Thursday, May 08, 2014

Why the ER Doc Smacked Me Last Night

Some people can be so touchy about their age, lol. All I asked the emergency doctor last night at the Davies Campus was did he age since I last saw him a few years ago. He said yes and I followed up with, "Are you really old enough to vote?" It was after that he smacked my left arm, a few inches above the IV site. A few seconds later we exchanged smiles and I said, "Ouch".

I finished the antibiotic and the steroid from last week's ER visit and the diagnosis of a small patch of regular pneumonia, got lots of rest and even skipped days of the San Francisco International Film Festival. Since I had a weird sensation of what I thought might be thrush in my windpipe and a second day of chest pain and difficulty breathing, it was back to the ER.

Long story short, Dr. Alexander M. Lam, pictured left, ran a battery of test and had my chest X-rayed and thankfully found nothing majorly wrong but certain symptoms gave him concern I was having heart troubles. Given my HIV poz status, history of AIDS meds and decades of tobacco smoking and other factors he thought about admitting me to ensure I saw a cardiologist today.

No way was I staying in the hospital so Alex called a cardiologist to see if he would squeeze me today for stress tests and once the specialist said yes, Alex and I looked at the lung X-rays from last week and compared them with the newer ones. They were remarkably similar and he wondered if the patch wasn't pneumonia but another infection, after all.We agreed it was wise of his colleague to get me on the drugs last week and not take chances.

Alex suggested the after-effects of the pneumonia treatments, change in weather and a possible cold, normal stuff really, were immediately impacting me and I was sent home after a three-hour ER visit.

I saw a cardiologist today and my treadmill test results were fine. He said there was no indication of artery blockage, that the info would be sent to my new primary care doctor and how it was smart of Alex to have me see him.

So, I'm still taking it very easy, had a deep nap today and give thanks again having Medicare and Medi-Cal insurance, along with access to caring experts like Alex and the entire staff at Davies.

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