August 14 – 31
I keep feeling my heart pace pick up, I’m not myself, lethargic, ill.. I can’t describe it, something doesn’t feel right. I’m doing my best to live my normal life, but I feel I can’t trust my body. I don’t know how much I can exert myself. I am worried about being alone with the kids. What if I have an episode, does the pacemaker do what it should? I feel I can hear every heart beat; even when we have company over, their voices fade into the background as my heart beats louder and louder.
At Kaiser, I had an EKG and chest X-rays, Dr. Klayton commented on my pacemaker with a sarcastic tone. His nurse asked me why I had a pacemaker and whether I carried it around with me. They told me everything was normal.
I feel insignificant every time I visit Kaiser. Their doctors and nurses are skilled at belittling their patients’ issues. Their process is bureaucratic, leading with several steps of form filling and identity verification, as if I change persona from week to week. The laborious documentation and investigation process is followed by a lengthy waiting room visit. Just when I feel I can take no more, the nurse calls me into the examination room. She checks vital signs and then I wait some more for a doctor to appear.
After an hour, sometimes more, filling forms and waiting, I see a doctor for no more than 5 minutes. That is the quality of Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs). While I accepted this silly process when I was in good health and had to visit Kaiser infrequently, I can’t stand it now that I have a serious condition requiring frequent visits.
Interrogated the pacemaker at Dr. Del Negro’s office, he said all is going well. It felt horrible when he switched it off and I went on my 37 bpm heart rate.
In the evening, after dinner in Georgetown with Emad, the AbuHamdeh’s and Mardam-Bey’s I felt my heart race, with sweat breaks. I called Kaiser and got an appointment for the following day at 8am.