50 Questions: Those Medicine Commercials

This is #46 in the 50 Questions Series.

46. Create a post asking for advice on something that’s troubling you.

It’s not something that is bothering me but it something my friend and I were talking about the other day. We would like to hear your ideas on it.

Java and I were talking about medicines that we take because both of us have upcoming doctors appointments. We were comparing notes. I take Benadryl and it makes me tired. She takes Benadryl and she is wired for sound. We were comparing differences, discussing what medicines we take for what problems, and comparing symptoms to conditions we both have.

Then, as we usually do, we changed subjects and started talking about commercials. This lead us into medicine commercials. You know the ones… “Do you feel nauseous? You need Heavehalt. Talk to your doctor today!”

SQUIRREL ALERT!

A.D.D. is easy as 1-2- OH EM GEE! A SQUIRREL!
SQUIRREL ALERT! Hi, Sparky!

Okay, while this is still related to the post, this just reminded me of a YouTube video by IISuperwomanII. She is hilarious. I love her videos!

She did one on different types of commercials and the first one is about medical commercials and how what they are telling you does not match what you are being told in the commercial. 

You can watch it here. Enjoy!

Side Effects Listed in Commercials

We were discussing the side effects that they mention, that you may have, before they suggest talking to your doctor about Insertamedicinehere. The issues we have with these commercials are 

  1. They are trying to sell medicine. That should be your doctors thing. Not a company. But I will skip that for a minute.
  2. The symptoms are usually vague when they mention them. Back pain, nausea, sudden urge to urinate, feeling tired, etc. Who hasn’t had those?
  3. They tell you to talk to your doctor to see if Medicineyoudontneed is right for you right after listing all these vague symptoms.

So here is what we are wondering. For people with chronic health problems, how would you know when to talk to your doctor or if it’s just a part of [insert medical condition here].

For example, if a medicine says, “Do you have muscle aches and pains?” That goes with severe vitamin D deficiency and Fibromyalgia. Sometimes it goes with epilepsy too.

The Question: When do you talk to your doctor?

How would I know my muscle aches and pains are normal Fibromyalgia pains and when it’s a pain I need to see my doctor for?

If you have chronic health issues, at what point should you go to your doctor?

Since living here, I have learned not to go to the doctor for anything. If I can handle it at home, I am not going. I’ve taken epi-pens to the leg, downed some Benadryl and Ranitidine, and hoped it kicked in fast enough rather than go to the ER here.

I will deal with pain at home. It has to actually make my life a living hell before I will go to the doctor. 

It’s not that I don’t trust the doctor I see now. I do! But from past negative experiences with the medical care here, I am very leery of going to an appointment to ask about anything. It’s that psychological abuse that Dr Vindictive put me through. I recognise this. I acknowledge it. Still doesn’t make it any easier to go to a doctor when I should.

Which is why Java and I thought this would be a great question to ask.

At what point do you go to the doctor about your symptoms?

What do you think of those commercials?

 

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I fucking hate Cabinet Peaks Medical Center

Okay, so I was poking around the patient portal from our hospital when I noticed a current condition that I didn’t know I have. Somatoform Disorder. I research it and find out it is a mental illness where your psychological problems cause physical symptoms. They are totally real though. I look up the symptoms and criteria and you have to have ALL of these to meet the criteria.

– You have a long history of symptoms that start before the age of 30. (Mmmmm, had health issues but nothing horrendous and everything was linked to something. Then I hit 33 and WOAH! But still all linked to something.)

– You have 4 (male) or 6 (female) symptoms that cannot be explained by another general medical condition. (Right now, I can think of one. Just one. Wait, maybe 2 but that is probably a Fibromyalgia thing)

– One sexual or reproductive issue besides pain. (None. I cant think of any sexual issue that I have. Unless they are counting the hysterectomy.)

– One pseudo-neurological symptom. (Uhm, no to this too. Can’t think of anything.)

– After appropriate investigation, a known general medical condition or direct effects of a substance cannot explain the multiple symptoms. OR When a related medical condition is present, the physical complaints are in excess of what would be expected. (So I was thinking maybe the second part? Because all but one symptom… maybe 2?… is linked to a medical condition.)

So… I am thinking, geez this really doesn’t sound like me. Maybe this is a mistake. But being a big girl, I decided to ask my psychologist just to make sure. I told her what I found and where I found it and asked if I have somatoform disorder. If I do, I want to meet it head on and deal with it. Not that I would be thrilled to have a mental illness, but it is treatable. She said no. In the 2 and a half to 3 years she has been seeing me, she never suspected any form of somatoform disorder. (Mine was 300.82 for the code). We discussed and figured it was a mistype. An oops. No biggy. We would get it taken off.

To start, I called the hospital and explained that I was never diagnosed with this and I either wanted it off my chart or I wanted to know where it came from. I get a call the next day. It linked back from my ER visit from hell. Actually, they said that it was in my chart from Dr N* (ER doc, worthless doc really – the one I filed a complaint against) on 24 March this year and states “present on admission MB”. It was also on my chart from MB (concussion doc) on 4 April this year. And in my chart from Dr K* (my neurologist for seizures) on whatever day I say her.

I was thinking WTH? 1) Why did no one tell me of this diagnosis? That is unethical. 2) My ER visit from hell is just getting worse and the ER doc is OBVIOUSLY retaliating against me. (I know it sounds paranoid)

So I start pulling records. I find it in Dr K notes. She mentions that it is in my rehab notes (form MB). She now states that I don’t have seizures from epilepsy because of this new development. So we went from “You have seizures. I used your details and the EEG to get this diagnosis” to “We need to test further.” What?

