About a month ago I interviewed a new cardiologist. He seemed to have very good communication skills and a genuine interest in my case and story. He was referred by the EECP treatment center I was going to and attached to the same hospital cardiology group. I thought I might have a shot with this guy. He requested films of all my prior tests since I was hospitalized two years ago for congestive heart failure and offered to review them with me on my next visit in a month. This was something new. It was encouraging. Never heard this before from any of my care-givers. He picked up the fact that I was an active participant in my own healing. An extremely active one. Proactive, even. It was only on the way out the door that I realized that he was a intervention cardiologist. It was right there on the appointment card.
Through all my dealings with these guys, I’ve learned to be suspect of them. Especially intervention doctors. They tend to be Hell bent on doing angioplasties and implanting stents and such. Of course they are. That is what they are trained to do. I imagined myself having to fight with him to avoid some kind of procedure that I really knew I did not particularly need, and prepared many mental dialogues, come-backs and logical conclusions. Adamant alternative treatment people like myself are poison to most of these doctors.
So, I got the films, brought them along with my collection of PDF files of every report and written record from the last two years on a separate disc ( my history, as they call it). The nurse/practitioner I’ve spent some time with adjusting and reducing my medications over the last few weeks was duly impressed. As it turned out, there was a problem with the office computer system, so I left the films on loan until they could upload them to the hospital network. In the following conference, my new guy agreed that what we really needed was a radioisotope scan to see what was going on since the EECP treatment, adding that in all probability, nothing more need be done. It appears he gets it.
It also appears that I have made the right decision about my care for the second time in a row. Looks like I found an advocate outside of myself- in the most unlikely of places.