Sunday, March 23, 2014

"Umm, Pseudo-Doc ... Am I Dying?"

With this stupid illness now going on eleven days and really hampering workouts, I did something I only do about once every two or three years on Saturday ... went to the doctor ... well, sort of.  I actually went to the walk-in clinic at our neighborhood Walgreen's to see the Nurse Practitioner (I think that's the correct term).  Ya know, the "almost doctor" who is qualified to write prescriptions, but can't do appendectomies.  And it was just what the Pseudo-Doctor ordered!

The walk-in clinic is kind of hit or miss.  You either wait in line for seven days behind every sneezing, wheezing, hacking, and dripping sicko in your neighborhood ... or there's no line at all and you sail right in.  Yesterday was the latter & I was elated!  I basically only visit the place when I'm several days into a nagging sickness and just ready for some pharmaceutical help to beat the thing.  Specifically I'm looking for an antibiotic.  In the past, when I've went to a "real doctor", all too often I've walked out of the office with a pat on the head, and a "just ride it out son" type off answer, which is aggravating.  I know my body ... and I went there looking for drugs!   The Nurse Practitioner is exactly the opposite. I feel like I can basically write my own 'script there.

During my "very thorough" - sarcasm - physical exam, I was also greeted with several embarrassing questions ...

     Pseudo-Doc ... "How often do you see your doctor?"
     Me ... "Never"
     Pseudo-Doc ... "Who is your doctor?"
     Me ... "Um, I don't have one"
     Pseudo-Doc ... "You don't have a doctor?"
     Me ... "I just told you I never go to the doctor"
     Pseudo-Doc ... "You really need a doctor, what happens when you get sick?"
     Me, trying to not be a wise-guy, ... "Um, I come see you"
     Pseudo-Doc ... "When was the last time you saw your doctor?"
     Me ... "When do your records show the last time I was here?"
     Pseudo-Doc ... "Three years ago"
     Me ... "Well, three years ago I guess"
   
     Pseudo-Doc ... "Do you workout?"
     Me ... "Yes"
     Pseudo-Doc ... "How often?
     Me .... "Everyday"
     Pseudo-Doc ... "Your heart rate is a little high, did you workout today?"
     Me ... cough, cough, sniff, "Yes"
     Pseudo-Doc, stops writing and looks over the top of her glasses, "If you're sick ... don't workout!"
     Me ... "Okay"
     Pseudo-Doc shakes her head and resumes writing

Here's where it got weird ... like I said, I'm really just looking for an antibiotic to clear up the minor infection I presumably have.  And predictably, she gave me the antibiotic ... but then proceeded with a litany of additional prescriptions.  She also gave me cough syrup, which is understandable.  A nasal spray for congestion, even though I told her that that the OTC decongestant was doing the trick and I wasn't stuffed up.  An inhaler of Albuterol ... since at any point I could apparently become asthmatic.  And a steroid ... presumably for bulky muscle growth after working out.  What the???  Five prescriptions for a lingering cold, or at worst bronchitis?  It seemed excessive, which prompted me to ask her, "Umm, am I dying?"  At that point Pseudo-Doc again stopped writing, titled her head a little and adjusted her focus on me once more over the top of her spectacles and replied, "No, you're just sick."

In all honesty, there seems to be a little bit of an ethical question having a pseudo-doctor's office located in a pharmacy.  I mean seriously ... is ANYONE gonna walk out of the place WITHOUT a little white bag of pills?  Seriously?  And that's not at all  to question the integrity of the wonderful lady who helped me yesterday.  She was great, and just doing her job.  But it just seems it's about making money.  And it seems that this little episode is a microcosm of the health industry problems in this country.  But that's a rant for another day.

Anyway, as far as working out - I did run again yesterday ... or attempted to run.  But there was too much shortness of breath, fatigue, coughing the entire way, and just nothing productive.  So I shut it down after six miserable miles, and decided to take 2-3 days off.  This really hampers my Spring "A" Race training which is only about a month away.  But hopefully a few days off won't hinder what I've already built too badly.  I'll keep you posted.  Have a great week!
... be great today!

30 comments:

  1. I bet she gets a kick back for all the meds she pushes on people, a lot of NPs are actually getting their doctorate these days so they are even more like pseudo docs. Hope you feel better soon. I did have to laugh a little at your conversations

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    1. The conversation was pretty funny - thanks Christy, I feel a lot better today.

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  2. Don't feel alone, I have it too. I came down with a sinus / head / chest whatever 2 days ago and am on meds. For running I've just slowed my time as if I'm base training. Actually even slower really. I've had those same doctors give me nasal sprays and all sorts of stuff but I never actually pick them up :) too many drugs can't be good right!

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    1. You're right Coy, I try to be as drug free as possible - hope you're feeling better!

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  3. Sorry the bug won't leave you alone. I immediately thought of your ethical point when I began reading this post.

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    1. Hopefully I'm over it Paul - I'm feeling better!

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  4. We live in the US, the land of law suits, it isn't about making money it is about not getting sued because they didn't treat/prescribe for every symptom you walked in with.

