Thursday Morning

2014
Puri, Nitasha

Thursday morning; a busy week.

A baby cries in the waiting room as she rushes down the hall to usher in the next patient. “Come on in, Mr. Davies,” she says. God I hope I don’t have food in my teeth, she thinks as she shuts the door behind her. A glance at the clock tells her she’s got thirteen minutes before the next appointment..

“So, Mr. Davies, what can I help you with today?” She looks at him briefly before turning her attention to the computer, toggling between her email, the clinic schedule, Mr. Davie’s recent lab results and previous chart note. I don’t really remember this guy too well, she thinks. Shoot, his MCV is a bit elevated and his hemoglobin a bit low. Hm. And cholesterol’s no good. The chronic disease kit and caboodle. Probably has hypertension too – where is the BP reading on this last chart note? I probably forgot to document it; I’m such a bad doctor.

“Well, my wife told me to come in,” Mr. Davies replies.

“I see. Any particular reason why?” Mr. Davies begins to open to his mouth to respond; her inner voice interrupts – should I bring up the cholesterol right now or should I wait for him to tell me what he’s here for? I should calculate the Framingham Risk score and make sure I check his blood pressure.

“Well, she wanted me to get my blood pressure checked and get the results of my labwork and all. You know.” Mr. Davies wipes the sweat off his brow and tries to steady his hands.

Hm, where should I start? She thinks, continuing to glance at the computer screen. “Well, your cholesterol’s a bit high and I’m wondering about your MCV. Have you been measuring your blood pressure recently?” She goes on to explain all the risk factors of high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

“Yes. Well, I’m also not sleeping very well,” Mr. Davies interjects. “Should we talk about that?”

Don’t sigh out loud, she tells herself, feeling the tension build up inside her. Five more minutes to figure this one out. Gosh I’m hungry. She looks at Mr. Davies. Oh – I better not forget to ask about mood with all his sleep stuff. Might fit with his bloodwork too now that I think of it.

Her pager goes off and she is distracted for a moment as she checks it. She frowns, deciding whether to wait five minutes or phone back now.

“It’s okay, never mind. I eventually fall asleep anyhow.” Mr. Davies wipes his brow again, looking anxious. “Um, can you just check my blood pressure and give me the medication I need please? I’ve got to get to work on time – sorry about that.”

She looks at him carefully, suspecting. “Sure thing, Mr. Davies. Here is your prescription. Listen, do you drink any alcohol?” She checks his blood pressure as they speak.

“Of course,” he replies. “A couple of beers a week.”

“Okay,” she says. “Well I’d like you to come back soon to talk about your sleep, Mr. Davies. Until then, take care. Have a good day at work.”

She ushers him out of the room; the baby continues to wail in the waiting room. I hope I’m not missing anything she thinks as she checks her pager again.

 

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Thursday morning; a busy week.

He’s missed a day or two this month; a hangover headache preventing him from getting to the office. This morning isn’t much better. He slowly stands when he hears his name, ready to be ushered into the room. “Come on in, Mr. Davies,” Dr. Roberts says. God I hope I’m not trembling too much, he thinks as she shuts the door behind them.

“So, Mr. Davies, what can I help you with today?” Dr. Roberts looks at him briefly before turning her attention to the computer. I don’t know what to tell her, he silently panics as she checks his labwork. Should I tell her about my anxiety? Should I tell her that I can’t sleep? Should I tell her about the fight Janet and I had last night over the beer?

“Well, my wife told me to come in,” he replies.

“I see. Any particular reason why?” Dr. Roberts asks. He begins to open to his mouth to respond; his inner voice interrupts – I know she’s my doctor and I should trust her. I just don’t know if I can admit it and tell her everything. I want her to help me though; she’s been with us for years.

“Well, she wanted me to get my blood pressure checked and get the results of my labwork and all. You know.” He wipes the sweat off his brow and tries to steady his hands.

Dr. Roberts examines the computer screen in response. “Well, your cholesterol’s a bit high and I’m wondering about your MCV. Have you been measuring your blood pressure recently?” She goes on to explain all the risk factors of high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Oh my God I don’t even care about all this, his inner voice screams in response. Can’t she see that I’m super anxious and that I haven’t slept? Should I ask for the doctor’s note?

“Yes. Well, I’m also not sleeping very well,” he decides to share. “Should we talk about that?”

Dr. Roberts’ pager goes off and she is distracted for a moment as she checks it. He waits, mulling over what he just said.

“It’s okay, never mind. I eventually fall asleep anyhow.” He tries to cover it up and avoid the topic. Can’t believe how stupid I am, he thinks. It’s not like I can quit anyway. “Um, can you just check my blood pressure and give me the medication I need please? I’ve got to get to work on time – sorry about that.”

Dr. Roberts looks at him carefully; he notices her lingering in thought. “Sure thing, Mr. Davies. Here is your prescription. Listen, do you drink any alcohol?” She checks his blood pressure as they speak.

Do I ever! he chuckles to himself. He pauses for a moment. I can’t tell her I drink 6 beers a night. Anyway I just don’t think it’s that big of a problem anyway. I’m just making a big deal about it. “Of course,” he replies. “A couple of beers a week.”

“Okay,” she says. “Well I’d like you to come back soon to talk about your sleep, Mr. Davies. Until then, take care. Have a good day at work.”

She ushers him out of the room; his headache feels even worse. God all I want is a drink, he thinks. What’s this medication for again?

 

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Thursday morning; a busy week.

Theme: Health Care Delivery | Prestation des soins de santé
Theme: Patients | Patients
Theme: Physicians | Médecins

Stories in Family Medicine | Récits en médecine familiale [Internet] Mississauga ON: College of Family Physicians of Canada. 2008 --.

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