On the drive back from the cruise terminal at Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Fred Stallings had a lot of time to think. He had just dropped his mother and her sister off for a seven day cruise. His mother who was a widow had moved down to Fort Myers to live with her divorced sister. He tried to visit his mother three to four times a year which also enabled him to escape the cold weather from up north for a little while. Fred hoped that his mother and her sister would have a good time on the cruise but now he was more concerned with the pain he was feeling in his chest.
There was a history of heart attacks in the male members of his family. His older brother Dennis had a heart attack at age fifty one and died. His father had a massive heart attack and died at age fifty two. Because of this family history and even though he was only forty six years of age, Fred was concerned every time he felt a pain in his chest. The fear that he had and lived with was that this could be an indication that he was going to have the ‘big one’ which told him he need to get checked out.
While he was driving back to Fort Myers he remembered how some of his older friends had talked about death and they just seemed to accept the inevitable. They were calm when this subject was discussed and it didn’t seem to worry them at all. All Fred knew was that it scared the shit out of him and he would do whatever he could to avoid that happening.
Because of that fear he had previously gone to a hospital emergency rooms four times and after saying the magic words of “chest pains” was admitted to the hospital. Various tests and x-rays were done and all came to the conclusion that it wasn’t his heart causing this pain he felt. One time however, the tests showed an elevation of an enzyme which indicated that there could be some heart problems. An angiogram was done and a blockage was found. The blockage was opened and a stent put in which solved that problem.
Fred still would periodically have these chest pains and concluded on his own that if it wasn’t his heart that these pains probably were either caused by either his hiatal hernia or the GERD or a combination of both. While those two conditions he had probably were the cause of his pains, he couldn’t afford to take the chance that they weren’t. He was constantly afraid that it was his heart causing the pain or irritation that he felt
He thought it was a waste of money and everyone’s time if this pain he was feeling wasn’t that of heart attack. His insurance would cover the expense of this medical treatment if he was confined to the hospital but he was brought up and raised to not waste money or people’s time. He therefore didn’t want to be confined to a hospital and have a multitude of tests run only to come up negative for heart problems as that would be a waste.
He drove himself to the large hospital he had seen in Fort Myers and walked into the emergency room entrance. After saying the magic words he was wheeled into a cubicle in the emergency room and he knew the standard tests of EKG, chest x-ray and blood tests would be ordered.
A bright spot in being in the emergency room was the female Doctor who came in and listened to his complaints before the tests were ordered. He guessed that she was somewhere in her late thirties, about five foot six inches tall with a slim figure and looked sexy the dark blue hospital scrubs she was wearing. Her shoulder length brown hair outlined a very pretty face.
She introduced herself as Doctor Lembert and was all business as she talked to Fred. There was no wasted time as she asked Fred some questions and after she heard his responses she left him to order the tests.
Fred enjoyed looking at her and became curious about her. When the male nurse assigned to him came in Fred asked him about the Doctor.
“That is Doctor Kimberly Lembert. She is good at what she does and doesn’t waste any time in doing it. She will be back here after she gets the test results which should be in an hour.”
It was two hours later and the Doctor still had not come in to see him. Fred asked the nurse if the test results were in and was told that they were. The nurse said all the results were negative and the enzyme which could indicate a heart attack was in the low normal range.
Fred was getting anxious for the Doctor to come back in to see him. It was another hour before the Doctor came in and said that while the results were all negative she was going to admit him for observation.
“Why are you admitting me?”
“You are a high risk patient because of your family history and because you have stent in you.”
“Doc, I think that is a waste of money and resources. My problem is probably gastro and not heart related.”
“It is my best medical judgment that you should be admitted.”
“And what will be done then?”
“We will do another blood test.”
“What is that going to show if the first test was normal? Thanks but forget it... , I don’t want to be admitted.”
He could see when he said that that the Doctor was a little pissed and she responded, “You can sign yourself out against medical advice but I would advise you not to do that.”
“I appreciate what you say but I think I will sign myself out.”
He could see she was even more pissed that he was ignoring her advice and decided to leave. As she was leaving the cubicle she stopped, turned and said, “I hope I don’t see you in here again.”
As Fred was dressing the nurse came in with the forms for Fred to sign.
“Does she always get pissed when someone disagrees with her?”
“No, but the way things are now-a-days with medical malpractice and law suits, the Doctors can’t afford to take any chances. They need to make sure patients are okay before they release them.”
Fred left the hospital hoping that he made the right decision about not being admitted.
At his aunt’s home he took some strong anti-acid medicine that he had stopped to purchase. He was careful to watch what and how he ate and thought the pain that he felt in his chest seemed to be diminishing. He couldn’t however stop thinking about the Doctor, both as to how attractive she looked in her scrubs and her attitude when she didn’t get her way. He wondered if in some way she was graded or rated in the number of patients she admitted since the hospital was still a business, a very expensive business judging from the medical bills he had previously seen.
Because of the interest he had in her he did google her name and found out a few things about Kimberly Lembert. She had graduated from USF and done her internship at the University of Chicago hospital. She had been doing emergency medicine for twelve years which he thought would put her at about thirty eight years of age. He couldn’t find any other information on her nor was her picture available on google images.
Five days later the pain in his chest was completely gone. Fred was at the local Walmart purchasing some items when he heard, “I see you are still among the living.”
He turned and saw an attractive lady looking at him who had said that. At first he didn’t recognize her and then he realized it was Doctor Kimberly Lembert. She wasn’t wearing scrubs but she was attractive and looked sexy.
“Doctor Lembert, at first I didn’t recognize you outside of your scrubs.”
“Outside of the hospital please call me Kim. How are you doing?”
“I am doing find and I guess the pain I was having was gastric as it seems to have gone away. How come you are shopping at Walmart? I thought all the Doctors who are rich shop at the more expensive places.”
Laughingly she said, “How do you think we get to be and stay rich?”
“You got me there. I have some time on my hands and if you are not in a rush, will you let me buy you a cup of coffee at the McDonalds over there. I promise not to ask you any medical questions.” He nodded his head toward the restaurant that was in the store.
Fred sensed a little hesitancy on her part but she said, “Let me check out first and I will meet you there.”
Fred had a cup of coffee waiting for her as she walked up to and joined him in the booth he was sitting in.
“I am sorry I didn’t take your medical advice as you looked... , ah... , let me just say maybe a little perturbed when I said I didn’t want to be admitted.”
“Maybe I was, it’s just that we need to be very careful because of all the malpractice law suits that can arise if we aren’t. I am glad you are okay.”
They talked quite a bit about her being a Doctor and the hours she worked and why she selected emergency medicine as her field.
“I am kind of am an adrenalin junky and I pride myself in accurate diagnosing what the problem is and what needs to be done. I also like the field because when I leave work I am not subject to being called after work and I can lead a relatively normal life and work close to a forty hour week. Why don’t you tell me a little about yourself as there is very little that I know about you.”
.... There is more of this story ...