Monday, August 25, 2008

The Physician Assistant

The other day, I had an appointment to make a final decision on shoulder surgery. (yes, the shoulder injury that started out as a neck strain according to the urgent care moron) The surgeon was booked up, so I was scheduled to see the PA. Of course, the PA seemed to feel the need to re-invent the wheel, asking me questions and having me do things he could have read about in the chart. No big deal, until we got into range of motion.
"Raise your arm out this way" "Do you want me to stop when it starts to hurt?" "No, I want to see how high you can raise your arm" WTF? I can raise my arm all the way over my head - it just hurts like the dickens to do it, and that's not normal! In hindsight, I should have said the following...
"OK, I'll do that, but first you have to drop your pants. I'll grab hold of your penis, and you start to back up. No, don't stop when it hurts, I want to see how far it will stretch."

Oh, by the way, surgery is September 9th. I'm tempted to go see the urgent care dude afterwards and tell him I had neck surgery on my shoulder...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Whose responsibility???

Yesterday, a gal came into the pharmacy wanting to pick up her prescription. We had never filled anything for her before, and had nothing waiting for her. She said her doctor's office was supposed to phone one in. "I called them 3 hours ago" "Well, they haven't called us yet, you may want to call them again and let them know you're here waiting." Her response to that? "Since when is that my responsibility? You're supposed to call them"
Ummm, excuse me? You've never been here before, we don't even know which doctor we were supposed to call...
Come on people! Take some responsibility for your own health care! What's next? Are you going to expect me to go to your house to shove the damn pills down your throat, too?????

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

It's "Natural"

I really hate it when people assume that just because something is "natural" that means it's safe. Or, when they ask me to recommend a "natural" alternative to their prescription because they don't want to take drugs - they prefer something "natural" and "safe".
Let's talk about natural...
Many drugs were originally derived from nature. That Lanoxin your doctor prescribed? Comes from the foxglove - a lovely flower that I happen to have growing among some wildflowers on the edge of my property. Aspirin was derived from tree bark. Penicillin, in case you forgot your history lessons, came from mold. Premarin - now's the time for the squeamish to look away - comes from horse urine. Gross, but a good source of estrogen if the horse happens to be pregnant. Morphine is derived from the opium poppy. Armour Thyroid come from pigs - if you doubt me, ask me if you can smell it sometime, it smells like dead pig (ugh). These are example of drugs derived from nature that can be helpful, if not good for those who need them.
I once was standing in line at a grocery store, and a lady in front of me was buying some herbal weight loss product. The cashier asked "Does this stuff really work?" and the customer responded "I don't know, but it's all natural, so it can't hurt to try it." Not being one who can just let a stupid (or maybe just naive) comment like that slip by, I said to the lady "Natural does NOT mean good for you! Tobacco is natural, marijuana is natural, cocaine is natural. You gonna run out and try those, too?" The lady didn't buy the diet junk....
So - next time you see "All Natural!" on a label, don't be fooled. And, if you want to know how natural your prescription drugs are, just ask me...

(now that I've typed the word natural so many times, it's starting to look funny - have I spelled it right???)