Friday, June 24, 2011

someone please explain this to me

here are two remarkably similar conversations i had yesterday:

#1)  woman with known coronary artery disease:

ms. angina:  i've been having chest pains for the last several weeks.
me (among other pertinent questions):  when did you last see your cardiologist?
ms. angina:  last week.
me:  did you mention that you were having chest pain?
ms. angina: no.

#2)  man with history of retinal hemorrhage

mr. bleed:  for the past few months, when i stand up after sitting for a long time, my left eye gets blurry and gray.
me:  have you seen the eye doctor about this?
mr. bleed:  i went last week but i didn't tell him about it.

i have a few theories about this phenomenon:

1)  to tell your cardiologist (or retinal specialist) that you are having chest pain (or blurred vision) is just making it too real.  you don't want to admit you may actually be having a serious issue.

2 ) you thought the don't ask, don't tell policy was really a brilliant piece of legislation (was that legislated?), so you thought you'd try applying it to all areas of your life.

3)  it's a conspiracy to thwart me.


  1. Definitely, number 3. And God bless you for doing what you do without strangling anyone!

  2. So, I have to confess to being #1. You see, today I went to an appointment with my PCP. The real reason for the appointment wasn't the yearly physical that I'd postponed by six months. It was because for those six months I've been experiencing pain in my lower leg near my ankle. I was hoping that my PCP would x-ray my leg and tell me that the pain was tendinitis, not anything to worry about. He didn't. He x-rayed my leg and told me that there was a thickening in my bone, not the thinning that is usually seen in metastatic breast cancer. If my pcp could tell me that it was tendinitis, then it wasn't real. I wouldn't have to face pure all out panic. But he couldn't and now I will face a few weeks of stressful waiting for the test results. Having it checked out definitely makes it real.