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patient support
primary care physicians
health care act
health care decisions
affordable health care
junk closet
science fiction movie
google
Your Medical Mishap: Patient To Patient Support - Part Two
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Your Medical Mishap: Patient To Patient Support   -   Part Two

What a time to be writing about medical issues and health decisions. It is actually very hard to not comment on the possible implications of the Affordable Health Care Act, (Obamacare if you prefer), but this will have to wait till later...oh! just one comment.

There was this 50’s science fiction movie where the main monster was this thing that grew up out of spare body parts tossed into a junk closet: it wasn't pretty. I’ve got it! The Brain That Wouldn’t Die”, a great movie, if you enjoy that genre, (bad 50's sci fi flicks), When I do write about Obamacare that’s what I will call it: The Thing In The Closet or “TIC” for short.

Oh well, there I went again. Don’t get me wrong, though: I Don’t think I’ll be voting for the Mittster. Back to writing about making health care decisions.

The thing I really want to write about this time is googling your doctor. Doesn’t seem very radical, does it? Actually when I say “your doctor” I imagine what comes to mind is your primary care physician or GP if you prefer, and quite honestly you probably won’t find much that is too alarming online about that person, but if you do.....well, that is for you to decide. A line must exist between giving patient support for health care decision making and becoming "The Decider", oh :'W', where are you now that we need you? Just kidding.

Primary care physicians are generally the friendly, reassuring face of American medicine, the same goes for nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants. They tend to have more of a public relations personality than others in their field but are usually risk averse: When things get complex or scary they refer you to a specialist. Google any specialists you may have to see as well, please.

Be smart about your research. MD’s have resources and staffs. You may have to go 10 or 15 pages in before you find real patient voices about a particular person, all the preceding results may just be a smokescreen generated to cover genuine patient comments.

You can also check your State Licensing Board for records about a particular physician. It’s your life and health remember, you can’t rely on the medical profession to police themselves, not when it comes to your health decisions.

Now a true story to illustrate my point: Google may have saved my life here!

For 10 years I suffered from angina, a heart condition, which was wrongly diagnosed as the symptoms of degenerating vertebrae in my neck. I made my way through the health care system I used at that time and eventually ended up in front of a neurosurgeon who wanted to fuse two of the vertebrae to fix my problem.

I felt doubts this specialist I had just visited. I've been in business for myself for decades, have grown accustomed to listening to my instincts and just didn't get a good feeling about this specialist I had just met. I took action.

Going home, I googled the man’s name...wow! This specialist had created an incident at our local airport where he had parked for a short stay. He had parked illegally and when on his return to his car he where he met a 51 year old female parking attendant who attempted to write him a $25.00 ticket. He reacted poorly.

After informing the attendant that he made more in a day than she did in a year he treated her to every foul word I am sure that he could think of, and ran her over, twice, he then took off down the local ‘airport way’. He got about a mile before the Police stopped him. True story.

It has been more than a decade since I first looked him up but, even though I couldn’t remember his name; using other details I remembered about the incident like the hospital he worked for etc...it took me less than a minute to verify the story I just relayed to you. The man is still in the same place, by the way, no, not in prison, but still practicing his craft at the same hospital. He rated as an excellent surgeon, by the way.

I don’t care. Call me too value centered, or maybe just fussy, but I don’t let people who seem to have little spells of psychosis come near me with a knife...I will pass, thank you. What I just wrote was just interesting gossip though, and the real moral of the story is still to come.

The Real Moral: I still had a problem with what I thought were crippling muscle spasms that I still assumed were coming from my damaged neck so I went to the local teaching hospital and met with a lowly second year primary care resident . This resident gave me some nitroglycerine tablets, which worked, and wow! amazing! I had actually been suffering from angina for 10 years!

End of story: Tests showed that my heart had very little blood supply left, the neck surgery might have killed me because of my undiagnosed heart condition, I had a quadruple bypass and my “neck” doesn’t bother me any more. Thank you google and Dr. resident, wherever you are.

So, are you ready to google your Doctor(s)?

Signing Off Harryc


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