SOMETIMES THE SOLUTION IS OUTSIDE THE BOX
Things get tied in knots; sometimes the only solution to a bad marriage is a divorce. But that applies in other situations:
Teacher/student – this teacher has it in for your kid, for whatever reason, and the only way the kid will survive is switching to a different teacher, or a different school.
Parent/child – the child must leave home to get away from a controlling parent OR the parent must eject the nestling which has turned into a cuckoo bird and is eating the family out of house and home.
Boss/employee – leave that job, if you can, before it eats your soul; fire that employee before she sets the factory on fire.
And one I’ve done once before, in many years in the system: if the main stressor in your life is a particular doctor, switch before they stress you into the heart attack they think they’re protecting you from.
The signs were many.
Doctors have different outlooks on life, differing way of using ‘guidelines,’ different bedside manners.
Because change is so hard for me and others with ME/CFS (usually entails MORE doctor visits, transferring of many records, finding the new person, hoping you don’t have an emergency until you’re comfortable with the new one, getting them to read all your paperwork…), we often stay too long with one who ‘at least fills out the Social Security paperwork.’ I don’t need that any more – but worrying about blowing a gasket (ie, stroke) from an occasional blood pressure spike is a sure way to spend your life worrying about your pressure, which RAISES it.
I had reached the point of considering my home BP measuring device an additional stressor, and the taking of the BP another. But I have friends who have had strokes, and it ain’t pretty.
It reached the breaking point a month or so ago when something (I have an idea now, but no proof) led me to have a BP spike DURING my semi-annual cardiologist visit, in their office. ONE measurement. They refused to take it again (to see if it would be coming down), and instead went to full alert.
Full speed ahead, man the torpedoes!
To make a very long story short, after having an abysmal experience with – and stopping after ten pain-filled, zombie-brained, gut-wrenching (lit.) days – another BP med, I switched cardiologists – to the one I just saw (and had met during one of my hospital excursions and noted he was a breath of fresh air then).
He says, not only don’t worry about it, but don’t measure it! He realized the process had become stressful, but that my record of measurements didn’t show a real problem. He suggested, since I need salt to maintain blood volume, and don’t follow a low-salt cardiac diet, that I might have had too much some night (yes, yes, yes! very possible – when I add salt to the occasional popcorn or nuts!). NO ONE had ever told me it could set off a spike.
He actually listened to my difficulties with tolerating meds, said I’d tried most of the first-line ones, and reacted badly, and that the next line of them would likely have even worse side-effects. But that he didn’t think I needed any.
I see him in six months, and the largest stressor on my list (death due to not taking the doctor-prescribed cardiac meds) vamoosed in a puff of smoke. Plus the secondary stress I was also ignoring: going to that office and that doctor. It’s subtle.
Changing was the right thing to do – and a serious object lesson: listen to your stress level. If a doctor constantly puts you on red alert, consider whether this is the best doctor for you. With the other one, I felt every time that I was defending myself from being put on medication I didn’t need.
Such a relief: I agree.
I should have listened. To myself. We’re not all alike; neither are they.
I was just worried the first one would prejudice the second one, and I would then have to go far afield to find… You can always stress yourself out.
And I learned that the salt I need may cause BP spikes. Good to know – will watch that more carefully.