Part 1 – Remembering the Past
My visit to a new Cardiologist came with a lot of “new” things. Before we talk about those, let’s start from the beginning. I moved to Massachusetts three years ago, and I came to this new state knowing these three things:
- I was told / reassured that the Boston area had some of the best doctors in the entire United States, a fact which I googled.
- I was leaving a set of amazing doctors in Long Island, especially my cardiologist that I loved and I think loved me in return.
- I no longer would have the backup of support now ex-husband, “the doctor”
These may not look like they would be life changing factors but they kind of were. So here I went, I took the leap of faith that I would find doctors that were going to be in fact just as good or maybe even better in the care of my life. Before we talk about my appointment, let’s talk about my past.
I can’t write this without stressing how very lucky I was with my previous Cardiologist, Dr. McCormack. She was a colleague of my general practitioner, and I believe a friend. She was fantastic from the first day I met her. She always encouraged me and stressed to me the things that were important and to not overlook them. She always did her best to lead me in the right direction. She saw me two to four times a year but always remembered the things we talked about. She became someone I would confide in. She tried to help me get pregnant by working with me regarding my heart issues such as spending a lot of time arguing with insurance on my behalf. She just always has been a friendly face in fearful times and she also was one of the only people that knew what I was going through with my now ex-husband. It hurt me to leave her behind! My last visit to her, I remember telling her something had to change because the issue I was having with my heart could not be fixed anymore because it was broken. She was so much more than a doctor for me and I miss her dearly. So, any cardiologist has big shoes to fill.
Fast forward to after the move: Year one – I went into the process of changing insurance and then taking on the ever-growing chore of finding a new GP. Learning the inner workings of insurance and the new medical system was a nuisance to say the least. Fortunately, I had a friend that knew the medical system and helped me figure it out at the beginning. Once I chose the insurance, I was directed to a list of doctors from which I could choose from. My GP, I knew I wanted a female doctor, and I thought (which in hindsight was stupid) that a women would be more caring and by default desired to help another female. Well, let’s just flip that right out into the world as false information. Just because you have one GREAT doctor (a cardiologist) back in another state doesn’t mean all female doctors will follow suit.
Fast forward, three years later. I have a GP that I dislike and distrust but I stay because I do like her staff of NP (nurse practitioners) that I choose to see now when I need to visit a provider. I had also found a cardiologist (male), Mental Health providers (all women), a gynecologist (male) , and a dermatologist (male)…
This is the sum up-
- GP- sucks but has great NP’s.
- Mental Health – providers have been/ are amazing.
- Gynecologist – was good enough but his staff SUCKED so bad that I just refuse to go back. I need to seek a new doctor.
- Dermatologist – was amazing but has moved so I am left having to find a new one.
- Cardiologist – my first one upon moving here was polite/ listened but I did not get the feeling that he cared much. As fate would have it, he moved. I’d like to add that his office didn’t even bother to let me know this fact.
That now brings us to this past Monday – my first in person appointment with my new cardiologist. (I have had one other appointment but that was over facetime.) It was the “get to know me appointment” to see if I thought this was going to be worth my time and effort to make the trek into Boston for in person visits (we will allow the doctor to think it was his appointment to see if he would take me on as a patient).
How did I find this doctor? One of my GP’s NP actually gave me the “affiliate” name of a hospital that this doctor was a part of. To be honest, all I did was google the hospital’s name and looked under the list of cardiologists and saw the photos. I had some things I was looking for – such as looking for someone that looked kind, that stated that English was their first language (as I have a hard time understanding thick accents), was not too old or too young, and was accepting new patients. I know that is technically not the way to choose a new doctor but those things were/are important to me.
The problem with the new cardiologist was the fact his office is inside one of the hospitals in Boston. Luckily, my very first appointment with him was via FaceTime. Introducing, Dr. Carroll. He was very kind, seemed to actually take in information right away, and scheduled some tests. I instantly felt like this was a good sign considering the previous cardiologist in this state did not order any tests, nor make like he wanted to.
After the test results came in, Dr. Carroll himself called me and went over the results with me and a day later a nurse called to ask if I had any questions. I was then scheduled for an Echo test and an in person appointment (which was scheduled out 3 and half months because of a lack of open appointments). So by the time this appointment rolled around I had plenty of time to drum up all the things that could go wrong. And boy did I have a list. Look forward to reading Part 2: The Day Has Arrived.