Anyone ever have a cardiologist refuse to treat arrhythmia unless I was on blood thinner?
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I declined blood thinners for years because my afib was only once a year or so (actually I have gone two years now). My cardiologist was not happy but didn't dismiss me. His advice was on record so I assume no liability for him. Another cardiologist, braver than the first, told me at the hospital to "go home and forget this happened."
If your arrhythmia has risks and occur frequently, will you consider blood thinners? It does pose some liability for doctors if you need them and don't take them but you might be able to find a holistic cardiologist. Nattokinase and other approaches are used by some (but nattokinase also thins the blood).
No but I like what a cardiologist said about choices once. If we Doctors only treated people who did not do anything to cause, their own health to be diminished we would not have any patients. Basically, we were talking about people who live a lifestyle that is not healthy. Like too much fat or salt, smoking drinking etc. I do know that blood clots are a concern with afib so I would say He is only concerned about that part. But refusing is pretty strong. I hope you can find someone who is a bit kinder as to our choices.
Thank you for taking the time to reply to my question. I'm 77 years old (female) so I expect body parts to start failing. This is the first serious medical issue I've had so I think I've done pretty well. My concern with this doctor is his not addressing my high blood pressure or the arrhythmia or seeming to care about my well being. He laughed when I asked about lifestyle changes. Yes, clots are a risk factor with afib but so is high blood pressure and I can't face trying to deal with the awful side effects of anti-coagulants. I can always change my mind. Whatever I do I'm taking a risk. And I will live with that. I'm seeing a different cardiologist now. We've started to get my blood pressure down and my heart rate stable. So far so good.
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Thank you for replying to my question. I'm seeing a different cardiologist now and we're working to get my blood pressure down and my heart rate stable. From my reading getting stable blood pressure is important in dealing with afib. I can always change my mind about anti-coagulants. I'm just not ready to deal with the possibly debilitating side effects for a "risk" and no way to tell if the treatment is even working. It would be different if I were younger but I'm 77. I've made lifestyle changes and am feeling much better.
Hi, @tinkercat. I'm 10 years older than you and dealing with similar circulation problems. We may have very different types of A-fib though. Mine is now almost asymptomatic — no feelings of irregular heartbeats, no breathing difficulties — although I suffered a "small stroke" 7 years ago that put me on an anti-coagulant — in my case, Warfarin (Coumadin). That drug brings with it periodic lab tests to make sure its anti-coagulation effects stay within a range that prevents extreme symptoms (bleeding or blood clots). In short, I have no fear that the drug is risky for me to take. As to my hypertension, my special recipe involves several specialized medications — Carvedilol (a beta blocker to tune down A-fib heartbeats), Amiloride (diuretic that is potassium-sparing), and Eplerenone (diuretic that also addresses my overactive adrenal glands). It has taken a series of medical teams several years to derive my special anti-hypertension recipe, and that emphasizes the importance of bringing a group of cooperating physicians together in search of a stable, reliable treatment plan. My team includes a nephrologist, a cardiologist, and an endocrinologist in addition to my Primary Care Physician and — at one crucial time — a genetic consultant on some variations I inherited. I hope you can find a way to have that kind of a medical team to remove your concerns about the risks you feel. Martin
@predictable my docs never talk to each other. I have a medical issue in just about every specialty and treatments for one thing often make another thing worse! How is it that your docs work together? They are not paid for the time spent comunicating and docs rarely do it in my experience. Instead, I make copies of records for each problem and take them around with me!
Thanks @windyshores for bringing this up. I have some special advantages in my health care. First, my health care is in the hands of a leading HMO, Kaiser-Permanente, a major provider of comprehensive services in the Atlantic area of Eastern states and in Western states as well. Second, my wife and I are on Medicare for virtually all health care services. Third, we are participating in Medicare Advantage, which changes the financial incentives for the HMO and its professional staff, raising Medicare compensation on the basis of documented health problems — more of them for a patient increases Medicare payments for each service provided. That leads to formation of medical teams with doctors and their staffs working in groups and with the patient in partnership with them in deciding how to treat illnesses. The interactive composite is so firmly built in that our monthly payment for HMO services is only $17 each, because Medicare is our primary insurance.
Yesterday, I had a sad moment when I read a statement by a Mayo Connect member who wrote that "they made me take it" — that is, their medical service professionals made them take a medication that caused them problems. My doctors have never "made me take it" in 20 years with K-P; I have always had a role in all of the decisions about my health care, from initial diagnosis through final treatment plans and/or cure. I rely on the team to cooperate and coordinate, and they rely on me to keep them posted on any problems that come up, to decide on a recommendation they have made, and to carry out the treatment plans we adopt together. I don't change anything without checking with them. Can you see a way for you to build this kind of health care partnership for yourself?
I am also on a Medicare Advantage plan, and due to the fact that I have more than 5 serious conditions, have a special program that does home visits, check-in, mobile x-ray and phlebotomy.
However, each of the doctors for each of my conditions operates separately. They have access to my portal with conditions and meds and some conscientious docs look at the record. But I don't see any possibility of a teacm. Neurology, rheumatology, cardiology, spine medicine, oncology, endocrinology dermatology, PT are all islands, so to speak.
I make copies of all tests and records that are relevant to whatever appointment I go to and also tell each doc what others have said. I make my own decisions especially since the needs of each specialty may conflict!
Like you, I have a condition for most specialties. Some were caused by meds from another specialty. I agree that specialists are all islands so I also act as my own advocate and case manager — the bridge between specialists.
I just saw my PCP with some questions and each scan or lab test she was going to try to access, I just handed her a copy I brought with me to save time. She said, "You're always so efficient." You have to be if you want the best outcome for yourself.
Absolutely agree with you .👍🏼
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