Walk with a Doc Newsletter
It all started Tuesday, with my last patient of the day, Brian ‘Jones’. HIPAA does not allow me to say his real name. What I can tell you, is that he is a salesman/entrepreneur that lives in Lancaster (No, David, actually you can’t say that).
Brian was spending the initial part of our visit looking at his phone and laughing at some of his texts. I believe he’s scared and this is just a defense mechanism. When I ask him about his smoking, he laughs and says, “We all have to die some way, right?”
Okay, that’s it.
“Brian, according to the charts you’re carrying 105 extra pounds, your HDL is in the toilet, your diabetes is out of control (hemoglobin A1C is 11.7%) and you’re still not moving. We want to help you Brian, but you’re not letting us. We are worried about you.”
He’s still distant. “Brian, your blood pressure is 174/106!”
I was definitely losing my cool. At this point, he slowly brings his cell phone back out (in a Storm Trooper case) and sneaks it behind him.
“Wow, doc thanks for putting me on the right path.”
Pretty sure he’s mocking me.
“Can I ask you a couple questions, doc?
What should a normal blood pressure be?
Is there a good website to see what my ideal weight should be?
What do you think about Weight Watchers?
Do people with heart disease need to be on a statin?
How much time each week should I be physically active?”
He went on to ask about 5 minutes of questions closing with, “How many patients do you see in a typical day?”
I answer them all.
As he stands up he says, “Oh look at that, my phone must have fallen out. See you in 6 months, doc!” Walking away, I hear him whisper into his coat, “Siri, what is 25 x 15?”
The next day goes perfectly.
“Hey Doc, is it okay to exercise more than 150 minutes a week? – I love it!”
“David, my blood pressure at home is always under 120 mm Hg – is that too low? I hope not, because I feel great!”
Every patient was wearing running shoes and everyone was carrying a bottle of water. Everyone was wearing Walk with a Doc t-shirts or sweatshirts – some fitting better than others.
It was like I had died and gone to Doctor Heaven.
That evening, I told Krissy how great things were going in the office.
The next morning, I walk in from deep in the parking lot and my whistling was never better. SafetySuit’s, “Looking Up”
As I approach our building, I see a tent set up outside our cardiology office.
Yesterday, I had come in from the other entrance.
A make-shift sign has “CHECK IN FOR DR. DAVID SABGIR” sprawled in navy blue marker.
Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.
“All visits for Dr. Sub-eer, please check in here first!”
I can see it’s Brian Hartstraff, I mean Brian ‘Jones’, my patient from Tuesday!
I quickly reach into my messenger bag and grab for my Groucho nose and glasses before I walk in.
I’ve got to be smooth. “Hey bro! I meet with that dude today. What’s up?
I’m speaking with a thick California accent jic the glasses don’t throw him off.
“For $15 I can this the easiest 30 minutes of your life! We have a ‘show’ running every hour and it’s just about to start.
There are 3 other people also waiting so grab a seat. He points me towards a folding chair and makes his way to the front of the tent.
I can’t wait to see this.
“Thank you all for being here, I guarantee you’ll be happy you came!”
The Chewbacca beach towel he pulls over the tent opening makes everything significantly darker.
There’s a PowerPoint slide with 5 bullet points on the tent screen.
“Ladies and Gentlemen! Please reach under your chair where you will find a drawstring bag. Here, you will find everything you need. He angles himself towards the projection on the wall and pulls out a tiny red laser pointer. Your bag contains:
1) A full water bottle; please bring this into the office visit with you. Tell David you go through 6 of these a day.
2) Tennis shoes – they may not fit well, you only are wearing them for a short time.
4) Weight Watchers Membership Card – please show him, then bring it back to me.
5) Finally, you’ll see a 3×5 notecard. This is your script, he’ll think it’s a list of questions. Let’s review these four easy lines:
a. ” I walk the dog for 30 minutes on most day. Always over 150 minutes/week? Is that okay, Dr. David?”
b. “I check my blood pressure 5 days/week at various times and it’s always below 120 mm Hg. Is that too low?”
c. “My endocrinologist checked my HDL and it was 93. Is that too high?”
d. “Can I bring my neighbors and friends to Walk with a Doc? I bet they would love it! What a great idea!”
With that he turned off the projector and wished us well.
As I exited the tent, having trouble breathing through this big, plastic nose I caught him, snickering.
Snickering and smiling as he handed out $5 bills to the next crew of patients presenting him with more time $20’s.
**Let us know if you can join us in NY – photo ops with celebs (9/22) or Columbus (see below) photo ops with non-celebs (9/24)!**