Do a good deed!

First of all, I have to admit to “thinking in the box”, so to speak. Here I am trying to promote Congenital Heart Defect research, and I had never thought of this idea before yesterday.

In my moment of clarity, I picked up the phone and called the Dean of Nursing at my alma mater and volunteered to be a “guinea pig” if any of the classes were studying CHDs. They don’t even have to be studying Heart Defects; perhaps there is a class teaching proper diagnostic procedures. If that’s whet I’m asked to do, I’ll probably throw the students for a loop! As Jack Nicholson said in the movie Batman, “Wait until they get a load of me!”

I know what you’re thinking – I just want to meet nurses! Trust me, I already know many nurses, and most of them count me as a friend. To be serious, if you live near a medical school or nursing school and have any kind of chronic illness, give them a call and see if you can volunteer to participate in one of their classes.

One thing that could be done – you may have to suggest it – is a simple Question and Answer session with the students. Let them ask you what your life is like, and answer honestly. How else are they supposed to learn?

Whenever I go to see my Adult Congenital Cardiologist he always brings a medical student or a younger associate into the examining room. My doctor does the primary examination and then the other person examines me.

“Can you hear the shunt?” my doctor will usually ask, and the student finally admits that no, it can’t be heard. I try not to chuckle, because it is a trick question. If you can hear my shunt, trouble’s brewing.

I don’t mind a poking and prodding a bit. In fact, most CHD Survivors don’t have a problem with it. We aren’t standing on every street corner, and if the younger doctor can learn something – anything – from me, that’s wonderful. He may not know enough to help me, but one day in the future a case may come into his ER that no one can figure out.  When he puts his stethoscope on the patient’s chest and hears a strange beat, hopefully he’ll remember that guy with that weird heart defect that he examined back in medical school.

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