You Have But-Face
I have mentioned my mom’s home health nurse many times online, probably more on Twitter than on here, but I have mentioned her. Anyway, I’ve gotten to where I really cannot stand the woman. She’s nice and she is good at the whole compliments thing, but she’s still overly religious and a lot of her medical advice doesn’t sound very healthy. She’s always pushing alternative health stuff over medicine, even when it could put her patient in real danger. She’s told my mom a few times that religion and certain vitamins would be better for her depression than her pills and that God will take it all away.12 She’s told her she doesn’t really need some of the blood pressure medicine. She doesn’t listen. Mom tells her she’s agoraphobic, she acts like that’s not really important. Dad says we can’t afford a certain herbal treatment, she doesn’t understand that. We all tell her that we cannot go to church and she acts like we’ve just committed some horrific sin.3 Some people can’t do church. Some just don’t want to. Some don’t believe in any organized religions. And she needs to realize that her job has absolutely nothing to do with religion. If she wanted to have a job in the church, she should’ve gone that route instead of choosing to be a medical professional.
Anyway, so I would probably like this woman if she could do the job without going extra church-y on us and if she could stick to medicine. She might be great at her job, but I really just don’t trust her at all. My mom seems to like her, but I think she likes the outside company more than anything else. I would complain to the service, but we could always end up with someone even worse–like mom’s previous home health nurse who said women have to do all the cooking and cleaning, but men don’t.4
Well, today, we had a home visit from a doctor who the insurance wanted to fill out paperwork on us. He had to determine what kind of services we needed. And when it got to the allergy section, he said we could only mention ones that were serious allergic reactions–not other types of bad reactions, so I did just mention actual allergic reactions. He accepted the fire ants and the four antibiotics, but didn’t want things like my seizure reaction to Geodon (or my mom’s seizure reaction to Haldol) or mom’s super-violent reaction to Demerol. He also didn’t want to know anything about my reaction to caffeine. You know, the angina. Why? Oh, the same reason that other doctors have given: I’m too young, I can’t possibly know what angina is, I haven’t consumed the caffeine in front of a doctor so they couldn’t have done the test to tell me it was angina, I couldn’t know if it was really giving me some kind of heart issue because no one is measuring the damage, It must actually be referred pain.
Age: While angina itself is generally found in people who have at least hit the middle to latter stages of their lives, it can be found in people at any age. You never say never.
What angina is: Chest pain or discomfort, Pain in your arms, neck, jaw, shoulder or back accompanying chest pain, Nausea, Fatigue, Shortness of breath, Sweating, Dizziness. These are the symptoms. The ones that are italicized are the ones I get when I have caffeine. So which don’t I get? Oh, look. None of them. I get them all. I thought it was just stomach pain the first couple of times, even though it was in my chest; but when you start having the neck, jaw, and left arm area, it becomes pretty evident that something more serious is going on.
Doctor confirmation: My dad used to go to the hospital whenever his GERD would flare up and he went with his caffeine issue. The doctor told him what was going on. In turn, my dad told me when I described it to him. I’m worried that if I were to do it by consuming the caffeine in front of the doctor that it might go from being a benign condition to being not benign and that would not be good.
The damage: Angina itself doesn’t cause damage. If it becomes a full-fledged heart attack, where the heart doesn’t get the proper supply of oxygen, then it becomes bad shit.
Referred pain: I refer him back to the neck/jaw stuff.
He may not want to believe that I have angina as a reaction to caffeine, and that’s his deal, but it does happen. I also react with theophylline, which is also a xanthine. They used to do blood tests when I would react to that and it would never show that it was at a toxic level, even though my heart would race, I’d nearly faint, and I sort of acted like Aaron Paul did when he was on The Price is Right hyped up on Red Bull. And that was when I was a little kid and was still able to consume caffeine.
He also said some other kind of annoying stuff. He was a nice guy and I thought he was cool, but he was just dismissive when he definitely shouldn’t have been and it bugs me.
What was weird was when he had to do the blood pressure reading. My super-hard-to-read blood pressure didn’t want to cooperate with his machine. And he was shocked when my pulse read as 139. (I had mentioned tachycardia a few times to him, but he didn’t seem to grasp that this was normal for me.) When he had to listen to my heart and lungs, he heard my heart just beating away and asked me, “Is it always like this?” I responded to that by saying, “Yeah. If it goes below 90, I fall asleep.”5 If I hadn’t been saying it for almost 7 hours, I wouldn’t have been annoyed by that.
I am sick of medical professionals being dismissive. I know that sometimes patients can be annoying and tell you things that you don’t need to know, but the things I was bringing up were important for my chart. If he had accepted the heart thing early on, maybe it wouldn’t have surprised him when he was doing the exam.6 But he should have been prepared for it, so that annoyed the shit out of me.
My mom is more religious than I am, but we both have issues when it comes to our mental illnesses being connected to our religious feelings. Mom gets obsessive about religion when her issues flare up, so telling her to go to God could end really badly for her. ↩
And anyone who thinks they are wise by telling you not to take your psychiatric medicine that doesn’t have a working knowledge of both the mental health field and of your particular mental illness needs to have their wisdom absolutely and totally disregarded–like my ongoing boycott of Tom Cruise. ↩
If you try to tell me that people absolutely have to go to church in order to “keep the Sabbath holy”, then I would suggest you explain to me why that particular commandment does not command the people involved to go to services. It just says keep it holy. I would also point out that you should read Matthew 6:5. If you think that congregating to prove your faith is necessary, then you’re doing the religion thing wrong. ↩
I was not a fan of that woman and was glad when my mom finally started refusing to see her. ↩
Totally true, btw. ↩
I don’t blame him for being shocked when I almost kicked him in the shins during the reflex test. He said my reflex was too quick. ↩
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Fun facts about “Cosmos”:
- Airs on Fox, owned by Rupert Murdoch, who also owns Fox “News,” which hates science;
- Counts, as executive producers, Family Guy's Seth MacFarlane and former Star Trek: Enterprise and Star Trek: Voyager showrunner Brannon Braga.