My Cardiologist Has No Heart -Day 3

Day 3-  I feel as if I should be writing for a geriatric blog.  I’m like Seinfeld doing a gig at his parents clubhouse in Del Boca Vista , which is fitting since Mark affectionately calls me Jenny Youngman.  Seriously, take my husband… PLEASE.

It could go something like this:  “I mean hey, what’s with those stress tests anyway?  They want you to start out calm, but the first thing they do is scratch you with sand paper and stick stingy electrodes all over you.  What’s with that?  If they want you to start out calm, they should babysit your kids while you get in a shower.”

Jake was home from school, and I had to take him with me for the stress test.  They should just hook me up and let me try getting him dressed and having him eat breakfast on a time limit, that would be test enough.  I wouldn’t even need the treadmill.  We entered out of breath, and again I was the youngest by a mile.  The women who work in the office greeted me affectionately by name, like Norm walking into Cheers.

I was already winded from rushing to get us out the door, and Ryan to school, and through rush hour traffic, to be at a 9AM appointment.  I had barely enough time to stretch my eyelids, let alone my limbs.  The last thing I wanted to do was fail a walk on the treadmill.  I wanted to run circles around Morty, and Stanley, and Rita.  If I had to trip one of them, I would.

So, I found myself in the waiting room stretching.  In my own delusional competitive world. I had my leg straight in the air an inch from my ear.  I looked up out of my dazed state, to see the elderly couple sitting directly across from me.  I met the woman’s gaze.

“Are you getting a stress test?“ she asked sweetly.

“Yeah, and I didn’t have time to stretch.“  I explained, wishing I could catch the words before they hit her hearing aid.

“Oh, Larry‘s getting a stress test too,“  she said, turning to face her husband who was also stretching. He was stretching his socks to his knees, and his shorts to his man boobs.

I let go of my leg feeling ridiculous.  This might as well be a skit on SNL.  The only difference would be that I’d have prop legs that would reach way behind my ears.  Maybe I could twist them around each other and let them unravel with a helicopter effect.

“What time is yours?” she asked, knowing they’d been waiting a lot longer.


“Oh?  Larry’s is at nine, too,  They must have two machines.“

“Yeah, well if we go head to head, Larry’s toast!“ I said cracking my knuckles.


“I said, good luck.“

I remember my first day here.  I wanted to give my appointment to Every Tom, Dick and Larry in the waiting room, but now I’m a pro and I’m hoping to get the call.

Nurse:  “Jenny.”

“See you later, Suckas!”

Nurse:  “Um Jenny, your son can’t come back with you.”  The nurse warned, “Too much radiation in the room.”

The elderly lady, who clearly missed my trash talkin’ to Larry, graciously offered her sitting services.  Even though she probably wouldn’t get far with him, I still don’t leave Jake with strangers.  She could bribe him with stale sucking candies from the bottom of her purse and slowly amble out the door.  Than I would have to rely on one of the other waiting room occupants to throw out a cane to trip her and foil her evil plan.

To avoid such a kidnapping scenario, I brought him back to the nurse’s station.  There, a nurse, not used to seeing anyone under 70, reluctantly allowed my 7 year old and his DS in her seat.  The desks around him were stacked with files. Tons of them.  I put Jake’s water on a desk far away, and went in for the test.

Well, I passed, but I could barely stand by the end.  I held on to the bars heaving, and wondered why I hadn’t walked over some bodies on the way into that room.  The doctor came in to tell me that I seemed winded, but all was good, minus a couple skipped beats.  He informed me that I also passed the heart monitor and never even asked to see my elaborate log.

“But, I’m not sure if I read the echo yet,” he added.  “Wait here a minute, while I check it.”

During that minute someone came into the nurse’s station and knocked Jake’s water into about a thousand files and films.  The office went into complete mayhem.  The nurses rushed in to resuscitate the paperwork (If only they moved so fast on the patients).

“Whose water is this without a cap?” a bitchy nurse yelled.

“Mine, but I didn’t spill it,” I heard Jake sadly confess.

“Well, you have to have a CAP on YOUR WATER,“  she reprimanded, getting obvious joy from making him feel badly.

I turned to my nurse, “Is she serious?  He needs to cap his water?  When?  How regularly do you plan on seeing us?“

“Can he come in with you, NOW?“ the bitchy one asked my nurse.

I turned to Jake and said loudly, “Don’t worry, that mean woman clearly had a bad experience with a cap when she was a child.“  I took him into the checkout area and waited there.

