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Sunday, August 9, 2009

New Adventures in Self Medicating

I guess all the choices I made last week were wrong. By last Friday, I was still sick with cough, fever, no appetite, etc.

I decided this cold wasn't going to go away so I called the doctor Friday evening. Of course, I got the answering machine with several choices. First they said that the doctor's hours were Monday through Friday and they gave the hours, then they gave a number to call if it was an emergency, several other numbers to call if you're a doctor, a pharmacist, etc. Finally they left room for a message. Since I didn't think I had an emergency, I was just uncomfortable I left a message.

I expected a call back on Saturday, after all this was how my doctor in NY would have done things. He would have checked messages and returned calls. But, I had to remind myself this is not NY. So I decided to try again, this time I called the emergency number. This was the number for the real answering service of the doctor. As soon as I left my number and disconnected the call, the doctor called back.

He listened to my symptoms and asked for my pharmacy's number to prescribe something. It was the same medication I had last Spring and it worked wonders then. I'm happy to say that it worked again this time, my fever was down the next day.

I've learned a few things this past week. They do things differently here in NJ. I really should give up on self-diagnosis and call the doctor as soon as I don't feel well. Because I've had two really bad colds (or whatever) this year I'd better get a flu shot this year and not push my luck. Usually the only time I see my doctor is for my annual check-up.

The downside of all this is that I missed what I'm sure was a wonderful dinner with friends, an event at the clubhouse and I'm going to have to cancel my reservations for Gettysburg for this coming week. All because I thought I knew more than a medical professional.

1 comment:

ms/sss said...

I am glad that you received the meds and that they helped you. No doctor in the West, none that I've heard about, would give a prescription over the phone. You would have to go in for a visit. The wait is usually two weeks, if you want to see your own doctor, or a few days, if you're willing to wait for another medical person to see you.
I hope you're doing better now.