Unfiltered Story #101642

, | Unfiltered | December 14, 2017

I have just finished a tilt table test to confirm a medical diagnosis, after complaining of low blood pressure, wildly fluctuating heart rate (less than 50bpm at night, greater than 130bpm whenever I stand), and general fatigue and weakness. The doctor (a cardiologist) had induced a fainting spell using nitroglycerin, so I am still out of it when this occurs. Note: I had just turned 19 at the time of this story, but had brought my mother, who is a RN, with me to take notes and drive me home.

Dr: Alright, I have a diagnosis for you and I’ll be writing a prescription for a beta blocker…

Me: Can you get my mom in here first? She’s got the notepad and I’m probably not going to remember everything from this conversation.

Dr: You’re 19. You don’t need your mother.

Me: I know I’m a legal adult but I also know I’m impaired right now. I’m exhausted and I just passed out. Please get my mother.

Dr: Stop being a baby. You don’t need your mother.

At this point, a nurse notices that I’m arguing with the doctor and runs to the waiting room to grab my mother, who comes back immediately, notepad in hand.

Mom: How was it sweetie? Are you okay?

Dr: *rolls eyes* I am diagnosing her with [diagnosis] and putting her on a beta blocker. *looking at me* Do YOU have any questions?

Mom: *does a double take* A beta blocker?

Me: Don’t beta blockers reduce blood pressure and heart rate? What other side effects are there?

Dr: *rolling his eyes again* There are no side effects. Schedule a follow up in a month.

My mother immediately called my primary care doctor and relayed what happened, and he noted that it was my choice to not take the drugs if I felt that it would be dangerous to do so, then got me a referral to a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic. The Mayoc ardiologist confirmed both the diagnosis and that I was right to refuse the beta blockers! I was prescribed the correct medication and am healthy now. Unfortunately, the first cardiologist is still practicing.

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