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Secret Diary of a PM: The Things We Say...

Have you ever stopped and thought about the things we may say to our patients and the consequences?

Such things as “we don’t do dental issues” or “take responsibility for your own health and try things over the counter at a pharmacy or a supermarket” or “we do not prescribe for hay fever”

I say this following the last three weeks, when I have been unwell. As I have not had Covid yet (one of the few in the Practice) I thought that this could be it.

So, I started taking a lateral flow test daily or even twice daily, using the stock I had got before testing, and each time they came back negative, but I decided to work from home.

It may seem strange, but I was actually hoping the tests would become positive, so I could get it over with.

As the days went by, I got worse, but still testing negative and I started getting toothache and was full of cold etc.

As I had a routine dental appointment in a few days I decided to try and self-medicate as this is what we are being encouraged to do, and take responsibility for our own health.

I purchased a well-known brand of a decongestant spray, from a high street supermarket.

Within a couple of days, I had become worse and had an unbelievably bad reaction to the spray and so I stopped taking it. 

The next day at the dentist, after a thorough check up including X-RAYS, I was informed it was a sinus infection and to see a doctor.

Now can you imagine what would have happened if I had gone to the doctor straight away? We all know the saying “we do not do dental problems.”

Anyhow, I used the Econsult at the surgery and was very impressed at how things went. When the Doctor called, I went through the symptoms and the doctor was very concerned as the spray had interacted with my daily medicine, in particular the blood pressure pills.

I discussed my reasoning, and she could see my point of view, but I then went on to think, should we being more careful in what we tell patients? Or was I just unlucky to pick a medication that badly interacted?

The doctor went on to prescribe a decongestant spray, anti-biotics, and hay fever pills. So, should we be more careful in referring to OTC medication or do we open the floodgates and see everybody?

A difficult one to ponder, however I am pleased to say I am feeling a lot better.


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