“Why Am I So Dizzy?”

Lester Burr was alone in the office Friday afternoon. Doris had dropped him off to go to the hairdresser. His diabetes visit went smoothly; he had normal blood pressure, cholesterol, kidney function and foot exam. His eye doctor report was up to date and none of his medications needed to be renewed. He has no history of heart disease and had not had any chest pain, heart palpitations or shortness of breath.

Just as I was preparing to leave the exam room, Lester gave me a funny look and said in a tentative voice:

“Why am I so dizzy?”

“Have you been dizzy for a long time?” I asked.

“No, it just started.”

“Do you feel like you or the room are moving or spinning?”

“Not really.”

“Do you feel sick to your stomach or lightheaded? Tell me more about what it feels like.”

“I don’t know.”

A quick neuro exam was unremarkable, but Lester started to look more and more uncomfortable. He wiped his forehead. I could see pearls of sweat. Suddenly, he burped and then said in a low voice:

“I think I’m going to be sick.”

I got him to lie down on the exam table and put an emesis basin in front of him. With my other hand on his wrist I checked his pulse. It was slow and weak. He vomited profusely.

“Hold on”, I said and stuck my head out the door to call Autumn, my nurse. She appeared instantly in the hallway.

“Autumn, call the ambulance and let’s get an EKG.”

She reappeared within moments with the EKG cart. I got another blood pressure, much lower than when Lester first checked in. His EKG had a hint of ST elevation – a possible anterior myocardial infarction.

One of the office nurses started an IV before the ambulance came.

“Which hairdresser does Doris go to?” I asked.

“The one next to the Post Office”, Lester whispered.

Autumn dashed out to call Doris, who soon appeared with her head wrapped in what looked like a turban.

By then the ambulance arrived and soon Lester was on his way to the hospital.

I knocked and entered the next exam room.

“I’m sorry to have kept you waiting. We had a little surprise with another patient…”

2 Responses to ““Why Am I So Dizzy?””

  1. 1 Teri March 6, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    Lucky timing for him!

  2. 2 mina massimini March 7, 2011 at 12:57 am

    seems logical then that these tests are not very predictive of a cardiac event…what’s the point?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Osler said “Listen to your patient, he is telling you the diagnosis”. Duvefelt says “Listen to your patient, he is telling you what kind of doctor he needs you to be”.



Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Top 25 Doctor Blogs Award

Doctor Blogs

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


contact @ acountrydoctorwrites.com
Bookmark and Share
© A Country Doctor Writes, LLC 2008-2022 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given.

%d bloggers like this: