Monday, March 11, 2019

Doctor Google

Over the years, the internist that I go to, Dr. Barrera, has referred to me as Dr. Google.  It makes both of us laugh.  He knows that I read symptoms before coming to him, but, more importantly I read
about prescribed drugs as well.

Thankfully I do. 

Week before last when I went to the orthopedic doctor to get the cockscomb shot in my left knee, he was embarrassed.  He had initially told me the previous week that he did not have the materials for the injection but to come back after Wednesday.  I waited until the following Monday.  He was
embarrassed as I had sat and waited an hour to see him last week and he had not been able to get
the stuff for the knee injection.  It is worth waiting for - it has stopped the pain for seven months!

Things like that do not upset me.  If there is anything I have learned in Mexico is patience and understanding that things happen.  So I told him "no problem" and would come back when someone
called me to let me know to come again.  Then he told me that he has my card in his car and the minute he has the cockscomb that he will personally call.  Wow. 

As I was leaving, he asked what I was taking for pain and I answered ibuprofen.  He walked over
to a credenza behind his desk and pulled out salesman's samples.  Three boxes were handed to me
with the instructions to take one at night and one in the morning. That was it.

The medication is Valgion CLT.  The CLT stands for clonixinato de lisina/tramadol. 

When returning home, I sat the three boxes down and went about my business.  Then later, I decided to check out the medications.  Oh my, am I glad I did!  For one thing, this med is a synthetic opioid in the Class 4 of restricted meds such as Ambien, Xanax, and others that are addictive.  Shocked, is an
understatement of what I felt when I read this initial information.  Searching further I found out the side effects are dizziness, vertigo and a myriad of others.  Needless to say, the three boxes are in a drawer to return to the doctor with a polite explanation.

Why do I check things?  It goes back to when my daughter was diagnosed in 1998 with acute myologenous leukemia.  She had been a premed student with a degree in biology.  She was always
proactive about her health and especially when this diagnosis happened while she was seven months pregnant with Christopher.

Fast forward to when she went into anaphylactic shock for a med that had not been double checked and she almost died.  From then on, she steadfastly refused to take any new meds until she had sheets of information on the med before taking or having it administered.  Boy, did this upset some medical people.  Watching Jennifer for five and a half years be her own advocate about her treatment as she went through a bone marrow transplant and other things taught me that if WE don't advocate for ourselves, with the help of doctors and nurses, no one will. 

This latest incident is a perfect example of why you have to ask questions and then double check things before going forward with whatever it is that you are facing or taking...........

I now proudly wear, in my mind, the label of Dr. Google!  It sure saved me from a mess last week.
I can just imagine, after getting over the dizziness and vertigo, how upset and challenged I would have been if I had taken those meds not knowing the side effects.

Hope this story helps you, if it is ever necessary for your health.


alcuban said...

Checking out meds on line, and particularly the interactions with other drugs is always a good idea, as is asking questions. The "famous" Dr Schmidt once prescribed Stew some stuff the FAR had banned in the U.S.! Patient beware!

Contessa said...

This is something that everyone should be doing. I learned long ago when I was in nursing school that doctors are not Gods and do not know everything.

Barbara Lane said...

Good for you! They don't call it the "practice" of medicine for nothing. I've always said we are the most important member of our medical team.

Babs said...

Hi Al - I've taken a few meds here that are not available in the USA, but have never had an issue with that. I just don't want any opiodes! Never want to take anything that is addictive as that is a slippery slope........ I do agree patient beware and advocate for themselves.

In my parent's generation, Contessa, the doctor was always right and no one thought to contradict or question. My daughter's method opened my eyes and made me realize no one cares more about us then us!

Barbara, Indeed we ARE the most important member of our medical team.......Thanks for writing.