Wednesday, January 07, 2015

1430 Call Your Doctor Right Away

1430 Call Your Doctor Right Away

We’re all familiar with the never- ending ads for new pharmaceuticals.  Smiling faces and pounds of side effect warnings.  Many end with “if you develop these symptoms, stop taking (name of med) and call your doctor immediately.


Calls to docs at off hours used to go to an answering service and if it was an emergency, you got a call back, often pretty quickly.

Today, lots of luck.

You dial the number, worried sick that you’re about to have a stroke or heart attack, and you get to climb the phone tree.

“If this is a life threatening emergency, hang up. Then call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.”  If you listen only as far as “hang up,” you hang up… and nothing happens and maybe you croak.

If you call 911, and tell the operator your moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis is acting up, be assured they’re not going to activate a rescue mission in the middle of the night.  A heart attack, maybe. But not your irritable bowel syndrome.

When we were sick, really really sick, we still hesitated to call a doctor’s answering service.  After all, he or she was probably the busiest person any of us knew. The doctor was an authority figure, a pillar of the community, not to be disturbed for frivolous reasons.

But now, kindly old doc is just another businessman. We’ll call at all hours for all kinds of things.  And while it would take a fever of 102 or more to provoke a call in earlier days, we now will jump on the phone at 2am for a reading of 99.

We call because
--We itch.
--We sneeze
--We cough
--We have a hangover

So why are we surprised to collide with that phone tree and come away with Excedrin Headache #2?

Of course, there’s no way of reversing today’s tech-soaked, MBA-forged, bureaucratic non-communication systems.  The toothpaste is out of the tube.

So, in the quest for physical stability, we become our own doctor, especially if we have an eyelid that twitches and it’s not between 8am and 4:30pm on a weekday.


--John Boehner has won another term as House Speaker, showing the tea-punks that the old guard still has some clout.  Now, are you going to govern or just go gunning for Obama again?  Have another 5th, John,  and think about it until you pass out.

-Question for the participants in the Consumer Electronics Show: how much more of your stuff do we really need?

-Question for Sarah Palin:  As the dog and the boy grow older and larger, are you still encouraging one to stand atop the other, and if so, which?

-Question for former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell:  You getting a two-year supply of that diet supplement you seem to love so well for use in the slammer?

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2015

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