I look at MB notes and find the diagnosis but no mention of how he got to it or where it came from. He talks about how I deliberately messed up on my SCAT testing too. I cried a little. I was trying so hard. I thought I was improving. I could just cry. Anywhoodles, so I call J* at the office and she asks him where he got that from and he said old records. What old records?

So I go back to CPMC and ask to pull anything they have from March 24 (since that is where it links to). They have nothing. I wasn’t seen there on the 24th. But they did have something from 22 and 23. So I take them. Then it dawns on me, I wasn’t in the ER on the 24th, or the hospital, nor did I have an appointment in that hospital. I had an appointment with my psychologist so I wasn’t even down in that area. And I am still trying to figure out when MB was “present on admission” because when I was actually seen, it was late at night in L-town and he wasn’t here. Only Dr N, who doesn’t know how to treat seizures.

This week I am going to figure out what they are seeing from March 24th. I have a case manager on this too. No one can figure out where it came from. It’s now in my records at NWCHC but is noted that it came from MB.

I tell you what. They are begging for a lawsuit. In the least, someone is getting the state called on them. I am so livid. How do doctors get away with this?

At least now I understand why my care took a weird turn after that ER visit. The doctors were rude, snide, short, and dismissed anything I said. And then when I went to the GI doc, he was just … bizarre. At least with pulling all my records, I can clearly see that they OBVIOUSLY do not listen to me. Half the stuff they put down is wrong. Like saying such and such happened when I was pregnant 15 years ago. My youngest son is almost 17. I wasn’t pregnant 15 years old.

All this links back to a trip to the ER at Cabinet Peaks Medical Center. I tell you what, if you don’t want a doctor to retaliate against you, avoid this place at all costs. Cabinet Peaks, if you are reading this, fix your shit.

GAWD! I need new doctors! At least my regular doctor and my psychologist are good.

Woah! Sleeping Too Much! Where Did The Time Go?

Holy crap! Where did my time go? I swear I slept most of August. I think it’s mostly because of the heat. I got hot and then I start itching. Once the itching starts, I start to feel like my skin is burning… like someone poured acid over my skin. Then I get cooled down and I am just EXHAUSTED! I don’t mean “a little tired but coffee will keep me going.” I mean “Night ya’ll! See you when I wake up which will probably be two days from now!”

I spoke to the doctor about it. She is still new to me so she is still learning about me. She mentioned my medicines all can cause “drowsiness”, so I may just be tired. When she thinks of “tired” she thinks I am slogging along, drinking extra coffee, propping my eyelids open with toothpicks, and moving slowly through the house getting things done.

She pictures this…

 

I got this pic at http://merrymusing.wordpress.com/2011/10/21/tired-from-work/
I found this pic here.

 

But I am actually functioning more like this…

My son and our kitten sleeping.
My son and our kitten sleeping.

 

I started logging my sleep on my android phone using the sleepbot app to better explain this to my doctor. First, I have done this sleep thing for years, before moving to Montana, before sleep apnea, before all the medications, before anything drastic happened in my life. I’ve done this since I was 16 years old. Yep, I have done this for 23 years. I happened to get mono from my boyfriend. My mom knew something was wrong when she couldn’t wake me and keep me conscious. I slept for a week… or so. I don’t remember. It slowly got better and I went from 23 hours of sleep a day (not kidding) to a more normal sleep cycle of 10 hours sleep a day.

Well, I told the boys to not wake me during the last cycle and explained I was trying to document the erratic sleep cycles I have. So, My oldest son (who is an adult) took over and I just logged sleep. Here are some of the more impressive ones from my sleep log…

13 August: 14.4 hours of sleep.

14 August: 18.4 hours of sleep.

15 August: 14.1 hours of sleep.

Brace yourself…

16 August: 23.2 hours of sleep.

17 August: 15.1 hours

18 August: 3 hours. Yes, that is three. I am not missing a one.

19 August: No sleep

20 August: 25.8 hours asleep. TWENTY-FIVE!

21 August: 11.7 hours of sleep… not counting the 1.8 from the day before.

22 August: No Sleep.

23 August: 20.1 hours of sleep

24 August: 14 hours of sleep

25 August (my birthday): 7.1 hours of sleep.

It was that week of my birthday where I started coming out of the sleeping beauty phase and now I am sleeping more normal amounts of time again. Usually my sleep is between seven and ten hours. On days I take all my medication, it could be a 12 or 14 hour sleep day. Even without medicines, this has been my life for years. But the roller coaster sleeps that I get, it could be no sleep to three or four days of sleep. Although, I do set alarms to try to wake me. That doesn’t work though. AND I am a moody, starving, irritable person when I am awake. I try really hard to not be mean but I just can’t help it.

BUT, I don’t have chronic fatigue… says a long string of doctors I have gone to throughout the years.

This doctor though, believes I have Fibromyalgia. All of my symptoms suggest Fibromyalgia. Although, the sleeping beauty roller coaster ride I go through is a touch extreme. She is sending me to a Rheumatologist to make sure we didn’t miss anything. I like this doctor!

So, now that I am functioning more and awake, I will be updating more. I’ll try to remember to post if I am heading into a cycle so you guys don’t think I just fell off the planet. Sorry about that, Java.