The Doctor Visit, 7-14-09

I had a doctor’s appointment today and it’s always amazing to me how a doctor’s office works and what I’ll see.

I got to the doctor’s office about 20 minutes before my appointment time. I went before work so I wouldn’t have to beat the traffic or the heat. I just wanted to get this done and get to work.

The receptionist at the front desk tried not to see me walk in. She had a headset on and was making calls to patients to remind them of their appointment for the next day.

After I got comfortable on the couch, she slid the glass window open and said without being seen “have you signed in please?” Of course she knew I hadn’t because she had to put the clipboard out so someone could sign it.

So I signed in and she was again talking on the phone. I went and sat back down and as soon as I sat down she said, “Sir, your co-pay will be 30.00 if you would like to go ahead and pay that now.”

Nice, but I promised myself I wasn’t going to complain at the doctor’s office today. Today was my anniversary of having a heart attack last year. I was thankful and proud I was still kicking.

I sat down once again after paying my co-pay and was looking at a magazine and not really focused on it. In a few minutes a nurse opened the door and said “Mr. Payton?”  Ewwwww, one of my pet peeves was pushed on me again. I thought PATTON not Payton!!! Doesn’t anyone remember the famous General?

Oh well, I wasn’t here to argue.

The nurse weighed me (I’ve lost about 15 pounds since March) and instructed me to go into the first waiting room on the left. I went in and he took my blood pressure which was 130 over 78, which was good. And then he asked the question, “how’s things going? Any chest pains etc.?” I had to tell him I had had some pains, and he immediately says “we will do an EKG”, so he went out the door to get the machine. He came back and asked me to remove my shirt. He put about 8 sticky things on my chest and got me all hooked up and punched a computer and said everything looked normal. I was glad to hear that. I told him today was my heart attack anniversary and he said, “be thankful you made it.” I thought that was pretty deep.

He said everything looked ok so far, and the doctor would be in in a little bit.

So for the next 40 minutes, I waited and waited, and there was this little plastic model on the desk type deal there in the little room that looked a lot like this:

I stared and stared at it.

Just fyi, cholesterol causes that plaque there, so the more food and fat you eat, the more plaque build-up happens. That’s why I don’t eat food like I used to. I can’t eat fatty foods now, because I think of this picture. It makes me sick to think about it.

This picture also rrepresents a “hardening of the arteries” we used to hear about all the time.

At any rate, the doctor comes in and he’s about my age. I like his manner and he’s pretty easy going.

Herin lies the problem I have and I can’t seem to describe it. People and doctors always aske the question, “what does the pain feel like?”

Let’s stop for a second and think about that question. Have you ever had to describe pain? Seriously, think about it. Can you describe pain? I really don’t know how to describe it and I’m being very serious.

So the doctor asks me, “do your chest pains feel like when you had your heart attack last year?”

Hmmmmmmmm, I don’t think so.

ME: “Doc, they sort of feel like a stabbing pain.” 

Doctor: “A stabbing pain?” he asks?

ME: “yeah doc, sort of a stabbing pain”

Doctor: “Ohhhhhhhh” he says. “Everybody has those!!!!!!!”

I’m thinking trying to describe pain is pretty useless. I’m no good at it. I’m not geared to describe pain. Maybe it was survival training in the Army that has blocked out any and all reference of the knowledge of pain, but I just can’t describe pain. I know when I have pain, I just can’t describe pain.

The doctor prescribed some meds to start working on my cholesterol. I can only hope this will work. I am going to try really hard to make it work. I would appreciate any and all prayers. I would really recommend you all try and eat healthier. That placque is hard to bring down if it’s out of control.

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