Walk with a Doc Newsletter
In early October, I had a 43 y/o man come in super stressed out. I had seen him a few times over the past 5 or so years and all his echos, stress tests, CT calcium score, and Holters have returned normal. He is still wigged out.
“Larry, the way you describe your symptoms and with all the negative tests, I’m really confident this is not your heart.”
“I know, but I just can’t calm down and my PCP is out of town. I just need to talk to somebody. I’M FREAKING OUT!”
“Okay, please don’t yell. You’ll scare Holly (my nurse).”
She smirks without looking up from her computer.
I grab a napkin from the desk (because cardiology offices are usually filled with napkins).
“Alright, Larry. You didn’t hear this from me, but this is what I want you to try.”
I scribble my ideas down and send him on his way.
Hopefully, for this guy, he’ll never have to see me again.
Late last week, Holly interrupts me reviewing charts on my treadmill desk.
“Larry wants to come in and see you again.”
I almost trip off the thing. Are you freaking kidding me?
“ I told him it was non-cardiac, he says he needs to talk so I put him in at 5:15.”
Later that day…
“So Doc, I did everything you said. I’ve been feeling a little lightheaded so I checked my blood pressure. It was 34/doppler. Wondering if I can stop the amlodipine?”
I can’t help but notice his new dreads and Birkenstocks. He’s smiling.
“How do you know what ‘doppler’ means?”
“This is just another one of your stupid newsletters, right?”
“Please go ahead, Larry. How’s the stress reduction going? No marijuana, correct?”
“Won’t touch the stuff. Here’s the template of my normal day. I wrote it down”
6:00 Wake-up. I get 7-9 hours of sleep
just like you said. After 2 nights, I could feel that it helped. Better cortisol levels from what I read.”
“You named your dog, Franz Fur-dinand?”
He stared at me for a few seconds then looked down at the paper again.
“You take long showers, Larry.”
He stares again.
I better just shut up and listen.
“This is a doctor visit, Larry. I can’t share anything because of HIPAA.”
“Larry. You really took this seriously, didn’t you?”
He keeps staring at me. I think he thought I was questioning his masculinity.
He is taking this seriously.
That’s it. I get my 8-8.5 hours and start all over again tomorrow.
“Now that I’m superchill – look at me,” he smiles. “My BP is dropping, man.”
“Larry, yes you can stop the amlodipine. It’s good to see you so calm, my brother. I think it’s helping your blood pressure along with your anxiety”
“Walk with a what?”
“You really should get out more, doc”