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."