The follow-up doctor's appointment

What began as a rough week attempting to work with some people employed by "the medical establishment", ended in complete triumph for me!  I convinced my doctor that I do NOT have hypertension and we agreed I will NOT need to take prescription ("Big Pharma") drugs for either hypertension or anxiety!

After getting into a couple of conflicts with his staff because they refused to release my blood test results and my ultrasound results to me earlier in the week, I was "armed and ready" for my follow-up appointment a month after I wrote this blog post about hypertension.  The day after I wrote that post, I got really sick with the flu.  I also talked to a very close friend who insisted I did not fit the profile for high BP and that I should walk more and eat less salt and ask the doctor for "one more month".  I didn't ask, but I did do what she suggested.  My follow-up appointment was in a month anyway, and... "I'd show HIM!" Hah!

So, armed and ready, I went into his office, spoiling for a fight.  I had already made a scene earlier in the week when his ladies wouldn't let me have a copy of my bloodwork and ultrasound results.  They said, "He'll go over it with you when he sees you on Thursday."  I said, "Unacceptable!  It is just a coincidence that I have an appointment on Thursday.  If I had these blood tests a month ago, when I was supposed to, but I came down with the flu and was in bed for a week, then you would have sent me the results already!"  I even went to the office in person, for more effect... something that takes a lot out of me, since I'm really a "behind the scenes" person who likes to hide behind a phone or keyboard (preferably not a phone!).  When they said no to me, I was flummoxed.  I didn't have a script prepared for them saying no!  I assumed they'd give me the thing if I was standing there, in person, asking for it -- but noooo!  So, with no plan, I flubbed the whole thing.  I yelled at the woman, "FINE!!!!!" and stormed out of the office.  Only problem is, their office is under construction, so the only way out is an elevator, located two feet from her desk.  It sorta takes the dramatic effect out of "storming out of the office".  I turned on my heel, stomped the two feet to the elevator, and.... hit the button.  10, 9, 8... I could feel the ladies' eyes, all six pair of them, staring at the back of my head while I stupidly waited for the elevator!  Note to self, next time you want to cause a scene, make sure there's ample opportunity for dramatic effect!

But I didn't give up.  No sir!  After going another entire night without sleep, wondering what my tests results would reveal (and thinking the worst), and after three more telephone calls and much haranguing with them, I finally got them to fax me a copy of the results a few hours before the appointment.  When I saw the doctor, I was ready to "let him have it" -- but he was nice.  He asked if I had received the copy I requested.  I said yes, and I explained that I'm a very visual person and need to "see" it on paper, in black and white, BEFORE we discuss.  He said he completely understood because he is the same way!!  We went over all the individual results with a fine-tooth comb.  It turns out, everything is normal.  Even the cyst I had on my kidney is gone!  So, I have a perfectly clean bill of health.

On to the question of hypertension.  I had downloaded an app for my iPhone after that first appointment, and I faxed him a weekly report for four weeks of my BP results from home (all perfectly normal).  He had that in hand, and we discussed the results.  He said the diastolic seemed a little high, and then he wanted to take my BP himself.  As soon as the nurse took my BP, and then he took it afterwards, it was high:  148/88 something like that.  Then 150/86.  Then, we took out my home BP monitor which I had thoughtfully brought with me, and we took my BP using BOTH devices simultaneously.  I was so engrossed in using my handheld BP meter correctly, that my BP must have lowered due to my concentrating.... et voila!  normal BP on both devices!!

Doctor said, "You are a very anxiety-ridden individual."  And I said, "That's what I have been trying to tell you!  My BP only rises when I am here!"  He agreed that my BP rises when I come to his office, and that it is only caused by anxiety.  "Go home and come back in four months for a follow-up." He removed the prescriptions for the BP drug and ALSO removed the Rx for the Prozac he had prescribed a month earlier (I hadn't even filled either one).  He said I have generalized anxiety.  I do not have depression, and there is no need to treat anxiety with drugs.  He said anxiety may feel scary, but it is not life-threatening like depression is.  Depression can lead to suicide.  Anxiety is.... just anxiety.  I found this very interesting because nobody had ever explained that to me before... and, more importantly, every doctor had ALWAYS tossed anti-depressants at me.  Middle-aged woman with chronic pain and anxiety, let's put her on anti-depressants.  But he said NO!  I am still sitting here in shock just remembering it.

A couple of weeks ago, I went to a new rheumatologist, too (referred by my regular doctor who has been the subject of this blog post).  He (rheumatologist) is the first of several who believed everything I said, diagnosed me with not just fibro but also osteoarthritis and bursitis.  Again, no one else had ever taken me seriously before.

I guess I'll keep those doctors... but those ladies in the front office though? They need to smarten up! LOL!