Thursday, May 26, 2011

Irregular Pac

This story has so many layers and threads, I'm not sure where to begin. It's going to take more than one post to explain. Let me start by rewinding 24 hours to my appointment with Dr. Dilf for yet another fasting cholesterol blood test.

It's been a month since I started my newly prescribed medication for blood pressure and cholesterol and it was time to make sure everything was working as expected. But I would have been making an appointment anyway, since I haven't been feeling well these past couple weeks.

At the risk of sounding indelicate, my digestive output hasn't been keeping up with my input. It got bad enough last weekend that I even tried bullying my system with a greasy corned beef reuben from a local diner we'd stopped patronizing after noticing... a pattern. God bless JB for putting himself in harm's way and having lunch with me. And putting us both in harm's way as he raced back home down Ponce de Leon as if it were the Talladega Speedway.

Anyway... Oh yes. I was at the doctor's office.

I explained my condition to Dr. Dilf and he asked, "Has there been any change that may have caused this?"

"Well... I started taking Simvastatin."

Yes, even though I know doctors hate when their patients use the Internet, I couldn't resist doing some research on my own. I think the only thing doctors hate more is when their patients pull a folded up print-out from their back pockets.

"Simvastatin doesn't do that," he responded flatly. I offered the print-out, but he refused to look at it. "I don't care what you read online, but I've been prescribing this stuff for fifteen years and it's never happened."

Now I'm not an idiot, I know how the Internet works. If you're looking for a connection, it's easy to find one. I could probably find that Simvastatin causes testicular elephantiasis if I googled long enough. Or I could post it myself. I just found it a stretch to believe this was some script kiddie's idea of having fun on eHow when even the information sheet the pharmacy stapled to my prescription listed constipation as a common possible side-effect.

"But..."

"Now I have seen this side-effect with the Norvasc. Did you print out those side-effects?"

Ooo, sarcasm. Welcome to my office, Dr. Dilf.

"So you prescribed two drugs which cause constipation? No wonder I feel dead on the inside."

Dr. Dilf was getting exasperated, I could tell. "You're having an issue taking the Simvastatin, aren't you."

He already knew the answer to that question. I've been clearly expressing my concerns since he first tried getting me on statins five years ago. It took him that long to convince me my apprehension was unfounded, that statins are perfectly safe, that heart disease is quickly joining polio as something only our grandparents had to worry about, and that I was irrationally and foolishly endangering my life by dragging my feet.

"I'm trying to prevent you from dying of a heart attack."

It's hard to say "no" to an offer like that. So why would I?

To be continued...

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