Jun 15, 2021, 05:55AM

What’s Up, Doc?

I shouldn't need to fight for my rights, civil liberties, or reputation with the people who are supposedly there to help.

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The phrase "Physician Heal Thyself" is a farce of modern medicine. Gone is the charming bedside manner of family practitioners. There’s little proof that a routine visit to your primary care professional yields any benefit to your health or peace of mind. I don't even want to touch on the medical insurance rip-offs we pay or the padded billing invoices from a surgery or worse, hospital stays. Instead, I try to gracefully age unscathed as disillusionment grows with urgent care business practices and one-and-done medical facilities and hospitals.

It leaves little but disdain. I filed a formal complaint recently against my "primary care" doctor and the young, grossly unqualified PA who filled in for them. The PA performed a lengthy character assassination upon my good name, character, and reputation. Some may say I have none of the above. But that's their problem. I have nothing to hide as my life's an open book. My original prescription of diazepam, aka Valium, was running out. So I put in for a second refill, along with my blood pressure pills refill, ordered on the not-so-easy to access or hassle-free hospital website.

I received a message denying the diazepam refill, but our local CVS pharmacy could refill the other. CVS and Medicare are in cahoots. I called to inquire what the problem was, and received another email message that I’d need to verify the refill with my new doctor, This refill was one script, not months or years of refills. Valium was the go-to pill for stressed-out parents in the days of my teenage years, the answer to stressed, anxiety-ridden parents after work. At first, I didn't think anything of it until my scheduled arrival at 3:15 p.m. I was requested to stand on the scale, blood pressure taken for some reason, no clue why. I was left alone in a room for almost an hour. After 30 minutes, I informed the front desk nurse I had another appointment to pick up my vehicle from my mechanics shop, which closed at five.

After a second inquiry at four, the PA finally entered the examination room and began a very awkward, lengthy, and off-putting rapid-fire line of questioning about my personal medical history, already on record with my past health charts. Questions like how much I drink. Do I ever have suicidal thoughts or wish to harm myself or others. No, no, and no. I felt extremely uncomfortable and demeaned. Then, the questions evolved into an inquisition as if I were a criminal on probation, informing me I needed to agree to a drug urine test and sign off on a consent form before they’d prescribe my refill for Valium. At this point, I confused, degraded, and insulted by their attitude.

I felt like a probation officer had interrogated me at a drug rehab clinic instead of a "physician." In this case, a twentysomething PA who isn't qualified to prescribe baby aspirin, much less offer unsolicited advice on drug and alcohol interactions or abuse. The gall of this PA's assumption that I was an alcoholic with a history of drug abuse was beyond contempt. They wanted to know why I had a prescription for Tylenol 3 last year. It was for one wisdom tooth extraction, and besides, once again, it's nobody's fucking business. I'm of sound mind and health, and their unreasonable judgment calls were out of line.

The topper of this presumption was an added prescription of Narcan. The drug overdose nasal spray. When I saw this on my online refills list, I was pissed off. I realized I was pigeonholed as a drug addict. I never once confirmed I abused narcotics without cause, and there’s no record of any drug abuse in my medical history charts.

I demanded the hospital compliance officer remove the Narcan prescription from my medication history. I shouldn't need to fight for my rights, civil liberties, or reputation with the people who are supposedly there to help. I don't wish to fight over anything, but I'll fight for my rights. It's always cheaper to die around here these days.

Face facts. The medical industry is big business and uses patients as customers. They provide little comfort or service to those without the means to afford proper care, the unfortunate poor souls only seeking help and answers to what ails them. They never address disease straight on but attack the symptoms with pills, potions, salves, and quackery therapies that may or may not cure anything. At best, it's keeping the end at bay if you're lucky enough to be healed. These days I try to avoid doctors, hospitals, police, large crowds, anyone or anything that disturbs my peace of mind.


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