January 15, 2002

After taking many deep breaths last night, I think I have recovered from the shock of yesterday. I will continue with my January 14th saga. Of course, I am presuming you are all waiting with anticipation for the next installment of my pathetic tale. I am being factious – LOL (laughing out loud).

As I mentioned yesterday, my appointment was scheduled for 2:30 PM on January 14. I arrived early and thus had the privilege of waiting just that much longer in a consultation room. I reiterate – reading material in a medical professional’s office leaves much to be desired. But then I guess they presume because we have succumbed to our illness we must be in the low percentile of the intelligence scale. Winnie the Pooh books should do us just fine!

My husband accompanied me on this particular visit. I had a feeling that I would need his input and support. I was so thankful he was there with me.

The first person to come through the consultation door was a resident. Poor thing, I felt kinda sorry for her.   She walked in and the first thing she said, “Dingaling has requested that I interview you and take notes which he will look at later. She went on to say, “I hope this is okay with you.” Still seething at the fairy tales the last two residents wrote about me, I answered with, “Yes I do mind. However, if you can promise to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth you may proceed. I will not have my symptoms distorted and falsified on the notes you take.” Quite Bright was a smart woman. She backed off and let me rant for a while.

Quite Bright then proceeded to do a very thorough investigation. She went through my symptom list and questioned me about each one. She repeatedly verified information before she wrote it down. She also did a physical exam and seemed to be particularly interested in what I thought were the skin tags on my neck and the spots on my back. She had me lie down on the examining table and spent an inordinate amount of time looking at and touching what I thought was the skin tags the right side of my neck. I was beginning to wonder if she had a thing about necks.

Then Dingaling entered the room. I never know whether to bow or drop to my knees when these highly esteemed persons present themselves to me. However, I always take the easy road out and just look them straight in the eye.

Quite Bright informed me that she and Dingaling would discuss my case in front of me and that I could interrupt whenever I wanted to. Dingaling asked Quite Bright what her diagnosis had been. She informed him that she felt that I needed to be investigated for Cushing’s. Dingaling actually became indignant when Quite Bright mentioned Cushing’s. He informed Quite Bright in no uncertain terms that he was not going to investigate Cushing’s. I asked him why? He told us that Squirt had called him and told him that I had been thoroughly investigated by three endocrinologists and that he Dingaling was to find a different problem. I told Dingaling that these thorough investigations where a figment of Squirt’s imagination. I told Dingaling it was hard to be thoroughly examined with a winter parka and boots on. Dingaling ignored my comments – so much for the promised dialogue between Dingaling, Quite Bright and me. To Quite Bright’s credit, she tried once more to convince Dingaling that I needed a Cushing’s workup. She proceeded to list the reasons why. Dingaling did a cursory inspection of the symptoms Quite Bright pointed out to him. Dingaling then made it very clear that the symptoms I had were not severe enough to warrant a Cushing’s investigation.

Dingaling asked Quite Bright if she had any other diagnosis she wanted to tell him about. She went on to tell him that she felt I had right heart failure. He told her that he agreed with her. They then asked me to lie down again and Dingaling became very intrigued with my neck. When he asked for a measuring device I finally spoke up and said, “Surely you are not measuring my skin tags!” That is when I was informed that they were measuring my carotid artery. And that is when I got scared!

I really do not know what the exact outcome of this appointment has been. Dingaling and Quite Bright began to discuss the various tests I should have. They did this in a hushed tone even though I told them I could not hear what they were saying. I guess it was their intention for us not to hear them.

After this quiet discussion they told me to stop at the receptionist’s desk to pick up all the lab tests they had ordered. I asked Dingaling what my final diagnosis was. He answered with, “Right sided heart failure.” I asked what he planned to do about it and he told me that there was nothing to discuss until the tests results came in. They then left for parts unknown.

The nurse at the receptionist desk was wonderful. It was just past 5:30 PM and she was perceptive enough to realize that we were from out of town. The drive to this hospital is about 50 miles. She arranged for me to have all the blood work done before I left the hospital. She had an EKG technician come back to do the EKG. My husband and I went to a wonderful Italian restaurant for dinner and came back to the hospital for my chest x-ray at 8:00 PM.

The EKG technician and my husband discussed my EKG results and I do know that it showed an AV blockage. However this could mean anything or nothing.

I am totally exhausted. I am worried about the symptoms they did not bother to address. I do think that the peripheral vision loss, the weight loss and the potassium crisis are symptoms that should be investigated. However, for the time being these symptoms and many others are being ignored.  I wonder about the directive Squirt gave to Dingaling.  He told Dingaling to ignore Cushing’s and find another problem.  Makes me wonder if this right sided heart failure is the imaginary problem they found. Do they think that I am a hypochondriac and that by telling me I have right sided heart failure I will be so intimidated that I will run for the hills?  Well the silly buggers do not know me very well!

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