A few days ago I spoke with a friend who I had talked to on and off with for a couple weeks. Finally, she broke down and told me what was going on. Without going into detail it could not have been more obvious to me that the most pressing thing that was troubling her was a side effect of a medication. Not a rare side effect but one that is quite common actually.
This infuriated me. Not because my friend was given a medication that had side effects and not because she was bothered by the side effects. What bothered me was that I had to be the one to tell her.
As a patient for almost 13 years, I have learned to be annoying as humanly possible. I ask every question I can think of. I take nothing without triple checking. If I am in the hospital, I make sure to ask what I am receiving and why just to be positive everyone involved in my care is on the same page. My new neurologist probably finds me extremely neurotic because I refuse to just throw his prescriptions in my purse, fill them and report back like he would like. I ASK AND I ASK AND IF I AM STILL NOT ONE THOUSAND PERCENT COMFORTABLE WITH THE RESPONSE I ASK AGAIN!
By doing this, I have found errors and refused medicine that was pushed on me more times than I can count. I would be blogging about diabetes now if I wasn’t so on top of things just to give you an idea of how much I have needed to micro manage every single aspect of my medical care.
My point of this post is simple. Why was my friend not told about one of the most basic side effects of a medication? Granted, she should have researched it. No arguments here. BUT, when a physician gives a prescription to a patient it is his/her job to reveal what side effects to look out for. I don’t mean every single one so that the patient is scared to death but the more common ones. The absence of this result in a complete loss of trust which is what has happened with my friend.
This was just so basic and so simple that I can’t help but wonder what in the world is going on if something as easy as that slips through the cracks.