You might not have the flu

I went to see my psychiatrist yesterday and he printed out my medication list, went through meticulously, medication by medication, and looked up the enzyme pathway or pathways that each worked through in the liver.  There was one that I only take once a week that was prescribed by another doctor that wasn’t on the list, though, and I remembered it because my psychiatrist had mentioned antifungals.  I struggled to bring the name out of my brain, and finally, I came up with it.  He looked at me and asked if I was on it now.  How long had I been on it?  When had I started having trouble?  Was I having muscle aches?  He checked the drug interactions with this antifungal thrown in the mix and the antifungal showed up for moderately severe interactions with five of the eleven other medications that I’m on.  The trouble started about the time I had started taking the antifungal and yes, I’ve felt like I’ve had the flu for about a month now.  He recommended that I stop the antifungal and told me, with its half-life, it would take about 10 days to wash out of my system, but that I should feel better.  The Doc said that it’s hard to function when a person feels all achy and crummy all the time (like I have).  He called me later in the day to confirm his advice and that he’d looked at the enzyme pathways more closely than he’d had time to during my appointment earlier.  I appreciate my psychiatrist so much!  Without him and his go-the-extra-mile care, I could be very sick or even dead, and no one would know what happened or care in the medical field.  This other doctor who prescribed the antifungal had to go through my medication list with me before prescribing the medication – why didn’t they catch this?  In an age where time is money, my psychiatrist is an incredible doctor in that he cares about his patients’ well-being and how he can help alleviate their pain and cause as little suffering as possible.  If he can do anything to ease the pain of side effects, he will, and if he can figure out how to make his patients’ lives better, he’ll do it.  The Doc is truly an extraordinary man, and unfortunately, we’re short on this type of physician these days, and getting shorter.  I worry about the future of healthcare, the future of the quality of physicians, the future of my own well-being in this system called medicine with all the care I require…  It’s a scary world out there.  That’s why I take it one day at a time.  So if you take other medications and you get prescribed a new one, make sure your doctor checks the drug interactions.  A few months down the line, it may turn out that you might not have the flu…

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