Monday, December 11, 2006

Another Acorn Falling Near the Tree

Saw a patient, ten years old, who had just been seen by his pediatrician. Turns out the mother of this little gem had been kicked out of the pediatrician's office for cursing and throwing a tantrum. Seems she wanted junior to get antibiotics for his cold and, after a prolonged explanation from the pediatrician with charts and graphs and stick figures and all words cut down to three syllables or less, she still did not understand that viruses are not treated by antibiotics.

So this patient, who already had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and pre-adolescent obesity, got what his mom wanted. I gave in. I was too busy and I actually didn't think it was unreasonable to try a short course of antibiotics on this child as he had been sick with cough and cold for two weeks. Many doctors believe that after 6 days of upper respiratory symptoms that the viral illness has probably paved the way for a bacterial superinfection. Anyway, that's not the point.

This mom was barely controllable. When I told her that I would prescribe zithromax she told me that her son's unique and fragile constitution responded only to non-generic zithromax and to be sure not to write for generic. Fine! Crazy bitch.

Fast forward one hour. The local pharmacist called me. This same woman was now at the CVS and was not happy. Turns out she thought that the only way to get brand name zithromax was in what has come to be known as a "Zpak". The pharmacy did not have any "Zpak"s, but did have the brand drug in individual tablets. This banshee was convinced that the pharmacist was trying to pawn-off generic zithromax on her and was calling me to complain.

If I had the ability to reach my hand through the phone line I would have strangled her. This would have had three benefits: First, the pharmacist would have felt better. Second, I would have felt better. Third, her tub-o-lard kid would, after a short period of pseudo-grief, have felt better.


  1. I know this is an old post but I wanted to say something after observing at the "Free Clinic" the other day. I sat and listened as the doc explained to the um..."lady" that genital warts are a virus and nothing will work on them except freeze drying or burning the bastards off. He explains that it might be a little uncomfortable and damned if you know the first thing out of her mouth was, "Don't you gots some pill that you can give me?" It's like their brain turns off once they come in the clinic, if they have one on arrival.

  2. I also know this is an old post but believe me. I speak for all clinicians here when I say that we have ALL treated persons who defy all manner of natural laws. Patients with no lungs, kidneys, funtioning heart or indeed BRAINs routinely walk into the hospital. It's mind boggling. I think we have to rewrite some human physiology books.