Thursday, September 11, 2008

I Talk Politics At The Cardiologist's

I just spent about forty five minutes getting to know my new cardiologist. This is the "hole" in the heart specialist. It turns out that it's more a flap than a hole. In my heart (as is the case with about twenty percent of the population) this flap has not closed. Adults with this condition often have sleep apnea and chronic migraines. I have sleep apnea and used to have migraines. Now I have chronic headaches that are not classic migraines, but are debilitating none the less, so I have three options for headache pain--all pharmaceutical, all effective if taken at first inkling of pain.

But the thing that most interested me about this relatively young man was his willingness to talk politics with me. Now I have two cardiologists who like talking politics and tell me they are probably farther left than I. Do you think they are blowing smoke? If my two cardiologists, living in the wing-nut capital of America, are both Democrats, how many secret liberals might there be in the medical professions? I have a neighbor and friend who is a lefty lawyer. One of my neighbors just came back from the DNC (she was a delegate). I live in the heart of the Mormon Holy Land. Could there be hope? Even here?

Speaking of smoke... He looked at my chart and said, "You smoke" very neutrally. I said, "Yes, but I've been smoking since I was five. I'm sixty four. My quitting is highly unlikely. So far, I've tried every method of quitting. Nothing worked. I think you have to really want to quit to quit." He said, "Nuff said. Let's schedule a sleep test."

He talked about the research done on the issue of "to close the flap or not to close the flap," and said the results of the studies done so far are leaning toward "doesn't make much difference and can cause problems far worse than the unclosed flap." I said, "Good, well, lets not do that."

I'm gaining a couple of pounds every two weeks. I get that this works out to a pound a week. Oh yes, I get that. I asked the assistant, Lynn, if I was fat. She stood back and actually looked me over and said, "Nope. You're not fat."

I said, "Hallelujah."

17 comments:

DCup said...

Sounds like progress! I love it when I come across other liberals like that.

I think you're on to something about that theory of secret liberals.

Randal Graves said...

Interesting about the heart, leave the sucker flapping in the wind, here are some pills that work great. I should have my old lady check into that.

Not sure I buy the whole secret liberal thing, maybe I've just been unlucky. Either that, or you're all filthy liars.

Unconventional Conventionist said...

I thought it was the Law in Utah that if you're liberal you must keep it a secret. Which is part of why breaking the law is so much fun!

Utah Savage said...

You guys, My nurse practitioner, and my two cardiologists are Obama backing liberals. Hot damn! How'd ever have imagined such a thing was possible in Utah. I know they're not lying to me, because I looked into their eyes and saw their souls. You would have to see me to know how good my G W Bush impression is. Heh heh heh.

Suzy said...

Are you a SLC native? My brother just moved from there after 10 years. (He is still trying to sell his house if you know anyone who's looking.) He worked for different environmental groups and ran across people with liberal politics there, but in general the Mormon/conservative influence drove him crazy.

Are you the originator of the "photograph your books" meme-like thing? It was a blast. I wish we could get together and talk books! I should really pare down my collection (or "weed" it -- library lingo.)

enigma4ever said...

good for you..good visit and kind words and a sensible man- WOW...can not ask for more...I think there are alot of secret DEMS out there....waiting to be discovered ,and lonely in places like Utah...good for you for finding them..

and good about the heart....and he is not a knife crazy fiend....

Border Explorer said...

All in all, it sounds like a hopeful visit to the specialist. On several levels.

Now, how do we go about producing a YouTube vid of your GW Bush impression...?

Utah Savage said...

Suzy, I'm a Texas born Utah implant. For some reason this became home. I have traveled far and wide, but old friends and a familiar landscape, neighbors how tolerate me, and a nice piece of property that isn't mortgaged and is central to Salt Lake make it too comfortable to abandon. Even in a city that isn't known for it's rapid transit and foot traffic friendly environs, I'm thinking seriously of going carless. having a car to drive 300 miles a year is stupid. Bad for the car, bad for the environment, bad for the pocketbook. I could take cabs all the places I go and still come out ahead. I'm so uninterested in leaving my comfy domain.

I didn't start a bookcase meme, but I like it. I'd like to do it again. An autumn garden meme, and winter city meme, a tour of your favorite local library meme. I think it was Dcup who started that meme.

And Randal, the fact that I am 64 might have something to do with the repair or don't repair philosophy. I'm betting your misses is considerably younger than I as you look like a very smart child to me.

Naj said...

speaking of hole in the heart, my little brother (he's only 27) has got one too!
It was diagnosed accidentally, as my little sister was practicing her lessons on him (who would think the heart of a 16 years old lad needs listening to?); she dragged bro to a cardiologist, and her diagnosis was correct.
So now, he can't hike; but does life!

DCup said...

Hi. Steven Emery started the books I own meme. He blogs at Color Sweet Tooth. It's on my blogroll, but I'm too lazy to find the link right now. Sorry.

Hi, Utah!

DivaJood said...

Secret Liberals Unite. Come out of the closet now. We need you.

Good news Utah - that you don't need surgery. This is all good news.

Freida Bee said...

I have been in a couple situations where I or members of my family stayed in (medical) hospitals for several days at a time. You just kinda "live" there. There is a whole sort of subculture there that is really lovely in essence. These people live a huge amount of their time helping other people. They decompress intensely (from the few nurse friends I've had) as well. It doesn't surprise me that many are left leaning. This one sounds good. Realistic.

Utah Savage said...

Naj, it's interesting that not knowing about the hole allowed me to ski, hike, and in all respects lead a "normal" active life. Now I know I'm supposed to feel exhausted--and I "feel" exhausted.

Freida, my favorite young person works at the University Hospital in the emergency room. She occasionally has parties and it's a fun group--they work hard and they party hard. And having only spent long hospitalizations for bipolar related psychosis, aside from the Mormons (who seem to love power inordinately) most of the aids, orderlies, and other babysitter type nuthouse workers were great--incredibly patient and kind. But still, if I never spend another second in the nuthouse I'll be a very grateful, medicine taking, psychiatric patient. I love and respect my psychiatrist. Have never missed an appointment, always taken my drugs, even when I hated those drugs. Her trust in me is probably as important as my trust in her.

Mauigirl said...

I was born with a hole in the heart (the flap that never closed)in between the ventricles. It has apparently closed up finally according to the last echocardiogram I had. Since the closure occurred at about the same time I hit my peak weight, I joke that it got closed up with fat! I'm glad to hear they are not recommending you have it closed up. Sometimes surgery has big drawbacks and it would be better to live with the situation as it is.

Glad to hear your cardiologist is a leftie. My primary care doctor is a staunch Democrat as well, but that's not surprising given she lives in the leftiest town in New Jersey, Montclair. But it is nice to know you can say something about politics and not have to worry about the other person being on the "other" side.

Utah Savage said...

Mauigirl, that's very interesting. I'm at my peak weight now. Maybe there is hope yet for natural lard closure.

D.K. Raed said...

It must be more lib up there in SLC. Has to be. I have a kind of a mutual agreement with my neighbors down here in So UT. They don't talk to me about religion & I don't talk to them about politics. Makes me really miss Calif.

D.K. Raed said...

BTW, I seem to have gained 5-lbs on our 10-day camping trip? How is that even possible? It's not like I killed & ate a bear or something.