Ask Your Doctor

I survived my weekend away, a trip that provided the impetus for a piece you’ll hopefully will be able to soon read. Thanks to all who dropped by and left kind words in my absence. What follows are some humorous comments on a problem which, unfortunately, is both expensive to the the consumer and frustrating to the doctor – that of pharmaceutical companies advertising directly to the lay public.

Ask Your Doctor.


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What seems to be the problem today? A question about one of your medications? No? A question about something you saw on TV. I see, a commercial. He recommended you ask your doctor about …? The names are hard to remember. A man running through a field. OK, that narrows it down a little. Was he running by himself, toward a woman at the other end of the field, or with a child? By himself. I see. Was he harvesting something? That could be an arthritis medication. Just running. OK, that’s probably an allergy medicine. Or something for depression. An outside chance it was for attention deficit disorder or panic attacks. I also wouldn’t rule out a combination pill for any one of those problems plus prostate cancer. Do you have allergies? No. Well, then you don’t need allergy medicine. What else is on your mind?

Another commercial. Are there any health problems of your own you want to discuss? No? Tell me about the commercial. They told you to ask your doctor if "Procreator" is right for you? Is that really the name? Depending on the stressed syllable, it’s either a fertility agent or a cholesterol pill. It might also be an attempt to reintroduce Quaaludes into the market. It has side effects including memory loss, limb atrophy, and Weltschmerz. Well, what medicine doesn’t, nowadays? It’s either that or live with the sterility, take your pick.

Two Greco-Roman wrestlers. Interesting. If they were elderly Greco-Roman wrestlers, that might be a pitch for those new growth-hormone supplements, but you’re too young for that. You’re sure they were Greco-Roman? There’s an ad with women in Mexican wrestling masks for a pill treating stress incontinence. I suggest patients avoid pro wrestling for a few months before trying that particular pill.

What did the music sound like? Pay attention to the key of the soundtrack. Minor chords indicate one of the SSRIs; major chords suggest a cure for diabetes. Any Philip Glass score is for an Alzheimer’s drug.

An obese man walking a dog? Jolly-looking or overindulgent? Jolly suggests one of the appetite stimulants or a cholesterol pill; overindulgent usually means you’re looking at a gastrointestinal lipid-blocking agent, or a cholesterol pill. Was the dog a schnauzer? I know that ad—it’s actually for the dog. You don’t need heartworm pills.

A man and woman shopping? Erectile dysfunction. Any commercial showing a man and woman washing dishes, sleeping fitfully, or rubbing their temples is also likely to be for erectile dysfunction. Have you been having any problems … performing? No? Just asking. You seem to be watching a lot of television.

The jogger? You’re on that pill—it’s your blood-pressure pill. There’s another one with a teenager in chest pain, or the grandfather bungee-jumping. You prefer the snowboarding pill? Sure. It’s not on your insurance plan, but we can say you had some anal leakage with the other one and they’ll cover it. You do have leakage? Well, switching won’t help. Did you try that medicine where the woman runs up the stairs? I’ll write you a prescription.

The little girl lost in the woods isn’t advertising anything for you. It’s a promotion for cosmetic appendix transplants, which are still in Phase III. Stick with the one you have for now, and we’ll talk it over next year.

The ad with the cells floating through the blood, zapping other cells—great special effects. I don’t know what the drug does, but we have some samples in the back if you’d like to try it out for a few weeks.

A truck hanging by a single bolt? That’s a commercial for a truck. Do you need a truck?

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16 Responses to Ask Your Doctor

  1. Deirdre says:

    Oh, this is too funny! Thanks for the laugh. Needed that today. Unfortunately, what you\’ve shared in this blog is ever so true. Don\’t get me on a rant about pharmaceutical companies. It would lead to other, more virulent rants. I may have to post the statement I have on file in my chart at my primary care physician\’s office concerning the HIPPA laws. Oh, by the way, I just read your comment on Lakota\’s space concerning secrets. I totally agree with you on that one.Hope you had a good weekend. Glad you\’re back.D

  2. Jerry says:

    wanted to let you know that I have finally realized I didn\’t have a link to your page on mine….so I posted one…hope that\’s ok!!

