It has been probably 3 years since my last appointment with Dr Goodfield, he told me he wouldn’t discharge me from his care but only to call him if I needed to see him. It is testimony to his care that I haven’t needed him until now.
From start with him he understood I was young in heart failure terms so could be his patient for long time. I was extremely active & he set out to give me a quality of life I will always be grateful for. He genuinely asked what I wanted & like all great doctors he is unique in his style & over worked. I know he uses me to enhance his ideas & thoughts but I trust him with my life. I could tell so many stories of our appointments and his honest no nonsense comments & quotes. I once asked why do I take drugs that in reality post AV node ablation I potentially don’t need. His reply “the truth is we don’t know whether you still need them or not but your doing well as your are so we’ll just leave you taking them rather than risk stopping them and seeing a deterioration’.
Stobhill has a system where you go through 3 waiting rooms before reaching Dr Goodfield. I assume this is call Centre style patient management so wait doesn’t seem so long but in reality my appointments here are at least an hour behind but as an experienced patient I come prepared for the long haul amazed so many don’t. Then they just sit there looking at 4 walls or worse moan. I could slap the moaners dissing this great free service.
Just been in to see the great man. I fully understand now how he works so follows usual pattern, tell him your issues then say nothing, he makes notes in his untidy handwriting and you can see his mind working overtime, he pauses to ask question then straight back to notes, finally he tells me, this will take longer than today especially for device bits as he needs tech girls here to help him, sends me for treadmill test now to see response rate on device & I have to go back in after it. Looks like drug change also which I always struggle with initially.
The treadmill test is surprisingly a rare event for me and this will be only my 2nd time on it, the last time was post device implant where they found out they hadn’t actually switched on device response at implant, just another funny moment on this journey. I find it So funny & not annoyed that Somebody forgot to switch on rate response on my device during op
It is strange being on treadmill as I struggle to walk at pace at anytime, give me a triathlon and I feel great as I slowly build heart rate up to maximum 130 then I can go on for hours but here I am being asked to walk faster and faster and quickly I feel my leg strength sap and become uncomfortable I so want to start jogging but that is not part of test. It lasts less than 5 mins & I feel I have failed.
So back in to see Dr Goodfield for what next, device is doing everything it should in terms of rate response so looks like will go full battery term, my blood pressure unusually is too high so may need monitoring. He will look to optimise my device again as wont do any harm, biggest thing he will consider is changing my drugs which I hate, as always with him I feel he is taking the time to consider my options, no quick solutions and hurry me off, He says this needs investigating.
One week has passed and already I have 24hr monitor for blood pressure which strangely I detest, I find it annoying yet feel silly considering the intrusive treatments I have had as part of this journey this is one that truly annoys me.
I do a bit of research on what high blood pressure means and if I do indeed have high blood pressure then how the hell do I get more active, eat more veg/fruit and take tablets to avoid it, I do all 3 in rather high dosages already & my salt in take is minimal.
I let my mind wonder to possible outcomes but then realise I have a great cardiologist who works within a Scottish & especially Glasgow NHS seen as world leading in heart failure so I just say leave it to them & him, he hasn’t been wrong so far and he will sort this as my confidence in the NHS & Dr Goodfield is full. I hear the horror stories of the NHS but I can have nothing but praise for them from the wonderful receptionists & nurses up. I am an NHS success story and I owe them so much & I will repay them by ensuring I enjoy this life so in my next blog I hope to have some exciting news.
The countdown continues
*The opinions expressed are the bloggers own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the World Health Innovation Summit.