Saturday, March 1, 2014

Writing Prescriptions.....

After all the drama last week over obtaining what was, after all, a prescription for something penicillin-like, a good friend asked, "Can't you write it yourself?"  Well, it's true, I suppose, that I could.  Indeed, I have.  JuJuBee came down with what was clearly strep throat at the beach, so I called in an antibiotic to the local pharmacy.  Hubby forgot some of his meds on a trip - no problem.  My brother emailed me a picture of his pinkeye.  My nephew had an asthma attack on Nantucket Island.  I've stepped up and treated family.  It was even easier when there were samples!  Sprained knee?  I've got the latest anti-inflammatory right here!

As privacy rules have evolved, I've done this less.  I have no real right to treat people that are not actually my patients.  I'm leerier of writing prescriptions for people who share my last name.  I have a better grip on how little it might take to alienate even a family member with a mistake based on too little information.

None of this applies to Babygirl.  I know her medical history, allergies, vaccinations, medications and reactions better than I know my own name.  And speaking of names, she has a different one.  So why not step in?

I have not.  I am not the only one who has noticed lately  that I am barely sane.  I am not, I repeat NOT, competent to make decisions about her care.  Even if it's something as simple as strep throat, I need some other doc to SIT on me and keep me from taking things into my own hands.  Not only is her condition far beyond my training and ability to manage, my objectivity is....missing. 

Objectivity is that quality that allows a doctor to visualize the possibilities, imagine outcomes, and guide a patient into selecting what works for them. It's what makes me able to tell a patient bad news without pulling any punches.  It's what makes it possible to come home and be with my family and leave the rest behind, usually.   I possess NONE of this where Babygirl is concerned.  None.  And while I know that calling in an expected script for a mild throat infection is benign enough, I fear that if I cross that line I won't be able to cross back.

There is a medical maxim that goes, "He who treats himself has a fool for a doctor."  And a fool for a patient, I might add.  I prefer to keep the faith.  Faith that my colleagues are, at the least, not fools.  To do otherwise has unthinkable implications for my baby.


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