Thursday, 22 November 2012

I am off to the doctor today

but no, I am not sick. At least I hope I am not sick.
I do need a prescription - the reason for the visit - but that does not make me "sick". The medication should not make me sick either. Medication is supposed to make you better.
My GP and I have an ongoing "battle" over this. I do not like taking things. The clinic at which he works is one of those "modern" clinics with eight doctors and several other medical staff. All the GPs seem to believe the same thing, handing out pills and potions is good. If they can find a reason to prescribe something it means they are doing their job.  I suspect this is true of all GPs everywhere.
GPs are under constant pressure from drug companies to sell "ill-health". They are underconstant pressure to find something "wrong" so that they can prescribe more medication. The "ideal" individual's ideal weight, blood pressure, cholesterol level, kidney, liver and other levels of function is always changing. That allows the drug companies to sell more drugs. It is a business like any other business. They advertise to the public, often via scare campaigns in the media, and they put the hard-sell on doctors. At the same time they are so secretive that the real value or otherwise of these drugs is often hidden from public view. We are just told that we need to take them. I am a menace as a patient. I like to know too much - and I argue.
My GP and I do not argue about diet however. We both agree that a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables is sensible. It is what I give the Senior Cat. It is what I eat myself.
We had visitors recently, one of whom is diabetic. In honour of that occasion I bought a small quantity of cream, the smallest quantity it is possible to buy. I offered it with the fruit salad I had made. We all had a small amount of cream - a rarity for me and for the Senior Cat. The following morning the Senior Cat had a teaspoon more on his cereal. Eventually the rest of it got thrown out. We like cream but it is just not part of our normal diet any more, although it was for years when we lived in the country and got our milk straight from the farms.
I have friends who love things like cream. They are also on medication "for cholesterol". One of them has suffered severe side effects. Her doctor has suggested trying to change her diet as well. She tried, or said she did. It did not seem to work. She is making herself sick with worry. There are frequent trips to the doctor and to  "specialists". Inviting her anywhere is a night mare. She no longer eats out at restaurants. Her "cholesterol level" is a constant anxiety to her - and I admit it is almost twice what mine is - but it seems nothing is going to change it.
I know other people in a similar position - several of them well over eighty, one who will turn ninety this coming week. One of them finally told his doctor he was, at 87, going to take his chances. He was not ill. He was active. His diet was "sensible". He was off to play golf after his appointment.
His doctor, reportedly, shrugged and muttered things about "on your own head be it". I have just sent him a birthday card for his 100th. He is still walking and swimming for exercise.
I really do think all human beings are different. None of us are going to end up being the "ideal" anything. Being sensible is the sensible thing.


the fly in the web said...

No,human beings have no 'norm'. Mother has high blood pressure...has always had high blood pressure... at 96 she has just had a knee and a hip replaced without problems and is, if not gadding, then getting about wonderfully...refusing all offers of pills for her blood pressure.

Anonymous said...

We also had the problem of cream going bad before we had used it up.

I now use other dairy products: Greek yoghurt, quark, sour cream and - best - creme fraiche, which can be used for a wider range of dishes. A teaspoonful of creme fraiche improves almost anything.

(I don't know if creme fraiche is posh sour cream .)


catdownunder said...

Fly in the web - I love oldies like that! Good on them!
I think sour cream is something different - tastes different anyway. It is hard to get here but I like it.

jeanfromcornwall said...

I think the worst problem with doctors and medicines is that they are so reluctant to stop anything once they have started. They would rather add another pill to correct a side effect than stop the first one. Most of my late mother's problems in her last few years were side effects. She had a 2 litre icecream tub full of little packets. Her actual cause of death was a complete surprise to the doctors.

Miriam said...

I agree. I haven't been to the doctor for ages because I know she'll tell me off. I have enough of that from the dentist.