Stupid things doctors say to heart patients....

A recent post here describing a doctor's comment "Maybe it's all in your head?!" reminded me of some comments my own family doc has made in the two years since my heart attack, such as:

"Things could be a lot WORSE, you know!"

or how about:

"Can't you just PUSH THROUGH the fatigue?"

Do you have other examples of actual comments that your doctors have made? Let's see how many we have in common!


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This is not an actual quote, but something I wish I'd said...

You can "push through" the fatigue and SOB, just like a fish can "push through" being on dry land!

hahahaha Mary

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I had one that said "I'd much rather tell a patient he/she had heart disease than cancer."

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This was my first cardiologists lovely bedside manner:

I'm laying there one morning in bed in the hosptial, having almost died from Sepsis and having been in CCU for a week. They had given me pain meds during the night, and I was very groggy. He's at the end of my bed, yelling at me to "Wake Up!" and I'm trying to come through my drug induced and weakened fog, then he yells "You had a heart attack! Wake Up!"

Well, it worked. That woke me up.

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I had had this odd burning on my chest for months every morning I waked up. The doctor told me after having been examined (treadmill test): "I think you should go to a therapist- I would call your symptoms a housewife-syndrom." After that I went to a therapist. She was telling me, I should think the burning on my chest were nothing and tought me how to relax. My therapy was not yet ended as I had to be operated and got a triple bypass. Now a days I only believe what I feel. My triple bypass was 1983, when I was 37 years old. I am 64 years now and I feel good.

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I have a couple...

"Well, you're just like any other 80 year old patient I see". (I'm 49)

After explaining my fear of having a stress test because my father and my first boss both died within a week of their (normal) stress tests, my GP said, "Well, they woukd have died walking up a flight of stairs anyway"

During above-mentioned stress test (which was normal and just months before my own CABG surgery with 3 blockages over 85%) I kept telling the cardiologist of all my symptoms. shortness of Breath -"Youre out of shape", Crazy heart rate where I felt like I had a vibrating pager in my chest - "Maybe your breast is just buzzing"

And then my own therapist telling me it's "interesting" that I should have these physical events, like my heart is trying to tell me something. (I understand the mind/body connection but it feels like because I didn't grieve my daughters death properly or fully enough, it's somehow my fault.

Whew! Felt good to get that all off my chest :-)

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Hello...good, a chance to vent..
While I was having an angiogram , the catheter caused my artery to dissect resulting in a massive MI and emergency CABGx3.
On his only visit to see me several days after the surgery, the man behind the catheter said only " I have done thousands of are my 1 % "
What a ##4!!///&%%$.

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after my echo,my cardiologist called me up to tell me there was only1% improv.Told me his nurse would make an appt for the cardioelectrophsiologist on Monday."Have a nice weekend" During the call he said the ICD dr was not a touchly feely guy. So at his office he tells me I'm not fleshy and will implant under my muscle.Says if this does not improve my heart"have they talked to you about a transplant"? I said no way I want nothing to do with this uh uh nope. I went home and called his office,his nurse made me realize we are all afraid.I wll go in on Nov22nd. Some drs.have the personality of a stick. I just got over this ICD idea and he's onto a transplant1

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I just thought of one more, this time from a 55-year old friend, whose (young) cardiologist asked her:

"Are you and your husband still having sex?"

When my friend responded "Duh.... YES!" - the doc was AMAZED by her answer!! Not because of the health issues, but because somebody was THAT OLD was still sexual!!??!! :-)


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Mookie, is that electrophysiologist in Houston?

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Dear Ladies
When will the time come when we are being taken seriously? Got a call from the nurse practitioner a few days ago with the results of blood tests. She simply said, o' everything is ok, you are just fine. I did not let her finish and simply said, what was my total cholesterol,my HDL, My LDL, my ferretin level, my sed rate? By then she finally realized she is dealing with someone who knows a little bit more than the average patient, even though I am 80 years old and living in a retirement community. "Treat me not my age" is my mantra, or you will be dropped.

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Part of my doctor's explanation after my MI just cracked me up. He described my heart in car terms. He said my heart was like a 12-cylinder engine with a couple of broken cylinders. This would have been helpful if I knew how to speak 'Car and Driver.'

Two weeks later at the followup visit, he said "Dodged a bullet on that one, huh?"

Both of these conversations had me biting my lip really hard to keep from laughing while he was talking. I guess because most of his patients are probably 60 year-old men, he doesn't know what to make of me. I also sense sometimes he's struggling not to say something really insensitive.

At my last visit, I sensed he was horrified at the idea of having to tell the chubby chick (me) to lose weight. He kept going on and on about the benefits of exercise and how great it was for my heart. Then he said "It helps with other things too..."

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I was diagnosed at age 5.

Then at age 25, I developed real problems. My new doc (I had just moved) told me, without ever putting a stethoscope to my chest, "Honey, you just moved away for the first time. You are probably lonely for your mother. I would go and have a baby if I were you." !!!!!

Found out several months later after my open-heart surgery, if I had followed that jerk's advise, both I and a baby would have died!
Best, Rudy

PS: I love you -- tnorthmountain! What a hoot!

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What do you call a doctor who graduated last in his medical school? "Doctor"

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I love Mirjami's "Housewife Syndrome". Yep, that covers just about everything....


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Neither the doctor that finishes last in his class, nor the ones that finished better, ever took a class in 'bedside manner'. Just like in real life, you are constantly on a quest to find people, (doctors or not) that have common sense, intelligence, compassion, and an open mind, and it ain't easy.

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""Treat me not my age" is my mantra, or you will be dropped."

Tnorthmountain! I love this one. You are 80??? My, you are such an inspiration!

'Suggested past life regression therapy to patient'. This was written in my charts by the holistic M.D. I had been ponged to.....At the top of this page is 'chest pains' written clearly in my hand writing in the 'reason for visit section' in fall 1994. Female physician.

Female cardio burst out laughing in 2006 when I asked her if heart transplant was in my future since I could no longer work or walk very far without dizziness, sometimes fainting.

"Are you still having periods Ms. Martz????" the extremely young ER resident asked me in a squeaky voice during heart attack. I was 41! In my head I was thinking....'Yep, that's almost all I do...have periods.'
This incredulous young man had clearly been sold on the myth that younger women in fertile years cannot have heart attacks. He really looked stunned when I told him "I'm ovulating right now!". Seeing as how estrogen levels are at their highest during ovulation and absolutely protect younger women from heart attacks. Bullocks.

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" I have done thousands of are my 1 % "


And you are my funding my dream house and all my childrens' college educations.

ho ho

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Hi Jaynie,

I could not believe that he saw my life threatening condition as just being something to make up his 1 % complication rate. I was speechless.
I have never seen him again...nor do I want to.

SO good to be able to vent that..

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j"You can "push through" the fatigue and SOB, just like a fish can "push through" being on dry land!

ooooh...genius MaryGL. I'm stealing this one. LOL


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My therapist told me to "suck it up" and then proceeded to ask me why I have to wear v-neck shirts. She said it doesn't make sense that my scar is sensitive. My cardiac surgeon said I had 6 weeks to 20 years to live and then left, no explanation. It took me a while to get passed that one!

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