Sunday, July 20, 2008

Doctors and Hospitals

A little history, my mom has been in the hospital so many times in the last 7 years that I know the protocol for at least 2 hospitals and I know so many of the doctors and nurses. Well today my mom was in the ER for the second time this week. Usually they treat her high blood pressure and tremors with lots of Ativan and send her on her way. No one has taken that extra step to see why her BP goes through the roof out of the blue. Yes, she is on 2 different BP meds and she checks her BP twice a day - because she can't take the BP meds if her Systolic is less than 100 or her pulse is lower than 60. Well more times than not her pulse is in the 50's so that's one less med. And her BP runs normal 120's-140's over 50's - 70's. And then there are the days that it goes through the roof 240/140 is the highest so far.

The difference today - Dr. Ramzi Nassif. I met Dr. Nassif about a month ago through my work. I was struck by his kindness, his caring and just his whole person. He is genuine and really cares about his patients. So fast forward to today - Mom and I were at church, she asked me to take her home early because she wasn't feeling well, but in the car she started crying and shaking worse - that means the BP is crazy - so I brought her straight to the ER - we were 4 miles away. So I got her there and the security guard was wonderful - met me at the car with a wheelchair - brought her in while I parked. She was brought right in, a few of the nurses know her by name. When the nurse was taking us to Acute 2 -- I saw Dr. Nassif. I waved to him and went into the room. The nurse did her thing - hooking up everything and getting the symptoms for the day. Dr. Nassif came in, he was covering for my mom's regular doc (also a cardiologist). He treated her first with a BP med - can't remember the name right now. But it brought down her BP very nicely - it was 204/99 when we started. He took a history - asked me her meds - Oh and he did her IV when the first one blew her vein. Who does that? I don't know any docs that do their own IV's or BP with a stethoscope. And he may have given us the answer to why this is happening. So - mom is going to call her doctor tomorrow and ask him if he'll order the tests to find out if this is the case. I am actually afraid to write the name here in case this is another dead end. I pray that this is an answer to many prayers!

****(7/26/08) An update. As it turns out mom was given a test for pheochromocytoma last August, but her Primary Care doc did have the test run again. He uses the same test that the Mayo clinic uses. We'll see what happens. She had a bad day yesterday - her BP was 77/42 - not good and when it went up to 139/67 last night she thought that her head was going to explode - it did this in 30 minutes time. I just made sure she got her meds and laid down and rested. That's about all they do in the hospital anyway. If it had spiked up to the 2**/1** I would have called Kunkel immediately. So - there you have it....It's always a struggle to understand and know what is going on...
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