    And to the comment on kick backs... prescribers receiving any kind of anything (money/in-kind) from the pharma industry are recorded and reported to the government. The government has this information available, by prescriber, available for the general public, thank you affordable care act. Google "sunshine act" and you to can read all about the legislation. So you are welcome to review the expenditures to any prescriber from a pharma co... the submission has been mandatory since 8/1/2013 and googling the prescriber should also pull up all sorts of information on them.

    Hope you are feeling better and take what you think you need and leave behind what you think you don't.

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    1. It's so funny Beth, this was really just a casual "hey, let me tell y'all what happened today" post ... but my wife, who was right as usual, told me I was gonna open a can of worms with it. Thanks, I'm already feeling better - I just don't wanna miss any more workouts.

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    2. Yeah... I debated on posting my reaction or not... figured I could share some of what I know from the industry I work in and my daily headaches...

      Glad you are feeling better, I had something for nearly 2 months, it would rear up and then back off and finally (touch wood) seems to be gone.

      Let the training continue!!!

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    3. I'm probably one of the few people who embrace comments of all kinds - I really appreciated what you had to say.

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  5. Ok. Not a secret that I work for Walgreens. But I would never recommend the Take Care clinic. No offense to nurse practitioners, but in all my years in pharmacy (17), there's been one consistency: prescriptions written by NPs are riddled with errors. Rarely do I get an rx from an NP that doesn't require me to call and change something.
    Take Care isn't owned by Walgreens, but they rent from them. There aren't any incentives, but the business model hopes that the client will accept the convenience of using a pharmacy that's RIGHT THERE.

    The other rxs...
    1. Steroid. Apparently she thinks your airways are terribly inflamed. I rarely recommend steroids for an infectious process, since they inhibit your immune system.
    2. Cough syrup. Just symptomatic relief.
    3. Nasal spray: It's a steroid, as well. Although generally used for allergies, it can help if you have very swollen tissue blocking sinus drainage. She probably wanted you to avoid nasal decongestant sprays, which are amazing but can lead to rebound congestion over time.
    4. Albuterol: Again, inflamed airways.
    If it were me, I would have filled the antibiotic and maybe the fluticasone if I thought I needed it. I avoid oral steroids like the plague and would rather not use albuterol either; but then, I've never been sick enough to need it.
    Get well soon, and email me if you have bizarre side effects ;-)

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    1. I was hoping you'd respond to this and I really wanted your point of view. I didn't take everything she prescribed, just the antibiotic. I go to the doctor so infrequently that I didn't even think about turning down some of the prescriptions, even though they seemed excessive. She just sent them all electronically to the pharmacy and before I knew it they were filled. When I got home Michael was like, "Well dummy, why did you have them all filled?" So apparently I'm the only one who doesn't know you don't have to fill them all.

      The main reason I go to the clinic is because convenience, and honestly because I know she'll give me something. I don't wanna go through the red tape of a doctors office just to have the doc tell me to ride it out with writing a script. But if you get a chance, go to my 50after40 facebook page and read the exchange I had with a doctor - you'll find it interesting about what he has to say about antibiotics in general. Thanks for replying!

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  6. The very same thing happened to my husband when he went to the walk in clinic a few weeks ago when we were tackling the illness that ran rampant through our house. He came out with tons of medicines. Yup. I didn't believe he needed all of them either. Hope you feel better soon.

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    1. Yeah, the numbers alone just seemed excessive - thanks, I'm feeling better!

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  7. Whatever happened to 'rest up and drink lots of fluids'? Our immune systems are pretty impressive things and will fight off most infections given the chance. You do need those days off though to stop stressing your body - it's stressed enough dealing with the infection. A week off won't make you lose too much fitness but a month off with pneumonia will have you as weak as a kitten.

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    1. The term weak as a kitten made me smile for some reason. Agreed - I've been taking it easy, and will for most of this week before I ramp up again.

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  8. Hope you get to feeling better soon...I too have lived in my current home for 3 years and don't have a primary care doc. (and I work in a hospital, lol).

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    1. I probably should get a doctor Michelle, I just never think about it!

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  10. Hoping everything works its way out that's not suppose to be there. Cheers to getting out there again really soon like.

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    1. Thanks Kenley - hopefully I'll ramp up later this week!

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  11. I come from a medical family and always gets a script from my dad or brother. I can't remember when last I went to the doctor for anything. But I agree 100%. You always get dozens of pills where one or two would do the trick. Definitely a money making thing. Hope you are feeling better already!

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    1. Thanks Johann - feeling much better! Have a great week!

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  12. when they ask for Primary doctors on the forms I fill out... I'm just going to write in Dr. Google.

    hope you are back on your feet soon

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  13. I hate the general atmosphere of over prescribing these days. It;s freaking ridiculous! Hope you are feeling better soon though :)

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  14. I review lists and lists of medicines in the hospital. That did seem a bit excess for a cold or bronchitis. The steroid is common for COPD/Lung inflammation. It could mess with your blood sugars. So I'm not a fan unless absolutely necessary. I am religious with probiotics, and recommend them for immune strength. They will also help maintain your gut flora with antibiotics, too.

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    1. Typically I can control how I feel by a good healthy diet as well, but something broke down somewhere this time, but I think it's mostly behind me now.

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  15. 5 prescriptions? Wow that is ridiculous.

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