If you haven’t guessed by now, I’m not in my 20’s or even 40’s and life is not what I thought it would be. Just a side note, you really don’t have that much time here, so if you’re in your 20’s, 30’s or 40’s do not waste it! REALLY! I’m serious. Suddenly, you’ll be out of it. I know. Life seems to last forever. But it doesn’t.
All this grand wisdom comes as a result of “the clinic” giving me a new doctor. Not a good thing. She talks and thinks right over me. Like I don’t have a brain cell left in my skull. Since I take several pills on a regular basis, when I went to pick up the refills she ordered, I didn’t really pay attention, my knee was in pain and so, I was in a hurry.
Anyhow, she had asked if I tried taking fish oil, niacin or something else. I told her I’d just bought a bottle of fish oil gel tabs a week ago. (It was on sale for $17 vs. $30.) Well, it turns out there was an extra “prescription” in what I picked up. It was for fish oil. I wanted to yell at her, “Really? Seriously? You didn’t believe me? You didn’t think I knew what I bought? What then?”
The experience brought back a flood of memories and not good ones, which is probably why I wanted to yell at her. Over a decade ago when my Mom and Dad were dying, we (my bro and I) were kept blissfully unaware by our parents and their doctors. Everyone was very tight lipped about anything regarding health. In retrospect, AKA denial. A family classic.
I recall driving my Mom to an appointment to have her leg wounds looked at. She had Type 2 diabetes and was supposed to perform debridement on the dead skin after showering.
According to my sister-in-law, she did a poor job of it. So when she was leaving, I spoke up. “So how’s she doing?” I asked the doctor as he walked across the office towards another exam room. “Oh she’s doing just fine” was his response. Really?
It was wrong…he was wrong…she wasn’t and I said so. He ignored me and my Mother was mortified. I was chided by her telling me “he’s a doctor”. My thought was, “you’re my Mom and he’s not a good doctor”. Of course, she became even more close-mouthed after that.
My brother and I traded time spent with them. One week I’d fly into the Midwest from the West coast and the next, he from the East. It went on like this for about seven months. The whole time we were “shielded” from any knowledge of just how bad it was. It must have also had something to do with how children think their parents are gods, impervious to everything, or something like that. My parents standard reply when I’d ask a dicy health question was, “it comes with the territory”. Gawd, how I hate that phrase.
They literally acted as if being taken to the ER by the paramedics in an ambulance for a heart attack several times a month was routine living. I was blind and stupid thinking the doctors had their care under control.
One morning, as the visiting nurse was supervising my Mom’s prescriptions putting them into a divided box, my Mother looked up at me and asked “how do they (the pills) know were to go and what to do?” I told her they were chemically formulated to act on a certain area or problem. That was the day I learned she was taking 27 different pills a day. Yeah. 27. And I bet none of the many doctors who prescribed them ever conferred as to the cocktail they created and the side effects.
And now my new doctor just treated me the way my mom’s doctors treated her, as if I wasn’t part of the conversation. How dare she (the new doctor) be so condescending to me, just sliding the fish oil (not covered by insurance) in with my normal refills?
I can see why my father always referred to doctors with disgust as witch doctors and would periodically get fed up and dump all his prescriptions down the toilet. This was before the world found out that it wasn’t a good idea because it contaminates the oceans and lakes btw.
My Mother on the other hand, followed all the different doctors orders to the letter till the day she died. A lot of good it did. She left us just 29 days after my Father. Medicine, quite frankly, is a business. That’s all. Period. So watch out for yourself, no one else will. (If anyone reading this is a doctor or doctor to be, please don’t be offended, I’m sure you are caring and thorough.)
Anyways, I find myself at a crossroad. What to do? Go back to the clinic and fling the horse pills at the doctor or silently and obediently take them? Do I change my eating habits, drop a few pounds, not have red wine with dinner. Lifestyle changes are hard. Curmudgeons.