My PCP was recently reassigned to an area hospital seeing hospital patients only. Last week I began having cardiac issues that sent me to the ER. I needed a referral to see a cardiologist so I went with who I could get instead of taking the time to find someone. Now I am in disagreement with my new internist about the proper course of action and she keeps suggesting that I am having panic attacks or are stress induced (BTW I met her for the first time Tuesday at an appointment that was no more than 10 minutes long). One of my lab tests (D-Dimer) indicates that I may have an underlying infection or inflammation that is causing the symptoms (based on discussion with ER doc). She doesn't want to listen to me and doesn't see my present limitations as a problem (have to stay in bed to keep my HR down to acceptable number).
A friend of mine is a family practitioner and completely disagrees with my internist. She can't see me because I'm limited to my "doc-in-a-box" system, but there is a former colleague of hers that I could see and supposedly she is accepting new patients. With the "doc-in-a-box" system, everyone knows everything and I don't want to get a reputation for being difficult.
I have the great excuse of never having the opportunity to meet my new doctor before having to get into something this serious. Do people normally meet a potential doctor, "interviewing" them before naming them as their PCP?
How unusual would it be for me to make a switch right now having only seen my new PCP once?
I've changed my primary care doctor after only one visit. The minute I meet him I didn't like him. I didn't feel comfortable with him and I felt he didn't listen to me. I think it is fine to change doctors after only one visit. You have to trust and feel comfortable with your doctors.
You are American, correct? If so, then switching doctors after only one visit is not only uncommon, but practical. You have your choice of several "docs-in-a-box" and though they are all under one umbrella for insurance, they are not all cut from the same mold. Some are truly caring with a good bedside manner and true "doctor's ears" for listening carefully to their patients. Others...not so much.
One problem with heart rhythm issues that are not life threatening is that some doctors who are looking for the "big game" are not interested in dealing with the every day issues such as ours and since it is not life threatening, it is not exciting enough to deal with. On the other hand, there are some WONDERFUL doctors out there who realize that life altering does not necessarily mean life threatening and that improving quality of life is just as important as increasing longevity.
Anxiety plays a role. This is a true statement. Whether you begin with anxiety that brings on heart rhythm disturbances, or you begin with heart rhythm disturbances that cause anxiety which then exacerbates the problem...it plays a role. However, being dismissed as an anxiety patient is not acceptable. Even if the problem is anxiety based, it is NOT "in your head" or something you can just "stop worrying about." Anxiety problems are caused by a physiological imbalance of chemicals in the body. If these imbalances are causing heart palpitations then alleviating the imbalance should also alleviate the palps. If the palps are causing a positive feedback loop to activate and increase adrenaline levels to an unbalanced level, then breaking the feedback loop should also help relieve symptoms. At the same time, if there is a physiological cause for the palps within the heart tissue (rogue pacer cells) then those cells that are causing the problem can be pinpointed and ablated (burned) to relieve your palpitations thereby reducing anxiety automatically.
If you've been passed off as "KOOKIE" then pass on the doctor and find another one. These issues are real and deserve an attentive audience. Though not life threatening, the symptoms are life altering and therefore worthy of sincere investigation.
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