Wednesday, August 13, 2008

oh, by the way...

So everything was going along swimmingly yesterday at the La Loma clinic. Not too busy, plenty of time to finish charts, do a few Continuing Ed on-line courses, read a little fluff at lunch. At quarter to four a mom and son come in to see me. Son, a precocious 8 year old, has a cold. Piece of cake. Mom says she has same symptoms but is a bit worse. Also has a recurring gyno issue. No problem. I whip out my winning combo of western medicine and nutrition/supplements. Ta-da! Score one for the home team. I can still get out of the clinic by 4 o'clock.

As I'm getting ready to send her out the door, she says to me,

"I've been having this chest pain"

"Excuse me?"

I go through all the standard chest pain questions: sweating, nausea, pain in other locations, stress level, digestive problems, cough, weight loss... No clear picture was emerging. Great. I can't really let her leave without checking out an EKG. She doesn't have insurance, of course.


I send my nurse, the fabulous Antonia, in to do the EKG. Five minutes... NOT! Our EKG runs the single lead strips instead of the nice, neat 12 lead page.

30 minutes later: I come into the exam room to see poor Antonia tangled up in about 12 feet of EKG paper. If we both hadn't been so frustrated, it would have been hilarious. Fortunately, there wasn't anything scary looking on the rhythm strip. I gave her the appropriate precautions and sent her on her way.

So, if you have chest pain, make sure that's the first thing you tell your health care provider...

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