Lions and Tigers and Cardiologists, Oh My!
A Cautionary Tale
Ok, I’m talking about Florida and not Kansas and perhaps I could have called this “Alligators, Sharks, and Cardiologists, Oh My,” but I needed to get someone’s attention, especially since I haven’t been able to get the attention of my patients who visit Florida every winter. And while I don’t want anyone to mistake this essay as something from Mutual of Omaha I do wish many of you would think of the classic video of the thousands of wildebeest attempting to cross a river full of dangerous predators – with the wildebeest acting as the elderly patients migrating down to Florida for the winter and the lions and wild dogs as the carnivorous doctors looking for their prey.
It was an ordinary “Snow Bird” trip to Florida for Mr. Irving Schwartz (not his real name), an elderly Jewish fellow with heart disease, accompanied by his girlfriend. Prior to his departure, Irving got his usual warning from me: “Don’t let the doctor do anything to you unless you call me first.”
Every year, just before the winter storms hit up north, thousands of elderly patients make their way down to Florida. Many of these patients have lot of health issues and are in need of a doctor to care for them until they make the migration northward in the Spring. It’s a boon to the ailing Florida economy, for the restaurants, markets, and also for the doctors. With the economy in a tailspin and a relative glut of physicians in some of these communities, some physicians await these naïve elderly patients to boost their income.
Irv had a heart attack years ago and as a consequence of this large MI, developed a rather large clot in the apex of the heart chamber. But aside from his medication, which includes the blood thinner Coumadin, and a bad stomach, which once caused some bleeding from his stomach a few years ago, Irv was feeling great. His last stress test, several years ago, was pretty good and because he remained active and had no symptoms, he never had another.
To read the rest of this Blog and find out what happened to Irv please click on the following link to Leftistreview.com.
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