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Monday, July 21, 2008

Navy Medical's "opinion"

Richard finally got in to see a doctor at the Naval Medical facility today. He took with him the written record from being at Chesapeake Hospital but they did not give him copies of the actual x-rays or EKG tests.

The doctor on base said that he definitely did not think it was pedicarditis. He did not think the heart was involved at all. He said R never needs to worry about having a heart attack. He said the EKG the hospital did showed no abnormality. He said the hospital is overusing this diagnosis. He did an x-ray of his own and showed R that there is currently no sign of pedicarditis.

He said it could take up to 9 months to figure it out totally. He did do bloodwork. But he thinks it is anxiety. He put R on Paxil for three months, but said he wants to see him again in one month. He did tell R to keep taking the medication the hospital prescribed him, saying they weren't only for inflammation, but also pain.

If you want my opinion and ranting, read on, if not, go ahead and stop now.

He did not have the x-rays and EKG reports from the hospital. He did his own x-ray today, four days after the pain started, when the pain has been gone for two complete days, and after R has been on medication for four days, the x-ray today showed no inflammation, not surprisingly.

It is odd to me that the two different places (hospital and base medical) have two completely different opinions. A third opinion is not an option, because the Navy is the Navy. Based upon this alone, I am more likely to believe the answer from the people who actually treated him while the pain was happening, not four days after the fact, without EKG results.

I'm not saying that anxiety is a real problem and that Paxil can help that. I'm not even necessarily saying that R doesn't have an anxiety problem. R does let himself get stressed out and that might have coupled with something else to cause this chest pain. But I don't think that with him never having had one before, having an anxiety attack out of the blue, when he is perfectly fine emotionally, is unlikely. I am saying that I think this dr. offered that without much basis and as an easy "solution".

It took 26 years for this to happen once, the likelyhood that it will happen again in the next month is slim. If it doesn't, this dr. can say "see, magic pill, take it forever, bye" and then when he has another one of these 1 or 5 years down the road, we will have no more information because no more testing will have been done.

I don't want R on the "magic pill" and then when it happens again, to say, "oh its just stress" and die from a heart attack.

1 comment:

Kerstin said...

holy crap! I hope he's ok!

I was on Paxil for awhile and it made me really irritable (my mom threatened to put me on a bus back to Houghton the day before Christmas if I didn't shape up). But they switched me to Lexapro and it helped me with anxiety sooooo much. It can be tricky to find something that works and has acceptable side effects with those kinds of drugs. :/ And, yeah, they're not going to fix heart problems. Make sure his heart is REALLY ok...

Is it an option to get copies of the EKG and x-rays to have another follow-up with the Navy doc? Get a second opinion from the second opinion rather than a third opinion?

And hopefully with all the info, the doctor won't turn out to be one of the doctors that are just idiots. I had a doctor try to tell me that menstrual migraines were an egg allergy.

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