Friday, September 10, 2010


Life is full of large and small decisions, size and impact of them I suppose is dependent on several factors.

My local primary care physician, a woman, whom I greatly admire, is leaving for important and personal reasons. Her only son has special needs unavailable in our area. He is a bright little boy, but whatever the family perceives he needs is not available in our rather rural area.

Although she will occasionally be in our local clinic, it will hopefully be kept open by a lovely Advanced Nurse Practitioner, whom I also have used and plan to continue to use.

For the first time Wednesday a.m., my primary care physician's day off, I called her cell phone (which few patients had) for a special favor to get in a cardiology clinic that self-same day. I rarely impose on other's time or cell numbers, etc., as I worked on-call a lot as a pharmacist for various large and small chains in 4 states.

I never resented a call to open a store for an emergency prescription, but when it was a refill that could have been called in no later than early in the morning and picked up before closing, I was a tad annoyed.

In less than 15 minutes Doc called to see my discomfort was a second night of scary atrial fibrillation. I already have an appointment with a cardiologist specializing in electrophysiology Sept.30.

 I offered to drive to Little Rock Wednesday, if I could get in earlier than Sept. 30. I hate driving to Little Rock so you know I was desperate!!!

In less than 15 additional minutes at 8:30 a.m. (approx.) Doc called back with an appointment at 11 a.m. with a Registered Nurse Practitioner in the local cardiology clinic. I accepted  -- no questions asked.

The man was so like my Dad- (I almost hugged him). He made my husband and I so comfortable it was amazing. By the time I got there my heart was in rhythm, a small test showed no significant water in the heart and lung area, so no immediate congestive failure--all in all not bad.

I was put on a very old drug, Digoxin 0.125mg- dose for kidney compromised persons---I was very impressed. My one kidney's continued health is very important in a number of areas to treatments and my daily functions, being as I only have one, which is getting rather elderly.

As of today I have had two nights without arrhthmia fibrillations or the need to take additional drugs, other than the one prescribed for me. No daytime problems either.

Of course a number of tests, including the dreaded stress tests are scheduled. I have nurses (and maybe my husband, if allowed) promising to hold my hand and they've never killed anybody. And I still have the appointment with the cardiologist specialist.

All in all, it was a wonderful, comfortable decision and outcome I could not have anticipated on such short notice.

I cannot thank Doc enough as I believe I have found the place to resolve heart problems in a very pleasant, caring clinic. I called them three times the next day-once to fax my revised drug list, once for an appointment I could read, and once for and explanation of the "water test," a new test to me.

Now this is the end of my saga, but a postscript includes my housekeeper. Little did I know how bad a stomach disorder she had, but had noticed she quit eating a lot of her usual diet. I called her when I got home from my good experience to see if she was coming Friday.

She sounded so bad, I lectured her she had to take the proverbial bull by the horns. She had been to ER once and suffered through a very obnoxious gastroenterologist with which I am acquainted and agree. Next thing I knew she went to ER, had an array of tests, and got appointment with the gastroenterologist she wanted and I liked, plus some medicines that may enable her to eat normally again.


I'd like to think I influenced her to "move it" but she is very much a person that plans differently than I do. But at least we both feel better today we are in good hands.

And again I am eternally grateful to my primary care physician and hope her and her family's decisions are perfect for her professional and personal needs.

No! my housekeeper won't be here Friday, maybe Monday or Tuesday, but I'm elated we both took control of ourselves.

Fear of not knowing is 1000 times worse than knowing the facts, however dire they may seem to be.

Have you ever feared knowing the unknown? Having you ever waited too, long to find out? (I may, or may not, have-won't know for awhile.)


Anonymous said...

It is wonderful to hear that you and your housekeeper are both in good hands now. What a blessing to get medical help so soon when you needed it.


Linda said...

Glad things are going well for you and your housekeeper. I suspect rural areas are going to see a lot more nurse practioners. I certainly have nothing against seeing one.

betty said...

I have always dreaded going to the doctor, and several years ago, I finally gave in and went to the gynecologist. I knew something was wrong, and discovered that I had, indeed waited too long. Turns out, I had Endometrial cancer, and had to have surgery (hysterectomy). Fortunately, everything turned out all right. It was caught in time. But, it was quite a scare.

It didn't cure me of my fear of the doctor, though. lol

CHERI said...

I do tend to procrastinate about going to the dr. unless it seems "bad." I'm so glad you found someone you like that has seemed to help you. Hope you will continue to get better each and every day....also your friend.

faye said...

Hope you continue to feel better.

Arkansas Patti said...

How frightening for you. Middle of the night illness is terrifying. When we lose our doctors that we have nicely broken in, is also scary.
Your nurse practioner sounds great. I feel a lot of our wellness depends on our trust of our medical professionals.
Thank goodness you got your housekeeper to seek help.
Hopefully both of you are on the upgrade now.

Lisa said...

WOW! What a great doctor you have! I am so glad.

I am so glad your house keeper is feeling better too. I know there have been many times my mother, father or even myself have been sick and too sick to think "Hey, I need some help here." I very well think you influenced your house keeper.

Have I ever feared knowing the unknown. Yes! Have also feared knowing the known. Yes! When my father was dieing, When I lost our last child. . . I knew it was happening and well you know. It was terrible!

Have I ever waited to long: Yes! I have a bad habit of not realizing I am sick. There have been times I have had a bad kidney infection and don't realize it until I have a temperature of 105. I don't seem to get the normal pain that most people get. My husband gets so mad at me to think I get that sick and don't even know. I also think it makes me sound pretty dumb!!! BUT! I do think I am better with that now. I hope! When I get sick that is the first thing we test for. YA!!! That kidney infection thing takes to long to recover from!!!!

Hope you stay well and your house keeper does too!

Lorna said...

The Nurse Practitioner initiative is starting to catch on here too---my daughter swears by hers

Sniffles and Smiles said...

WONDERFUL!!!! I'm soo glad that you found such an extraordinary doctor!!! And that the medication seems to be working so well!!! And pleased for your housekeeper as well!! You have such a wonderful attitude and approach to life! I truly admire you!!! Love you, Janine XO

Patty said...

Glad you both took over your lives and got something accomplished and are both feeling so much better. Hang in there.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Just stopping by to let you know that you and your friends are in my thoughts...I'm praying...and I'm so terribly sorry...Love you! Janine XO