The office is sterile, friendly and green. A nurse takes my weight and asks for a urine sample. Then she clips a sensor on my finger to check my oxygen levels and takes my temperature in an instant with some sort of device she sticks in my ear. My blood pressure is 140 over 80, she says. I’m hypertensive and this is good news. Then she directs me to an examining room where I sit on a stool in the corner and wait.
A Physician Assistant intern from Western Michigan University comes in and pulls up a chair beside me. “My name is Angela,” she says. It reminds me of the line in You Got Mail, about all the cocktail waitresses. “Don’t they know you are supposed to have a last name?” I’ve been going to the same doctor for 12 years and I don’t even know his first name. Hers is Angela.
Her clip board is on the examining table, and she leans close, earnest and professional, asking questions about my health history as though they weren’t already in the file, as though I hadn’t said the same thing a dozen times. She seems unconcerned that my dad just died of a heart attack.
Later the doctor comes in. Both of them spend a lot of time discussing how to regulate my blood sugar. He also seems unconcerned about dad’s death. “We’ll start doing some stress tests when you are 60, ten years before the age your father had his heart attack,” he explains. In the meantime we’ll do a EGK every year. It’s hasn’t been quite a year since the last one, and so he makes a note to do it when I come back in 3 months to check my blood sugar.
He gives me a vial of insulin, a new strength, and she asks me to come in for blood work next week some morning before breakfast.
I want them to be more concerned about my heart, but they are not.
It seems important.