Nurse:  “The Doctor would like to go over your echo.”
He met me in the nurses station and quickly explained that I probably have a congenital thing in my aortic valve.  He then drew me a picture, and told me to refrain from asking questions till he was done.

“No problem, I’ll ask if I’m dying after you finish your diagram.  Hey, don‘t forget to shade.”

He told me that it wasn’t a big deal, and may not be an issue for 20, 30, 40 years.  “20 years?  That only makes me 56,” I whined fearfully.

“So, 50 years then,” he said, like I had talked him into it.

“What then?“ I needed to know.

“Maybe a valve replacement, but we’re getting way ahead of ourselves.  Just don’t run a marathon or lift weights.“

“Um okay,“  I said, thinking, “this is a lot to lay on someone in the nook of the nurses station, where the nurses are still hissing and giving the cross sign.”

“Go home and look it up and then I’m sure you’ll have a bunch of questions for your next visit.”

Note to self, find new cardiologist, one with heart.

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11 thoughts on “My Cardiologist Has No Heart -Day 3

  1. Tracy

    What an ass your doctor is. I can completely relate about the diagrams. My doc did the same thing when he informed me that I had cancer. I have a new doctor now.

  2. Cherie

    Sooo funny, I almost peed in my pants. (It didn’t help that I had to go to the bathroom anyway.) Wonder what would happend if I took a stress test. I’d probably fall over on the machine and keep rolling around and around. Poor Jake, point me to this nurse, I’ll give her what for.

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  4. rachy

    maybe he was the car mechanic in a former life: come in for a valve replacement in 20,000 miles, or maybe 30,000 or 50,000 miles! I don’t know, sometime in the future, like after you break down on the highway.

    not only did you get this terribly useful information (with “no questions, please”), but Jake got to be terrorized by his staff. a winning day for both of you. hmmmm, perhaps you need a 2nd opinion…..

  5. Lily

    I am so psyched that Jake “spilled” his capless water! Some doctors and their staff suck! At least for all the ones that suck there are some awesome ones too. I am sure you’ll find that one. Good luck.

  6. Bari

    Sounds like Jake intuitively knew this wasn’t the office for you. They should of let him go back with you in the first place.

  7. Margaret

    This blog was so funny to read. Bad dr’s and their bad staff make for great writing material!! I had a terrible OBGYN (like it’s not bad enough to show up for an appointment) about 7 years ago and she attracted the meanest, most dysfunctional staff. They would “lose” my paperwork, argue that I didn’t make an appointment when in fact I had, take forever to wait on me and generally torment people. They really sucked. It was like some strange opposite world where everyone was bad. I soon found a reputable and nice doctor with a professional staff who weren’t out to get people. Shocker! I was relieved to find that good ones exist too. Great blog!

  8. Insanitykim

    Wow I missed this one.

    Take care of yourself then…I just had my echo and EKG for my mitral valve prolapse and everything turned out fine…though mine is not that concerning.

    Anyway enough about me…seriously take care and just bring in several uncapped waters to your next visit and tell Jake to have some fun! 😉

  9. Glynns

    Sorry to hear you had such a bad experience. That was truly not cool. One time I was sent to a similar doctor with similar patients. I can’t remember why (I think most pre-kid memories were erased along with the epidural). He had to keep looking things up in a giant doctor book. He’d read me what the book said which was full of technical medical jargon. Then he’d turned back around and say, “Does that make sense?”. I’d say, “No.” And then he’d turn back to the book and read it to me again.

    P.S. Please vote for me!

  10. Elizabeth

    Am I the only person reading this blog that knows it is not the nurses’ job to look after your child? (For heaven’s sake, my Hairdresser won’t have children in appointments; I can’t imagine taking one to my Dr!) And why is it so hard to imagine a cap for his water bottle? You already noted the files and paperwork; you clearly saw the potential for a problem. If he’s too young to look after it himself, why would you give him something that isn’t watertight? Your sense of entitlement regarding your son astounds me. Those women have jobs to do that have nothing to do with spontaneous child care. Your cardiologist DOES sound like a total jerk, and you are wise to find a more compassionate one, but perhaps he wanted to relieve his nurses as quickly as possible? That doesn’t make his tactic appropriate, but neither was your response to the frustrated nurse. And I think you know it. I think your post is a bit defensive.

    PS – The nurse in question would be trying to make him feel ‘bad’ not ‘badly’. To feel badly would be a faulty capability for feeling – like a lack of empathy, which is what I think you were having that day.

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