How often do we say, I’ll do it later? That could mean changing the batteries on your smoke detector, getting gas in your car or tending to your healthcare. Wisdom says, if it only takes a short time, just do it and be done.
My husband is a great example of the “I’ll do it later” philosophy, and today was a good lesson. Background: we moved approximately 500 miles from our previously home in Northern California about 1.5 years ago (we were commuting back and forth for approximately 4 years, while I kept my job up north and my husband worked part time there as well). We kept our health care providers and dentist that had treated us for the best part of 10 years.
With moves comes the usual disruptions: finding and establishing a relationship with a bank, locating your favorite restaurants, finding a good place to get your car serviced, and probably most important, identifying your medical and dental care providers.
We are both relatively healthy and in our 60’s, so what’s the hurry – no pressing issues. We are good about our dental care, so that was an easy check (cleaning and some minor teeth repairs). Dermatologist was reasonably easy, we asked a neighbor who they went to and got an appointment in a short period of time (not my experience when living in Northern California, that was like getting an audience with the Pope. So new dermatologist: my husband had a little “thing” on his shoulder – turned out to be melanoma. Got that taken care of, now on the 6 month watch list. Check!!!
So what about the “general medical stuff”? Well…. Finding a primary care provider is not so easy. Their practices are full and getting an appointment is challenging. Getting all of your “stuff” from your previous care providers (your lab results, x-rays, etc.). That takes more time so ” I’ll do it later”.
Today is later! My husband got his flu shot last week (good start, plus he had to for work), got pretty sick the day after – cold/flu symptoms and then really started feeling poorly through the weekend and into the workweek on Monday. Symptoms: heart rate was erratic, shortness of breath walking up the stairs, and generally “not feeling good.”
As all good healthcare people, we pulled out our tools. First – check out the funky pulse rate with my Kardia, by AliveCor https://www.alivecor.com/ to get an EKG. It’s an app with a bolt on device that is on the back of my phone (I have had problems with rapid heart rate while I run and I was trying to rule out SVT – but that has already been discussed in a previous blog). Lo and behold – A Fib, with accompanying higher than normal blood pressure.
The dilemma is now – no primary care provider and no cardiologist. Do you go to the emergency department or wait it out? My husband called the cardiologist office where I was seen a bit ago. As of this posting, we are still waiting for a “scheduled time” for an appointment.
Moral of the story… Don’t do it later.. do it now! That is why houses burn down, cars run out of gas and people die. So here we wait – ED or appointment???