Illness and Doctors

Apologies for the lack of postings here, there’s been a number of reasons, some I shan’t go into at all but have just complicated my life of late. Mainly I’ve just been very busy and ill.

For about two weeks now I’ve had recurring migraines, and yes I do mean migraines, it’s not been fun.

What happens is that I’ll start to see my vision just turn slightly odd, it’s almost as if it’s narrowing, and then a small spot of flashing light will appear which slowly spreads across my vision in the form of a mass of small multi-coloured shapes flashing in random sequence. Yes, sounds bizarre, but that’s what happens. Then my head feels warm, the mass starts to shrink, and when it’s gone I’m left with a thunderous headache.

So imagine that up to three times a day for the past few weeks. Yep, that’s bad. I was starting to think there was something really wrong, like a tumour! However I had enough when I woke up with a migraine Saturday morning, was hit by two more during the day, and then was left with a headache for the rest of the weekend. Doctor it was.

Monday afternoon I visited my Doctor. His manner is exactly like House in the TV show of the same name, except he’s not abusive and overly rude, just extremely abrupt and to the point, and there can be a smile in there. I hated his manner when I first met him, but actually I’m beginning to appreciate it.

You’re overweight, he said to me. I fought the urge to return fire with well you’re ugly!, instead thanked him and he said, with a grin, I’m a Doctor, I can get away with saying things like that.

Anyway, he fired questions at me to get to the issue, and then sat back. It sounded as though I’m getting constant pressure throughout the week and either when it’s being released at the weekend (i.e. being away from work) or at night (when I stop thinking about everything) the headaches are coming on. In my case I’m suffering this constantly, home and work, so it seems I’m just getting them all the time.

He prescribed me a drug and had a little chat, took my blood pressure (which he said was almost standard book blood pressure) and sent me on my way.

So I headed to the chemist with my prescription from my qualified Doctor. Perhaps some of you are guessing what I could be about to say next.

I went into the chemist and handed over the prescription. The Pharmacist said that they might not have the drug but would check. She went through to the drug store, rummaged about, had a brief conversation with the plain clothes Pharmacist and then returned to the store. Eventually she told me it would be about ten minutes and would I like to wait. I would, and did. So she took my money and the plain clothes Pharmacist took my prescription and went to work.

When it was ready (I was standing listening to my learn to speak Chinese Podcast) she presented a small chemist bag sealed with my prescription details. It was at this point she told me she didn’t have the correct drugs and would these do?

You’re Doctor had something else written on the prescription, will these do?
Pharmacist on presenting of my prescribed drugs

I looked dumbfounded at her, and then replied I’m not a Doctor. There then ensued a rather bizarre conversation where she asked me if I had been prescribed these for a reason, or what I had received before. I explained that I’d not been prescribed anything before and that they had been given as they were strong and fast acting.

I received a blank look. She read the label to herself.

These are just the same, they should do the same, they work in the same time and are strong. We don’t have the other drugs.

If they didn’t have the other drugs why didn’t they say so before taking my money, and who is my Doctor here? The Pharmacist is now making decisions on which drug I should be taking, and was in effect conducting a consultation as a Doctor would with their patient. My Doctor has already done that, checked my previous history and then suggested a course of treatment, the Pharmacist just overrode that decision and based on what I told her above, has prescribed another drug.

It would be interesting to see where I stand legally should some side affect hit me. However, to be fair the drugs are the same name and make, just different types. I say just, yet I’m not a Doctor and don’t know the difference. Still, there’s only six (1GBP per tablet), and I’m sure nothing serious could happen…

So I’ve taken them and I’m awaiting my first migraine to hit before trying them out. In the meantime it’s life as normal, which is very, very busy and quite stressful at the moment both at work and at home. Thanks to all who are contributing.

8 comments on “Illness and Doctors”

  1. Dave Morrow Reply

    Rich- that is just bizarre! Perhaps you should check with your doctor that the drugs are OK? I guess the receptionist could ask the doctor and get back to you.

    Sorry to hear about the stress mate. I’d recommend a dose of talisker 4 times a day. With a double dose at bedtime.

  2. Richard Reply

    Cheers Dave. I have a lovely 12 year old Balvenie sitting in the house, although I haven’t really been touching that as the wine reviews show!

    Yeah I guess I should check with the Doctor. However I’m hopeful that they will clear up sonner rather than later.

  3. louise Reply

    What is it with people who think they are doctors but aren’t qualified enough. If it’s not pharmacists then its doctors receptionists. I would phone the doctor and make sure they are okay. Hope you feel better, migraines are a bitch. Mine have disappeared since seeing Dr Joey the chiropractor I can give you his number if you like….

  4. Simone Reply

    “You’re overweight, he said to me. I fought the urge to return fire with well you’re ugly!, instead thanked him and he said, with a grin, I’m a Doctor, I can get away with saying things like that.” I found this hilarious, I do hate it when they say it right to your face, then say, I am a doctor so I can get away with it.

    Hey Rich, email me the name of the drug you were initially prescribed and the drug the chemist ended up giving you, I can check the BNF (British National Formulary) for you, unless of course you have already done so. I hope you get better soon. 😉

  5. Richard Reply

    Hey Simone, thanks for that. I can’t remember what it was initially, and since they keep the prescription I’ve no idea. The drug I’ve ended up with is Imigran50 (sumatriptan).

  6. pablo Reply

    i’m sure there are many “other” drugs that can reduce the (or is that increase the blurry visions) Seriously though mate, hope you do feel better.

  7. Simone Reply

    Sorry it took a while but I was off for a day because of this nasty cold that finally went away.

    I checked the BNF and Sumatriptan is indeed the first drug of choice for acute migraine attacks. Newer drugs have been introduced like Naratriptan, rizatriptan and zomlitriptan and the only difference is that they have better absorption than sumatriptan.

    Hope that helps. 😉

  8. Richard Reply

    Aha. I think that zomlitriptan sounds close…the high absorbtion and newer drug were definitely things my Doctor talked about.

    Never mind I took my first one yesterday and it killed the migraine dead. Mind you I felt weird for sometime!

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