Ding ding ding! In this corner, weighing in with four years of medical school, we have NURSE MEANIE (names have been changed to protect the innocent).
And in this corner, with a whopping three years of being chronically ill, we have the B.S.C.*, the Endo Crescendo, RACHEL MEEKS.
Me: “Hello, I was calling because I’m experiencing some illness that I believe is associated with the antibiotic I was taking about a week ago.”
Nurse: “You stopped taking the antibiotic a week ago?”
Nurse: “Well then it’s not that. You must be sick from something else.”
Me: “…okay. Well it’s just that it says that the symptoms can occur ‘weeks to months’ after stopping the medication.”
Nurse: “Well I don’t know where you read that, but it’s not the medicine.”
Me: “But it’s written on the medicine, I’m looking at it right now.”
Nurse: “You must be mistaken.”
Me: “No, I’m looking at the antibiotic pill bottle and it says–”
Nurse: “Like, you only get nausea right when you start taking it, does that make sense?”
Me: “Yes, but it also says–”
Nurse: “So you can take some Pepto, or–”
Me: “Actually, in the fold out paper, it says specifically NOT to take anything like that because it can make it worse. It says not to take any medicine, it says I need to call a doctor.”
Nurse: “Well I don’t know what you’re looking at, but like I said, if you’re off the medicine it’s not affecting you.”
RACHEL MEEKS used GET A SECOND OPINION
IT’S SUPER EFFECTIVE.
Okay, I switched from a wrestling match to a Pokemon battle there at the last second, but other than that this story is 100% accurate. Spoiler alert: Yes, the medicine does in fact have the exact effect the label said it does.
Here’s the moral, kids. I am a sick person. I am sick ALL THE TIME. I know when I am sick. But if you’re a healthy person who is healthy ALL THE TIME, then you probably know when you’re sick too. It’s your body, and you know when something’s just not right. In this case, I cared enough to read all the labels and packaging with my medicine, so I knew I was right. But even if I just suspected it was the medicine, a nurse (especially one over the phone who can’t see you or assess you at all) can’t just blow it off. If you’re going to be a nurse, then you can’t be like that. But nurses aside, I want to talk to you personally.
As I mentioned before, I’m the type to ignore mild illness (that came back to bite me in the face – don’t do it.) and I always feel bad pestering doctors. Even when it is serious. I hate talking about my health and my constantly malfunctioning body. The majority of the time the answer I get is “Well, yes, you’re incurably ill. So…yeah.” But I have (slowly) learned that you need to be bolder. I’ve stopped accepting that answer. I’ve learned to say “Yes…I am sick. I want to feel better. What makes it better?”
This is the first time I’ve ever actually had to seek out a 2nd opinion. Yes, it made me feel like I was badgering too many people over something unimportant like myself, but I got the answer I needed (you know, the CORRECT one) and got help. Yay!
…well, maybe not yay. I’m now on the BRATTY diet which is less than yay. I mean at first I think “Yum, I like bananas and applesauce and toast!” but it doesn’t take long to realize I don’t want to just eat that all the time.
If you’re wondering why I’m blogging in the middle of the night, it’s because I decided “Pooh, I can eat whateva I want!” and this is actually somewhat true in moderation, but not in the realm of three-course Italian meals. (So good though. Worth it.)
Anyway. Whether you’re healthy as a horse or sick as a dog, just know that you know you best. Doctors, just like waiters or repairmen or tailors, are there to help you. If one won’t help you, go to another one.
I really am sick 24/7. I know when I’m sick. Proof:
Sister: (while driving) “Can you text my friend back?”
Me: “I don’t know what to write. I’ll just write something crazy.”
Sister: “That’s okay. I’ll just tell them later that my crazy sickly sister got on my phone while she was all high on meds.”
Me: “….Um. I am sick, but I’m not all high on meds.”
…It’s two in the morning and I’m just going to end it here. Am I crazy, lazy, on drugs? Who knows!? But no matter what, it’s the end now.
*B.S.C. – a “rapper name” my sister gave me based on part of my internal illnesses – stands for “Bell-Shaped Colon.” Isn’t that nice?