Saturday, February 16, 2013

Off and running with a bunch of tests

A conversation overheard at the YMCA:

Male #1: I had some burning in my chest so I went to see my family doctor. He did an EKG on me and I had a right bundle branch block. He told me it could be worse. A left bundle branch block is the widow maker, you know.

Male #2: So what did you do?

Male #1: I went to my cardiologist and he told me that I've had the right bundle branch for years but that I might as well get some tests done. I had a heart catheterization a few days ago. Afterwards he said everything was fine and that my chest burning isn't due to my heart. He told me I should go see a gastroenterologist.

Male #2: Wow, it still sounds pretty serious; hope you find out soon what it is.

I held off from speaking but here were my thoughts:

"A left bundle branch is not a widow maker. A severe narrowing of the left main coronary artery or proximal left anterior descending coronary artery is called the widow maker. If your family doctor really told you that you need to see a different family doctor. He should have asked about your diet, caffeine intake and if you smoke or drink alcohol. He should have found out you can run 5 miles at over 4 MPH and not have any chest pain of shortness of breath. He should have advised a trial of an over the counter medication such as zantac or prilosec. He should have advised you to avoid eating too late at night and to not lie down too soon after eating. He also could have advised you to elevate the head of your bed."

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