Thursday, August 16, 2007

This Old Heart Of Mine (Is Weak)

I went to the doctor and the doctor said, "Boy,
Your body's a temple, it's not a toy.
Fill up this here paper cup and give it to the nurse."
I went to the doctor and the doctor said, "Friend,
this should be the middle, but it could be the end.
You'd better get better, or else you gonna get worse."
--- Loudon Wainwright III, "The Doctor"

My cardiologist appointment was this afternoon with Dr. Z. I saw a nurse, who administered the EKG. Next to come in the room was the J.D. to Dr. Z's Cox, a fourth-year medical student who asked me questions about my unique medical history. Finally the big wheel himself came in and gave me a pretty careful look-over. He listened to my heart with his hands as well as his stethoscope --- never encountered that before.

They noted my high blood pressure and my excessive pulse rate, but Dr. Z said before he could treat me he needed to see a bit more data on how my heart works. I told him that I didn't have any insurance right now and was trying to keep costs down. So he said, "Well, sometimes you just have to do things, so I'm going to schedule you an echo stress test at no cost."

Dr. Z is from another country. An American doctor would never say that. Anyway, it really was like a moment out of "Scrubs." I didn't know what to say, except "thank you" and "I'm sorry."

The appointment cost nearly five hundred bucks, but if this really happens (hospitals have a way of snuffing out the charitable impulse in their doctors), I'll feel pretty damn lucky. Anyway, that's Monday.

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