Be Diligent

Stay diligent concerning your health care.

I am not anti-medical established.  I firmly believe in preventive medical checkups.  I have a very good relationship with my primary.  This story is to remind everyone to stay beyond diligent concerning your personal health.  

I’m going to unwind a story about a UTI from hell.  This UTI was caused by tighter-fitting clothing.  I’m going to give the shortened version of the story.  

About two weeks ago, I realized I probably had a UTI.  I used the Teledoc system as provided by my insurance.  A lovely MD returned my call.  She accepted my explanation that it was a UTI.  I told her that I did not want a Fluoroquinolone.  She prescribed Macrobid (which I had three months previous).  She also suggested AZO for relief of the symptoms. 

I took the ten days of Macrobid.  I noticed that I wasn’t feeling better within the two to three days.  It took until the tenth day before I had some symptom relief.  Seven days after the last antibiotic, I realized that my UTI did not go away.  The symptoms were coming back.  

On Saturday, I called the TeleDoc system again.  The doctor stated that they could not give an antibiotic to a post-menopausal woman (although his colleague just did two weeks ago).  He suggested instead of going to urgent care that I called my primary on Monday (two days later) for a prescription.  I did not want to wait in pain for two days for this to get resolved.  I found the nearest urgent care facility that took my insurance.  

I was in a good mood and I enjoyed joking around with the nurse.  She was taking my vital information on a little sticky note.  I teased her about how she could get all that info on the sticky note.  They took a urine sample which was BRIGHT ORANGE due to the AZO UTI relief pills.  The results were a definite UTI.  

The doctor came in.  He stated that Macrobid did not work and that he was going to prescribe me another medication.  I asked which one.  It was a Fluoroquinolone – Cipro.  I stated that Cipro is known to cause neuropathy.  I requested another antibiotic.  He then said with a tone, “well which one do you want?”  I responded that this was his area of expertise.  I didn’t know which ones work. He sat dumbfounded not knowing what to prescribe.  I had to Google “best antibiotics for UTIs” and give him a list to choose from.  

He also suggested a culture to confirm what bacteria was causing the issues.  It would be 48 hours before the culture was back.  He was indicating he did not want to prescribe an antibiotic until then (even though he was going to prescribe Cipro just three minutes previous).  I reminded him that I was in pain and that an infection was raging in my body.  He eventually prescribed Trimethoprim.   

As I left with discharge instructions I see that he prescribed both the Trimethoprim AND the CIPRO.  

I went to dinner thinking that my pharmacy was open until 8 p.m.  It closes at 6:00 on Saturday.  I did not get to pick up the antibiotics.  When I got home I Googled Trimethoprim.  It is a sulfa antibiotic.  I AM ALLERGIC TO SULFA-ANTIBIOTICS.  Remember the nurse writing down my information on the yellow sticky note instead of using a form?  Well, she never asked me about my medicine allergies.  

I wish I could tell you this is the end of this story.  It isn’t.  

At 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, I start working on getting an antibiotic that I can take for this UTI.  The urgent care facility didn’t open until 9:00.  They called me back immediately with a very powerful antibiotic called Clindamycin.  

I went to the grocery store pharmacy.  Urgh.  They didn’t open until 10 a.m.  I grab a coffee and breakfast.  I was the first in line when they did open.  

I explained to the nice pharmacy tech that there were two separate prescriptions.  I told her that I did not need the antibiotic that was prescribed the day before.  I explained that I need the one that was sent over that morning.  She didn’t listen.  She found the prescription for Trimethoprim (the sulfa antibiotic).  She was about to give that to me when I questioned the name of the antibiotic.  She then found the correct prescription.  She said it would be filled in about an hour.  

I come back in an hour.  There is now a male pharmacy tech.  I stated again there were two prescriptions sent over for me.  I stated that I was there to pick up the Clindamycin.  He acknowledged hearing me.  He came back with the script and charged me.  Before I left out of the drive-thru, I check what antibiotic I had.  You got it.  They gave me the one that I’m allergic to.  I was given Trimethoprim.  

The pharmacy tech found the right prescription.  He told me it would be ready in an hour.  I told him that I was there an hour ago and was told it would be ready in an hour.  They filled the script for me right then.  Finally, it was the right prescription!  

If I had not been very diligent about Googling the prescription and then following up on the work of the pharmacy techs, I would be taking a drug that gives me a horrible allergic reaction.  

The point of this story is to always stay diligent concerning your health care.  As many have stated often in this group our system is broken.  It is also strained due to two-plus years of COVID.  BUT!  It is the only system we have.  You need to learn the problems within the system so that you can give YOURSELF the best healthcare for you.

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