about a year ago and I chewed the nurse a new rear end. The conversation went like this,

        “Oh yes Mr. Guinness we read the X-rays a few weeks ago and you are fine, no signs of anything abnormal. (The old Chest X-ray, apparently, according to the Doc, even though I quit smoking three or four years ago the first five years after you quit are the most “optimal time frame” for a lung cancer to show up, until the lungs can fully heal themselves. Whatever!)

         “So why didn’t anyone call me and tell me everything was fine, I’m sitting out here concerned because I’m not hearing anything, you understand Nurse?”

         “Well our policy is,….”

         “Excuse me, let me interrupt here please. I don’t give a rat’s ass what your policy is, you know, I really don’t! I’m a businessman and Rule number one is never assume anything. So the fact that I’m sitting here coughing up blood, a cup at a time, and blood is coming out of every orifice in my body,…but your policy says if I don’t hear from you assume I’m fine! Wait a minute, I need a new handkerchief, this one is soaked with blood.”

        “Ahh, …ah are you bleeding Mr. Guinness?”

       “Apparently it’s only a figment of my imagination, after all, you read the X-rays, and YOU seem to feel I’m fine and I don’t need to worry, …even though you haven’t told that me yet.”

       “I think I understand what you’re saying. But our policy,…”

       “Here’s a news flash for you, MARK MY FILE TO CALL ME AND LET ME KNOW EITHER WAY EVERY TIME, do you understand?”

       “Good, I’ll make that note.”


       Well she may have made the note but I foolishly assumed they could read! DUH!! Silly me.

        So finally I get hold of her yesterday and I said “Well?”

        “Well Dr. Mike has reviewed the carotid artery test results and he wants you to go back and have an MRA done.”

        “So what’s and MRA, and why?”

        “Well an MRA is like an MRI but it only focuses on the neck and the carotid arteries, it’s non-invasive and only takes a few hours.”

        “A Few HOURS? to do what? And WHY?

        “Well usually they will hang an IV and possibly utilize some dye for tracking, and then it takes thousands of continuous pictures from every angle or further analysis”

        “I used to be an EMT, I know what an MRI does, and MRA sounds like a new way to screw the insurance company for more charges, …but that aside WHY?”

       “Well there appears to be a small amount  of  congestion and the Doctor wants to understand it a little better.”

       “OK, let’s cut to the chase, what are we talking about, specifically in terms of percentage of blockage in each carotid? Simple, easy to answer, no frosting.”

       “Well,…now I’m only the nurse, I’m not a Doctor, so I may be somewhat off,…”

      “And the answer is?”

      “Aaaah, about 10% in the left carotid and 70% in the right, if all the results and testing is confirmed and ,…..”

      “Got it, fine, 10 in the left 70 in the right, that wasn’t so hard was it? Now what’s the prognosis and treatment regimen if it is verified with the MRA?”

      “Well, I’m the nurse, those are Doctor questions.”

      “Ok, let’s make it easier, Option 1. – try pharmaceuticals to try and resolve the plaque build up chemically if it is not a physical narrowing of the artery, Option 2 – Operate and install stents, or stints, to open the artery up more to increase the flow with a course of drugs to minimize plaque buildup and reduce it. Option 3 – I go home and watch TV until I have my stroke. That about cover it?”

          “Well I’m only the nurse,…”

         “Ok, fine, I’ll call and schedule the MRA and call the Doc two days after for answers, or better yet I think I’ll just drop by the office to chat with him about it.”

          “I don’t know if he has an appointment open then”

         “Well my cell is on 24/7, attached to my hip unless I’m in bed and then on the nightstand, I DO expect a call or I’ll come in and MAKE an appointment. How long is a five minute phone call? Thank you, have a nice day.”

        So I scheduled the appointment for next Wednesday morning for the MRA and we shall see what happens. By the way the hospital tells me come in at 7:am test  is scheduled for 8:00 am and I’ll be on the road again by 9 am.



  1. Good luck on the test, boyo. But it sounds like you will stroke out trying to get answers on how to prevent you from stroking out.

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