  3. Stephen Craig says:

    Jorge, My favorite commercial is the one that warns: If the erection lasts four hours or more…..Consult a Physician. What?? Hey doc, look at this!! Ok, will leave it at that. Thanks for the grins. As ever be well. Stephen

  4. A Utah Woman Am I says:

    Thanks for posting that Jorge! It made me smile. Exactly what I needed today. It is has been rough since the beginning. And this was a great way to put a smile back on my face.Sorry for my lack of being around to talk and write mail. School has gotten me buckled down pretty good this week with homework and midterms. I hope to catch up sometime next week.Until then, please do take care of yourself!-Kelsey

  5. Lakota Clay says:

    I love it! I\’ve seen them all. And only sampled a few…miles to go before I sleep!.L.

  6. Marge says:

    Greetings, Jorge!Thank you for your kind comment on my last entry; someday I will tell you the story behind it.Your entry brought some much-needed levity to my day;I\’m pretty certain I\’ve seen most of the ads. Some are pretty obnoxious and some are almost too silly to be taken seriously, let alone taken to my physician\’s office…Re Stephen\’s comment on medications for ED, I always find myself musing to myself when a certain side effect with a certain duration is mentioned: "This is a problem???"Thanks for the smiles.And welcome back, good friend…Wishing you peace.Marge

  7. Marie says:

    LOL, Jorge. Thank you for today\’s supply of smiles.And thank you for your very kind comments.Hugs, Marie

  8. Patricia says:

    Grinning, here…enjoyed that…my description might be…"I don\’t know what the name of it is, but it\’s a little red pill"…or white, or yellow, or blue…lol…I\’m sure that drives the docs crazy, too…was glad to see you, Jorge…loved your description of the season…zephyr (not sure if I spelled that correctly), very nice word…now, I will be looking for a way to use it…thanks for the vocab lesson…rest well…

  9. Randy says:

    I love your writings…my doctor loves me coming in…at least he lauyghs at me..for i am a charaher! I ask mine MD, well when is my liver going to fall out, he laughed and ask? "Do you drink?" Well I may from time to time…the Valium is not working…lol…and it does not anymore…a pill fopr ebevrything it seems…Randy..le dance…

  10. Unknown says:

    Well, Jorge! You talk about laughing… I laughed my bum off at this one… riendo en alta!Only in my case, when I go there, I object to taking pills and try to get rid of as many as I can. My doc has learned to hear me and we are great friends because he knows I know my body, but he also knows I trust him with my life. He also knows that when I say I need something, I\’m not making it up.I love the "mix" in your blog.Hugs, MuMo

  11. Jaime Campbell says:

    OMG Jorge. That is absolutely hilarious. Those commercials are all soooo dramatic! You crack me up. And I always love, "Well, the side effects include…." twelve million horrible things that are worse than the thing you started taking the d*mn drug for! ha ha ha Have a blessed day. Joy to you. Jaime.

  12. A Utah Woman Am I says:

    Hey J!Just checkin\’ in on you. I hope that things are going okay–seeing as it is in the middle of the week, and sometimes things can get a little hectic (or more so than we would like…) Nevertheless, I never did ask you, and perhaps this should already be implied anyway; but are you a professor then? I have been meaning to ask you as of late.But I hope that you are enjoying yourself to the best of your abilities. Remember to smile 🙂

  13. Joe says:

    Hi Jorge,My first time by (picked up your address at "…Mischief afoot", aka Kelsey). Where did you pick up the quote by G.K. Chesterton? I have a couple of books (both biographies of saints — Aquinas & Francis of Assisi). Although I am not Catholic, it seems there were several saints that were enlightened (in my unenlightened perspective).As for your blog, I have reached the age where I should be buying stock in pharmaceutical companies. Most for hypertension (but on my Dr\’s advice). Good, old-fashioned ironic humor. I like it.– Joe

  14. Karen says:

    Hey there,Love the story – as a nurse, I can kinda relate. I assume there are heaps of commercials in the US like that – I don\’t seem to notice too many over here, although they are becoming more prevalent. I think it depends on the laws… over here I don\’t think they are allowed to advertise the name of prescription drugs – they just tell you to ask your Doctor. Hmm…lucky them! I love your space by the way, and I just read the Daffodil Principle before reading this one. I think I\’m going to be here a lot…! Enjoy your holiday.

  15. Gelert says:

    Good to have you back. I\’ve been to Florence, Rome, Venice, the Vatican, and enjoyed reading about your experience of some of these wonderful places. The crowds do spoil things yes, my tale of trying to view the cistine chapel is a doozy, but never mind… better to have gone and viewed, than never to have viewed at all..

  16. Holy says:

    : ) – my favorite newer one is the Lunesta commercial and voice….

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