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Carol Perkins: Joint heart exam gets perfect results

"Dr." Carol has tiny catchment area and patient load of one: Husband Guy. His preferred treatment plan is denial therapy. "Dr. Carol," obsesses. But together, theirs is a perfectly balanced approach, paying off beautifully on a recent trip to their cardiologist in Louisville, when, having secured the prime last-patient-of-the-day appointment, her unsolicited second opinions in their shared exam balance his reticence perfectly - much better, and quicker, than seeing the specialist one-on-one. But, she acknowledges, when things don't work out with her captive patient, and he won't listen to her, she resorts to a higher power . . .
You can listen to Carol Tuesdays on The "Susan & Carol, Unscripted" show, live. FM 99.1 radio

Next earlier column: Carol Perkins: Car mix-up in BG reminds pals of infamous Edmonton caper

By Carol Perkins

If you remember six months ago reading an article about my trip with Guy to a cardiologist in Louisville (the one who said I had no neck and that was the reason I had trouble getting a "good" breath) then you will appreciate our follow-up appointment this week.

This time I didn't see the need to keep my appointment because nothing had changed with me, but Guy insisted that if I didn't keep mine, he would cancel his.

He needed to go. His blood pressure fluctuates like the weather. When the bottom number falls below fifty, I want to rush him to ER.

He doesn't panic. Within an hour or so, it is back up to normal. However, I know this isn't good for his heart. (I practice without a license.)

Because of the distance, we are usually his last two patients.

Even though we should have learned our lesson, we went into his examining room together. His assistant spent some time on the computer going over our charts, going through the Zip Lock bags of our medicines and then said, "Who's first?"

Guy and I looked at each other not sure what she meant and he said, "For what?"

I replied in a tone that was to make sure she knew that I knew what she meant even though I didn't, "For your vitals," I said smugly. Guy took a seat on the table and shot me a look. As he explained his problems, I kept quiet. Then it was my turn.

He kept quiet. So far, so good.

Then the doctor arrived. He started with Guy and all went well. Then he talked to me and listened to my heart and sat back in his seat. He took both my hands and looked at them carefully.

I wished I had had a manicure recently; my cuticles looked as if they had been gnawed. Then he said, "When was the last time you had tests?"

I begin telling him about each test I had gone through in Bowling Green from the EKG to the ECHO to the Nuclear Stress test in 2017. He listened patiently and then said kindly, "I was talking to him."

Guy couldn't remember the tests or the dates so I chimed in. "I need that report," the doctor said.

"You have it on your computer," I assured him and sure enough, it was right before his eyes.

Once in a while, I find it necessary to help out. "Unless something changes," he said,"I'll see you in six months."

On the way home, we laughed about how we must have appeared to both the doctor and his assistant.

Gracie and George came to mind. When we go back in May, we might need to go in separately, but I'm always fearful that Guy will not be forthcoming because he lives in denial.

It is my self-appointed duty to tend to him and if he won't listen to me, I threaten to call his sister Carolyn. That'll fix him!

This story was posted on 2017-11-30 01:08:17
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