Once upon a time, long – long ago, my primary doctor and I had a mutual admiration thing going on.
In a restrained, aloofish way, he’s a cool dude, for a doctor anyway. He’s also a sharp dresser, and buys quality clothing.
When I saw him, I’d Fashion Police his outfits, yep, he was the kinda man who could pull off wearing outfits, instead of ‘clothes’ like the rest of us dudes. He’d shuffle about, and pretend he was just wearing something ‘off the rack’, but we both knew damn well better.
He practices at two medical facilities, both of which he owns. And, he liked it when I chided him for working so hard, when he was already rich. I mean, his second car is a Maserati.
I’d never forget to ask how he was feeling, ask about his wife and kids, and those kinda of personal things doctors don’t usually get asked about. This type of banter, especially if I like someone, is pretty much my standard patter, nothing special worked up for the doctor.
For his part, he’d smile benignly at my quirky comments, listened carefully to my medical concerns and give me detailed information into the whys and therefores of his considered opinions and careful decisions, then load me up with free drug samples, like cialis. (I’ve not used any, but I still have’em… just in case I get lucky)
Sometimes he’d mention how fit I was for my age, and how young I looked. Which secretly alarmed me because, in my experiences, people usually mean somewhere in the neighborhood of the opposite of what they say…
Occasionally, after I’d explained my reasons for coming in, he’d tell me how perceptive, and intuitive I was about my health and understanding the effects of my lifestyle.
Yeah, I knew this was code meaning he thought he’s smarter than me. So what? He is smarter, and better educated. Otherwise why bother with his advice?
As a business relationship, though, this was pathetic, really…
But, dammit, we made such a lovely couple! And, “going to the doctor” wasn’t always the same lifelong pain in the backside. Plus, we’d usually part feeling better about ourselves and about life in general.
So where’s the harm?
Yet, there was harm occurring. With the advantage of 20/20 hindsight, I suspect our camaraderie had dulled my finely honed sense of caution and skepticism that I’d developed over the years.
Before I hooked up with Dr. GQ, as I now refer to him, my relationships with members of the medical profession went something like this: doctors would mandate what they wanted me to do, then I’d tell’em what I was gonna do. Then I’d do it. Let’s just ‘assume’ I didn’t trust my life to doctors.
My medical scheme didn’t always work out for me.
After suffering a sobering congestive heart failure, and two other extended hospital stays that I don’t even wanna talk about, I was seriously re-thinking my worthiness as my own health adviser.
Enter Dr. GQ. For me, his candor and transparency, were a revelation when compared to my past doctor/patient relationships.
Now here was a bright, experienced, and up-to-date physician who readily admitted doctoring was mostly trial and error, based on diagnostic skills, education, experience, and the self-confidence to trust your gut.
Wasn’t long before I was trusting him like he was the 2nd coming or something. I still didn’t blindly accept his instructions without a candid discussion. But yeah, I pretty much went along for the ride.
Yet, it turned out he was a pill pusher.
I don’t hold that against him… Writing scripts and moving patients out the door, is what modern doctor’s are trained to do, isn’t it?
No sooner than Charlie Sheen can say “hell-yeah” to one more drink, I was taking so many prescription drugs that I clinked and clanged when I walked.
Among others, I was on blood thinner, cholesterol pills, high blood pressure pills, thyroid pills, sleeping pills, and some of those damn pills made me dizzier than a 13 year old school boy.
To the doc’s credit, he seriously tried to help adjust my medications and eliminate the side effects, without argument or complaints.
While we were tinkering around with dosage, brand and timing, I started researching the meds I was taking.
And, Holy Purple Cow!
On doctor’s prescription, I was taking poison!
Because I’m only a lay person who can do a little research, I shouldn’t get too specific with my conclusions…
But, I will say that the only way I’d take any medication for lowering my cholesterol, is with a loaded and cocked gun to my head.
The sh*t in those pills is deadly!
But, that’s solely my opinion from research and I am not legally qualified to have an opinion of this nature… So don’t say you heard it from me, because I don’t know nuthin’ ’bout nutin’!
Without discussing it with Dr GQ, I cold-turkeyed off that med. (I later found out my cholesterol was 212, which isn’t too shabby on the 1st place)
I also started taking my blood pressure 4 times daily. Found out it ran low, not high. So why in the hell was I taking pills for high blood pressure?
Pretty damn quick, I wasn’t…
Another decision made without the counsel of my sharp dressed MD.
You’re starting to see a pattern developing here, right?
Well, let’s just say I’m not taking blood thinner, or sleeping pills. And, I now take one thyroid pill every 5th day, rather than daily.
All purely my personal decisions, based upon my personal research. Again, don’t listen to me, cause I still don’t know nuthin’ ’bout nutin’!
And, yes, thank you very much, I’m feeling peachy…
Which doesn’t cut me much slack with the startlingly reticent Mr MD, Dr GQ.
Yup, me and my MD are no longer dance partners. He likes to pick the tune, and take the lead. And, I like having the last dance. Or, something along those lines.
Gone are the days of doctor/patient open communication. Gone is the friendly in-office banter. And, mutual compliments are but memories of happier times.
My recent doctor appointments have been tense, one-sided affairs… Me talking about my health issue/s. Dr GQ waiting impatiently for me to shut the hell up, so he can ask me what I’m gonna do about it.
Yeah, I know that’s funny.
But, I’m not making this up. He’s too stubborn, or too proud, to even pretend he’s gonna treat me until I get back in line. And, I don’t blame him for one minute.
Before I decided to make unilateral decisions about openly discussed medications prescribed specifically for me, he deserved, and had earned the right for, consultation.
And, I’m the loser, here.
He’s a really good MD. Smart, up-to-date, open-minded, transparent and experienced. I’m pretty sure, based on our history, we could’ve worked out something agreeable, if I’d shared my research with him.
I’ve a scheduled check-up next month. And, I’ve decided to swallow my pride and apologize to the sharp-dressed MD. And, if he’ll listen, I plan to lay-out my reasoning for my health related decisions.
Knowing him, I’m not too sure this’ll work. And, I wouldn’t fault him for that. He always acted in good faith, and I kinda went behind his back. My bad, doc…
And, I don’t blame you for being pissed off!
Ideas for me, your aging related story, or comments are very damn welcome…