Monday, October 13, 2008

Watch your heart - Be specific with your doctor

Today I learned of a friend who had a heart attack and was admitted to St. Mary's.  He just received a stint because of a 85% blockage and he should be released in a few days.  I understand he told his Kaiser doctor that he had low energy and the doctor told him it was malaise. 

Two years ago I told my nurse practioner at the Sepulveda VA that I was easily our of breath when doing very light exercise, like walking fast. I mentioned that I had high cholesterol, which was in my medical record and that I thought I might need a "Clinton" (he had a bypass). She laughed and ordered a echo cardiogram which showed significant blockage and lead to a triple bypass. So the VA saved my life and I am grateful.

Should he have been more specific? Did he tell the doctor that he is active? Should the doctor been more proactive like my nurse practioner? Perhaps my friend's stint could have been put in sooner obliating the heart attack. Perhaps my more specific description was more effective in putting my nurse practioner on the right track. At any rate, I really appreciate the VA and my nurse practioner.