Friday, June 06, 2008


You know, I don't get annoyed easily. Well, maybe I do, but I'm certainly not the type to get furious at the drop of a hat. And when I do get peeved, I am usually over it pretty quickly. I either say my piece, or I make myself think about what difficulties the other person may be dealing with, and that snaps me out of being angry. But this week I've been bothered by a couple of things, and I'm still stewing.

The first annoyance began when a patient, 'Victoria', returned to see me after trying a medication I'd prescribed her. I asked her how she was going with her tablets - were there any problems? Victoria reported that the medication itself wasn't bothering her, but that it was hard to remember to take it for 3 nights on, 3 nights off. I frowned. "The chemist told me to take it that way", Victoria explained. I felt myself getting steamed-up.

"Well, that's unusual", I replied. "This was a prescribed medication. The chemist should call me to discuss it if they feel there's a problem with the directions." And indeed that would be the professional thing to do. However, this chemist, without even having the courtesy to conference with me, had advised a patient of mine to take her medication in a fashion which will mean she never gets the full effect. Victoria may as well be taking jellybeans for all the good it will do her taken in this way.

I am the first to admit that a good chemist is the saviour of many a patient. There have been a few occasions where a chemist has called me to check my prescription directions, and has saved me from giving my patient an excessive dose of a medication. None of these medications would have caused a fatality, but they would have made the patient feel pretty awful. And as much as I try my best to be safe and careful, one day I could make a mistake that has the potential to kill a patient. Chemists watch for these errors, and they truly save lives, and save our doctoring butts.

That said, I object to having my directions completely over-ruled, without so much as a phone call. It is rude, it is presumptuous, and it has been to the detriment of Victoria. And I think I need to make a quiet phone call and politely express my thoughts about what occurred.


I was tucking Laura into bed last night, and had already kissed her goodnight when she called me back. "Mum?"

"What, love?" I enquired.

"Mrs D (the librarian at Laura's school) says 8 o'clock is too late to go to bed".

My frown from earlier in the week reappeared.

"Don't worry sweetie, she's not your parent", I soothed.

"But she says it's too late for going to sleep", Laura persisted.

"Well, she's not your parent", I reiterated. "Daddy and I will decide what's best for you".

I felt my annoyance rise anew against the chemist, and now against this teacher, too - advising my patients, and my daughter, without knowing the full details. The chemist did not know the full clinical details of my patient's condition. And this teacher does not know that Fatty & I have been trying to deal with Laura's nighttime insomnia, because of which Laura has been lying awake from her 7:30 bedtime until 8:45 or 9 pm most nights, tossing & turning. Mrs D doesn't know that we have recently instigated a new plan involving making sure Laura gets plenty of exercise each day, playing soft lulling music in her room at bedtime, and putting her to bed a little later, so she has less time to toss & turn. This may end up being a temporary measure, until her anxiety about getting to sleep dies down. But last night Laura was asleep within 20 minutes, and that has been a huge relief for both her, and for Fatty and I.

I would be happy for a chemist, or a teacher, to raise an issue with me. There have certainly been times when I have taken on board advice from either of these professional groups, and changed my way of doing things. I just don't like it being done behind my back.

This tirade is now over.


Freefalling said...

You need to take a leaf out of Laura's book.
Ring 'em up and say "Rack off, moron".
Then hang up!
(It will make you feel better!)

fifi said...

Goodness, it IS unusual to hear a Jelly-rant.
I think you are completely justified though. I always feel pharmacists must feel like glorified cosmetics dispensers 99% of the time, perhaps he/she was trying to flex their pharmacological muscles in between the complaints about the digital photo booth and the bagging up of Nads leg-wax.
That said, it was very very irresponsible. (not to mention inapporiate)

The teacher? I would cheerfully wring the necks of most of the staff at my son's school. And he is still wandering about sometimes at 10pm, which of course totally dements me. I tell him not to worry i he can't sleep, as long as he is lying still and resting. He usually falls asleep then.
The excercise factor is so crucial, but with a broken arm and broken toe, swimming and soccer are not much of an option....
good luck!

Remiman said...

Whew...It's good to get these aggravations off your chest! Glad we could help.
Everbody is an expert on other peoples lives...too bad they can't be experts in showing respect and regard for others.

thisisme said...

I'd be ranting too because no one had the courtesy pick up the phone and have a conversation. Having said that, I think freefalling has a very good idea :)

shellyC said...

Go on Jelly - Get stuck into them!! But you know in a quiet soft polite way that is full of sarcasm!!!

Heidi said...

My husband deals with referring veterinarians that skew and change directions, too, and that makes for sometimes interesting rechecks with his patients and clients... I wish people would just show some common courtesy in these circumstances... a simple phonecall can clear so many things up. Anyway... peace to you , Jelly. You are a fine doctor, mom, and woman! (Our boys go to bed at 8 pm, too... same reasons... yet early enough for hubby and I to have some alone time, too!)

meggie said...

What I would like to say, in my outspoken way, is...HOW BLOODY DARE THEY!

Having had a tussle with a rude 'dispenser' in a Chemist, I have had my rants too.
I don't understand thoughtless teachers, who, possessing none of the relevant facts, make such remarks to children. Don't they stop to think what anxiety, to say nothing of damage, they might cause. Ditto the Chemist. GRRRR!

There my rant unites with yours.

Stomper Girl said...

I got cranky on your behalf, reading about these incidents! I hope you do follow up the chemist, but I suppose there's not much you can do about the librarian! I once complained at our crèche because a relief carer had told my 3-year-old child that the apple puree he was having for lunch was "baby food". At that stage, it was the ONLY FRUIT I COULD GET HIM TO EAT and she thoughtlessly nearly sabotaged that for me. It's like the bumper sticker says : Please engage brain before opening mouth.

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

Laura's teacher, as well as the chemist should have called you first before suggesting or making changes...that would have been the proper thing to do.

I think you should talk to them both and give them a piece of your mind!

Noella said...

Well said, Jelly! Once teachers and parents would work together, but that changed during the time my sons were at school, and our parenting was undermined!

Your daughter sounds gorgeous!

Alice said...

Yes, Jelly, have your little 'talk' to both of these people who have thoughlessly, and in one case, possibly dangerously, undermined your position.....


don't forget to tell us what they have to say for themselves....(I'm all for a bit of gossip...LOL)

Mimi said...

I feel like I'm always cranking out at someone, I'm not the type to hold back. You, however, certainly have my sympathy. More than one of my girls has struggled with some insomnia also and it is worrying, furthermore having been an elementary teacher I can tell you it is none of anyone's business what time they send their child to bed.


Puss-in-Boots said...

You are so right, Jelly, presumptious in both cases. I've had the odd time when the chemist has told me to take medication in a dose that is different to what my GP has given me. I just ignore it and do what my doctor says. After all, he's that one that knows me.

And the librarian should be careful. It's none of her business what time you put your chldren to bed. As you say, she knows nothing about the background of this.

I can become really cheesed off on other people's behalf when I hear of things like that. However, if it happens to me, I'm usually so taken aback at their cheek, I don't say anything. Just stand there and gape, gobsmacked at the enormity of it.

I hope that writing about it has helped Jelly, but yes, I think you should make a quiet phone call or two.

I hope all is well in your world.


Kerri said...

I like 'Freefalling's' advise :) However, a quiet phone call or two would be more appropriate..and definitely more dignified ;)
Your irritation is well founded, Jelly.
That chemist was very irresponsible, and the teacher has no right whatsoever to undermine your parenting.
I'm glad you got that off your chest. Hope you feel better now :)