Friday, April 15, 2011

Side effects may include headaches, nausea, restless leg syndrome and mild death...

Dark Horse Comics 1992
Alright, call me ungrateful or whatever, but are doctors and pharmacists trying to kill me?
As many of you know, I have had a shady past with pharmacists (those of you who DO know the whole story will know this is an understatement).  You can get better service at Barnes & Noble, and the books won't kill you if they're the wrong number of pages.  Pharmacists have a hard job, and I would totally respect how hard it was if know...DID it correctly.  Or ever admitted when they made a mistake.

"I'm sorry, Miss, but you should have double checked that the writing on the pill matched the mg on the bottle."
"Um, I'm sorry.  If I knew how to discern the difference between certain milligrams by sight and not the PRINT ON THE BOTTLE, than I would be a frikkin' pharmacist!  P.S. You can suck my dick."

Well, long story short, I may have said something like that to a pharmacist once.  And not even about the cancer.  Once a pharmacist cavalierly told me that they couldn't find a prescription on file for an asthma inhaler when I had been a patient at the (unnamed for legal reasons) HMO for 20 years and diagnosed with asthma 18 years earlier.  And they act all casual.

"Sorry, we don't have that one in stock.  Would you like to place an order that will take 4-6 weeks?"
"Um, no, it is life-saving medication that I need."
"Well, we don't have it.  And I don't even see your record it Katherine?"
"No, Katryn."
"Ooohhh, well either way, good luck not breathing."
"Fuck you, lady!"
"Have a nice day!"

Not quite equally, but almost as annoying are medical receptionists.  They, much like pharmacists, have the people skills of a DMV employee and seem to wonder why you're all up in a tiff about getting in to see a doctor.  Um, because my life depends on it....bitch.  They also hold onto appointments like they're a frikkin' hostess at Nobu.

"I need to see a doctor on account of my not breathing or living extremely successfully"
"We can't get you in until next month."
"Can I get an afternoon appointment?"
"No, then you'll have to wait until July."
"Well, you see I have to get in.  Like, now.  I'm having trouble breathing and, like, staying alive."
"Hmmm, okay can you come in tomorrow?"

If that appointment was there, why didn't you give it to me to begin with?  Do you get off on withholding medical appointments from people or do you think people have nothing better to do than make frivolous appointments?  Earth to receptionists: no one really likes going to the doctor.  It's germy and humiliating, so stop acting like you're saving a table for Orlando Bloom and treat people like human beings.
My other and more recent beef is with doctors, no matter how well-intentioned, who put people on medicine without discussing the side-effects (especially since all the info I get when I ask to speak to my dullard pharmacist about a new medication and they say "Uhh, you might want to take this with food?  Or, well, whatever.")  I have been prescribed more medication than I can count without being warned of any major side effects or any kind of frank discussion about whether the benefits outweigh the negatives.  I won't bore you with the details, as there are many and I don't want to end up sounding like some lady you meet on the bus who won't shut up about her groin discomfort.
Of course, I will usually ask about side-effects when prescribed a medication, but when I got diagnosed with the boobie cancer, I was all-too willing to take any Benzo they threw at me.  And I'll admit--it did calm the nerves.  Unfortunately, when I was done with surgery and a little less inclined to cry in front of my mailman, going off the medication was a bit trickier than anticipated.  
I felt strange, like I was having a bad high and a stroke all at once.  I would yell things like "does it feel like there's any oxygen in this restaurant to you?!"  Anyway, apparently coming off of this medication it is normal to have mood swings and "stroke-like" symptoms, as well as chest pain.
I can tell you, that's doin' a LOT for me, comfort-wise.  All of a sudden, I'm facing cancer AND a long shaky rehabilitation period from the drugs that were supposed to calm me down about the cancer.
Life's just interesting, isn't it?  A nice big bowl of cherries.  Oh, wait.  Did I say cherries?  I meant addictive psych meds.
Alright, so perhaps this is all quite ungrateful to the medical staff who help save my life.  But I have cancer now so I get to complain, dammit!
How long will that hold up?


  1. Ride the wave. It'll hold out at least 3 hours after you stop complaining

  2. Mmmm.... mild death.