December 2, 2018

For the last several years, I’ve had a bit of a heart…flutter. It’s not a painful thing and it’s completely sporadic. I thought maybe it had something to do with smoking or perhaps how much meat I was eating. Maybe it had something to do with my sleep apnea.

But I quit smoking a couple years ago. I don’t eat meat anymore. I wear my CPAP machine every night. And my heart still does this weird skip-a-beat thing maybe 10 or 12 times a day.

About a year ago, I connected online with a half uncle whom I’ve never met. Long story, but my paternal grandfather and grandmother divorced, my grandfather moved to Florida, and started another family. Well, over the course of our email conversations, I found out that both my uncle and my grandfather have had heart attacks and open heart surgery to correct a genetic heart condition. This got me a bit worried.

So for the last several months I’ve been trying to get it checked out through Kaiser Permanente. My doctor ordered an EKG, which came back normal, and then asked if I'd like to have a 24-hour holter monitor. Indeed I did.

But KP has been short staffed and evidently has no openings for appointments. It’s been months now. I emailed my doctor to ask if they could refer me out to someone not in their network, and he told me “no - this is not life threatening and it is extremely unlikely that I have a life-threatening condition.” Well, this doctor can kiss my ass. And so can KP. Here I am, before open enrollment for my insurance, and I want to switch so badly but can’t because my wife has been seeing the same medical team throughout her pregnancy and the baby is due next month.

I am just so flabbergasted that KP has been so amazing for my wife’s pregnancy, but absolutely dropped the ball through this seemingly simple - but important - thing for me. I want to get to the bottom of why my heart is doing this, and I think my family history backs up my rationale, particularly since my g-pa died in his 60s from a major heart attack. I wanted to like Kaiser, but I’ve just heard too many crazy stories to stick with them. Even if my heart is fine, I hate the not knowing, and I don’t think anyone should have to wait on something so important.