This is a personal post, but with an important point. I’ve always had really bad problems with bronchitis. I’ve been sick for a week, and have reached the point where I have actually strained some of the muscles between my ribs – pretty crazy, huh?
This is a warning to people to be careful about putting too much trust in their doctors/medical practitioners. I tried to make an appointment with my regular doctor and ended up only being able to get in with a nurse practitioner. (This is not a slight against nurse practitioners – although this one seemed a bit nuts.) I am allergic to almost every antibiotic with the exception of (to my knowledge) cephalexin.
So when I was given a strep test, we discussed possible antibiotics I could take in case the test came out positive. She started to prescribe me Zithromax a.k.a. Z-pack. It’s in the same family as erythromycin, which has given me hives in the past. I argued that I probably couldn’t take it due to my allergy, and that I knew I could take cephalexin. She insisted that cephalexin was in the same family as erythromycin. And who was I to question? But in the back of my head, I felt sure she was wrong. Luckily I didn’t test positive for strep.
Today I returned to the doctor because of my muscle strain. My doctor decided I had been sick too long and that I had probably had bronchitis and needed to take an antibiotic. I believe going off of what the NP had prescribed she also gave me Z-pak. I just accepted that she knew what she doing. But when I got home I decided to double-check to see what family of drugs the Z-pak was in, and I was right that it was similar to what I was allergic to.
This is why you usually get asked what medicines you are allergic to two or three times every time you go to the doctor. Also be careful to know what you are allergic to, and in the case of antibiotics, which drugs are in the same family.
Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor a lot of questions. I realize it may seem to question their authority, but this is your health and they should respect that. We recently lost a close family friend to cancer because the doctor did not read the test results correctly, when it was completely evident from them that something was wrong. Our friend had felt there was something wrong, but blindly trusted the doctor who everyone in our community respected as a good doctor. We are all human, and we all make mistakes. If you feel something is off, get a second opinion.
The world is a poorer place for the loss of our friend. He knew everyone, and would help anyone. He could do anything he put his mind to – building a koi pond, putting an addition on to his house completely on his own. And he would help others with their construction and house remodeling projects. He rose to a senior analyst position in the Army despite only having an eighth grade education. He loved to tell stories and had a hearty laugh to go with them. He was truly a great man. RIP Dub. We’ll miss you.