I had a bad allergic reaction to one of the medicines the doctor gave me. Ringing in my ears until I can’t hear, severe headache, horrid rash under arms and down sides and on to my breasts, and dizzy, and disoriented.

As I wrote someone, perfect weblogging conditions.

So I followed the medicine’s instructions (what to do if…) and called the doctor’s office, but she’s out today. Her assistant wrote down the symptoms and said she’d have the other doctor call me back. Two hours later, the assistant calls and tells me to stop taking the medicine, see if the symptoms go away tomorrow. I tell her the package says not to stop suddenly, or you could have problems. She pauses and says, ‘Well, it’s only for one day.” Oh, and if I feel worse, head into the emergency room.

That’s the new American HMO doctor–metered office appointments (ten minutes per patient), lots of tests (at the same clinic, I’ve noticed), and prescriptions. Pills for this and pills for that; medicines to squirt up your nose and shove up your…never mind. And if you react, she’ll give you another to counter it. When you ask about side effects, you’re told no worries. (Well, it was recalled once. And one of her patient’s did have a seizure.) But then you look up the medicine online and find it has some very serious side effects, including allergic reactions. Bingo!

Today’s HMO: Clowns dressed as doctors, with painted smiles and confetti at hand to throw . If you ask them to stop a moment, they’ll pinch your nose and honk.

Ends today. No more pills. None. Well, except Advil for aches and Tums for my stomach (and calcium). I’m going to try a new regime, it’s called learning to live with getting older, and the sometimes aches and pains that come with it.

Take two walks, and call me in the morning.

I’ll stay healthy, all on my own. That will show the medical community–can’t fuck around with me.

Sorry to all the excellent doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers out there. This post is me venting.

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