Nothing like a doctor waking you up with a phone call you don’t want to hear to ruin an otherwise lovely Wednesday morning.
On Thursday, my PCP decided to put me on oxycontin rather than refill fiorinal with codeine while I also take esgic. (Fiorinal and esgic both have caffeine, butalbital and an analgesic, but fiorinal has codeine; both contain different amount of the ingredients and are taken for different levels of pain.)
His reasons have been creative and varied, and he and his assistant require constant reminders about which is which. This is the same MA who constantly calls in the wrong medication to the pharmacy. His reasons have been “it’s too much caffeine”, “I don’t want you addicted so try oxycontin (!!!)” and (via his assistant) “too much butalbital.”
I called him later in the day Thursday telling him I’m not comfortable taking the oxycontin and I want my regular meds. At first the MA says he’s going to write it and takes down the info so she can call it in, then puts me on hold and comes back 10 minutes later with more of an attitude and a rejection. He’s not comfortable writing the two meds, she says. She sighs and adds, “You know, I really wish you had discussed this with him while you were here. What were you talking about? I thought you were discussing this.” Fuck you, it’s none of your business, I think. “We discussed plenty,” I tell her just as sharply. “But I’m the one that has to take it and I’m not comfortable with it.”
She assured me he’d call Monday and we’d discuss it further.
Which brings us to 10 a.m. this morning.
I knew I shouldn’t have answered the phone. I didn’t recognize the number and the ringing phone had woken me from the first deep sleep I’ve had in days. Working nights does nothing for a healthy sleep cycle, so yes, we tend to go to bed between 3 and 4 a.m. (sometimes later) and get up in the 11 o’clock hour. But I still answered.
He asked for me, gave me his name, and I knew it wasn’t going to go well.
“Listen,” he says, “I’m usually a pretty easy-going guy to deal with. But if the medical board knew I was writing these meds, they’d take my license away.” (Is he leading with a veiled threat about his attitude? Also, if that’s the case then every doc my mom or I have ever seen is out of work. This is a typical statement used when someone just doesn’t understand why you’re taking something and so they jump to legality.)
He then proceeds to tell me that esgic and fiorinal are the same drug (including codeine for both) and that “because they’re such similar drugs I didn’t think it made a difference which one we gave you to fill.” (ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Then why not just write the one I request? Doesn’t make an ounce of difference for you, bub, I’m the one taking this shit.)
“I put you on the oxycontin for breakthrough pain. I’m doing this to protect you,” he says. He does not clarify what he’s protecting me from and I am too sleepy and unprepared to say anything to him through much of the phone call.
When he tries again to tell me that esgic has codeine, I correct him and he agrees that it doesn’t, but still, the oxycontin “is to protect you.”
You who the last guy was to tell me he was there to protect me? The friend I had in college who went on a trip with a group of our friends, and raped me while our friends went to a club and I was incapacitated. Needless to say, this very vague concept of “I’m Manly Man the Protector” doesn’t really work for me.
“You think about it and get back to me,” he closes. I assure him I will. He says “God bless” in a hurry and hangs up.
I promptly call my mom and relay these messages to her. And cry. At 11:20 in the a.m.
NOTE: Yes, I’ve tried the oxycontin. He’s only written the med for 10mg tablets and told me to take two at a time (20mg). The Fiorinal is 30mg of codeine and less addictive. I also told him specifically that I didn’t want percoset (oxycodone) and that’s exactly what he’s given me. I’ve tried the two oxycontin at a time since I got it. I can tell you now that the efficacy is not the same as the fiorinal, and come time for my cycle — like next week — I’m probably going to be calling there in a total snit.
This is not what I wanted from my life!