The Problem With the Phrase "Tell your doctor"

My doctor for non-mental illness things is a elderly fellow who will interrupt a visit to talk to a patient. He will also check your heart, and lungs and go over a long checklist of symptoms. However he prescribes blood pressure medicine which is relatively safe stuff unless you haven’t eaten a banana in a while so I have never called him about problems with my meds. My psychiatric health care facility is a little harder to reach. When I call the nurse I usually get an answering machine and most of the doctors there have been too busy with the patients to deal with that stuff. When I do reach them they usually have two answers about problems with my meds. Go to the Psych Ward where you spend up to 12 hours waiting to be admitted or go to the ER. So when I see the warning information on the medicine sheets from the pharmacy full of statements saying “tell your doctor” I don’t feel too good about things. On one of these warning sheets it says tell your doctor if you are very sleepy, or if you have allergy symptoms like trouble breathing or talking, change in thinking clearly and with logic. Considering that all of these things make it almost impossible to talk exactly how do you tell the medical people exactly what’s going on? Also you are supposed to tell your doctor if you have recently drunk a lot of alcohol, or oxycodone with the medicine. Isn’t that one for the folks in the ER? Also you are supposed to call your doctor if you have muscle problems with your tongue, face, mouth, or jaw like tongue sticking out, puffing cheeks, mouth puckering, or chewing. Once again the conversation may be a little bit off. I guess that’s an argument for forcing yourself to be more sociable so someone will be around to report these symptoms for you or maybe someone will find you lying there before you pass away. The warning sheets that pharmacies pass out are not very realistic.

My problem with telling my Doctor anything was he complained that I was just trying to make him look bad by not “improving under his care”

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Oh, you’d be surprised. For example, there’s a very good reason for the warnings about Clozaril and blood monitoring, which I decided to ignore. Nearly died of pneumonia and other infections over that one after said drug blitzed my immune system. I take these warnings seriously now, follow the instructions the pharmacist gives me, and I make sure that my doctor knows about EVERYTHING that’s going on in my life because they have the knowledge and experience to spot the problems I can’t.


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That’s awful! What jerk! all about him, not focused on you and your complaints, as if you were doing it on purpose.

@Blizzard this sounds very frustrating for you. From my experience, when I call I usually end up on voicemail leaving a message for the nurse or with the Secretary. I’m very detailed in my problem and ask if they’ve written it all down for the pdoc to see when he gets the message and put itt in my file. Usually I get a return phone call from the nurse by days end. I think if it were life threatening they’d get back to you immediately.

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Often, I’m pretty unhappy when people say, “Have you talked to your doctor about that?” Like, I get a lot of time with my doctor?

When people say, “You should talk to your doctor about that,” I feel like the person I’m talking to doesn’t want to deal with me.


Because of my age and my mental illness, my GP began to talk to me with condescension. Next time I see him, I will point it out to him and ask him to not do it.

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I don’t have a primary care doctor anymore. I just have a psychiatrist with the county & a psychotherapist. I’m not going to waste tax-payer dollars on these lame-duck annual check-ups. They do nothing & prove nothing.

IF I develop something, then I will attend, but as long as I am physically healthy, I see no reason to have a physician. Hell, I lived a much healthier life than most of these physicians & still do.