Recently, I went to the doctor for my annual checkup. It went pretty well, it may have been because he is moving to California and wanted to part as friends, it may have been because I was healthier, or it might be the standards have changed. I get caught in a lot of fluctuating expectations.
"Keep your cholesterol under 200." Then it changes, "Keep your bad cholesterol under 100, and your good cholesterol over 50." Blood sugar, blood gases, weight, blood pressure, it is like an endless stream of criticism.
This time, though, it was different. He was relaxed, comfortable, kind. As soon as I figured out I wasn't dying I was happy.
"Any side effects from the cholesterol medicine?" He asked, looking at me in fatherly way, which is difficult since he is so much younger.
"No, none at all." I said. Which is true, because I hardly ever took it. Which really made me feel guilty. He was being so nice. and I was lying to him, only through omission, but, this is a gray area you shouldn't really dance around with your doctor.
"Well, I am still changing you to (I don't remember the name) because it is less likely to damage your (I don't really remember the internal organ). Is that OK with you?"
"Sure," and here is gave in, "but, I haven't really been taking the other medicine. Oh, sure, once in a while I would remember and take it, and the fish oil, and the low dose aspirin, and the multi vitamin, but not very often, hardly ever, really." It poured out, and I felt terrible.
"You should take your medicine, it won't do you any good if you don't take it." He looked disappointed, and I was crushed.
So, he told me about the potential side effects. I started taking them, that day.
And I swear the minute I swallowed that pill, I had the side effects, sore muscles, double vision,
stomach cramps, I don't even know what all was wrong with me.
I fell over to the floor in agony, moaning as my life slipped away.
"Did the doctor tell you about the side effects, again?" My wife asked, and she sighed.
"Yes," I moaned, my last breath.
"When you get up would you bring me a Diet Coke?"
Sure, don't worry about me.
I do hate those warnings, not as much as my wife, though.