Ask Your Doctor

I think I may have posted this piece before, but after today, I feel it needs to appear again. One of the things I never fail to be amazed at in my profession is the adult executive who comes into the office on a half dozen medications, knowing the names of none, nor often the reason for which it was prescribed. "You know, doc, small white pills. My wife gives them to me twice a day, and I just take them." What follows is a another take on the same theme.
 

Ask Your Doctor.

BY ARAN KADAR

– – – –

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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20 Responses to Ask Your Doctor

  1. linda says:

    well let me be the first to say
    great write up on the phobia of television impact
    directly impacting the human race!
    I laughed til my side aches…. is there a doctor in the house?
    Love you forever Jorge you are my special professor of life!
    p.s. ( I  have the flu got bit by a cat who had rabi shot, my hand is very swollen and hot, I am on anitbiotics now hehehehe
                 worst thing is my best girlfriend died….. and I have not realized it yet. And the phone is silent so silent.)
    p.p.s. ( I love life, even a death can not change that.  That is what I have learned. it is all too beautiful.)
     
    Keep up the constant good reads,  my best to you, Linda

  2. FIRE says:

    I was browsing through blogs and I stumbled across yours. That sounds like a conversation my aunt has with her patients sometimes. Sooo funny. All we need to hear is if it was the gekko from the geico commercial syndrome and that whole monologue above of paranoia would be complete. 🙂  Take it easy and thanks for sharing.
    FBS

  3. Angela says:

    I laughed so hard I coughed. 
    And then coughed, and coughed some more.  That\’s the funniest darned thing I\’ve read all week!
    Fitting for me considering that my medicine cabinet looks like a mini wet-bar with all of the potions, aides and concoctions I\’ve managed to store up in there. (none is working either)
     
    That\’s just…. too damned funny. 
     
     

  4. Q says:

    I always think it\’s funny when they put in a disclaimer about having an erection for more than four hours after taking one of those tv pills.  They never really qualify what having an erection means.  lol
     
    I do, however, imagine a guy standing there, on the phone saying this:
     
    "I\’m not sure what the commercial was exactly but it said something about if.. um.. something.. hmm.. can\’t remember what… lasts more than four hours… I should call my doctor.  It\’s been about four hours since I\’ve seen that commercial… so, I thought I\’d give you a call."
     
    Oh, the things people do!
    This was funny.
    🙂
    Natalie

  5. Suzalita says:

    Very apropo commentary – I get so tired of the drug companies campaigning for consumer buisness…don\’t know why it bugs me more than, say, a beer commercial.  I guess I have some issue with drug comapnies getting gigantic profits off of people in need – it\’s different than buying a new DVD player – it also seems like the drug companies create disorders for people to buy medication for…but what do I know – I am blessed to be healthy today, and so is my family. Havea great week!

  6. PJ says:

    good Evening Jorge,
     
    This is hilarious…however..the scary part is..it is also so true. Too many watch too much television. Oh my! Give me my music obver television anyday!
     
    Until next time..Keep Smiling.
     
    ~*~Paula~*~

  7. Cheryl says:

    What a great blog Jorge….I hate thatthey advertise prescription medication on TV.  Great read….

  8. Holy says:

    So true isn\’t it?  LOL
     
    Although in the defense of these commercials – I do advocate that consumers become more proactive in their health instead of taking whatever little white pill their doctor who just came back from the all-expense paid wined&dined trip paid for by XYZ Pharmaceutical Co. Inc. – no offense the good name of docs like you but sometimes, sadly, that\’s how pharaceutical peddling and promotion goes down for certain docs who aren\’t as ethical and patient-oriented as they maybe should be.
     
    Cheers!
     

  9. Gayle says:

    My child and I were just laughing about restless leg syndrome.  There\’s a pill for almost everything and a cure for so few of the things that make us ill.Thanks for the smile!Gayle

  10. the1stephzen says:

    Just a tangent of my own….I think overmedication is a huge problem in our world today.  At least, in the US.  Everyone has more than one doctor…or rather I should say most people.  One doctor is not always fully aware of what the other has added.  I think one problem is when a specialist adds a med, the patient forgets to mention it to the "regular" doctor. 
    I always enjoy popping in here and usually learn something.

  11. Aafrica says:

    hahahahahaha!! this is just what i need to start a monday. thanks.i know a guy who is getting his law degree this year and is a second year med student. his career goal: to sue the pharmaceuticals. he doens\’t know which one to sue yet, but that wouldn\’t be too hard to decide.

  12. Lakota Clay says:

    Absolutely great, Jorge.  Let\’s see.  Going to see the doc tomorrow.  What shall I ask for… L.

  13. Brenda says:

    Thanks for your visit/comment on my "Office Parties" blog.  I concur!  And yes, I\’ll be letting my hair down once again, even if it means I\’m remembered by what I wore this year. 🙂
     

  14. Beach Bum says:

    Love your profile photo.  Is that a Vermont Teddy Bear?  Too cute.  I really like today\’s post….
     
    Tess

  15. Bittersweet on-the-hill. says:

    Hello Jorge……
    That was a delightful read, and oh….so true.  I think the pharmaceutical companies love creating new diseases – newest being restless leg syndrome.  As if we don\’t have enough to choose from right now.  I love the addition of the little bear.  I (for a while,) collected teddy bears and have a cluster of bears in varing sizes from the 40\’s 50\’s. Interesting little critters. The rest are homemade from the 80\’s and 90\’s. 
    So what is keeping you busy since your return from Germany?  My brother came back from Germany, Austria and Prague several weeks ago and it was interesting reading your blogs and listening to his comments.  You managed to see some of the same sites. But I must admit, I think your pictures came out better.  He had to contend with a lot of fog and clouds so his pictures don\’t have the vibrant color that you\’re pictures do.
    Thank you for saying hello.  I\’m glad you enjoyed my poem. I\’m working on a chapbook that I hope to self-publish within the year.
    Be well and good holiday to to and your family.    Bittersweet on-the-hill.

  16. Betty says:

    Hi Jorge,
     
    Great post and so funny and unfortunately mostly true.  My all time favorite though is the caution about four hour erections!
     
    Having just been through ten months of medical treatment where any physician would give us anything we asked and given the fact that my husbad was overmedicated most of the time, it is pretty scary!
     
    Thank you for your lighthearted approach to the problem.  Humor teaches better than fear!
     
    Betty

  17. Marie says:

    This is a great entry.  Yes, I noticed so many pharmaceutical products being advertised on American TV, even prescription medicine!! On the other hand, I have never seen any prescription medicine ads on Japanese TV.
    Hugs, Marie

  18. PJ says:

    Eveing Jorge,
     
    Just wanted to drop by and say thank you for stopping by. I was so pleased to see that you had.
     
    Have a most wonderful evening/morning.
     
    Until next time..Keep Smiling.
     
    ~*~Paula~*~

  19. lima says:

    Hi Jorge,we don\’t speak for a long time.I stay out of the countrie,in Germany.And when i arrive i pass same time with my sons in the south of Portugal \’\’Algarve\’\’ were they live.I stop withe all the tecnol/ even the cel phone.
    You have great posts and new photos.I give some commentes there.
    Have a very good week, and thank you for your visit
    All the best for you
     
    Luis Lima

  20. Edith says:

    LOL!  This is priceless!  I love it… and there are SO many other areas in life that the whole "commercial to determine what I need, when I need it and why? because the commercial said I did" situation.  When we were little I remember my step dad (not good for any really great memories, but he did teach us this helpful little tidbit) telling us kids to watch commercials and read the small print and ask the obvious questions… to listen to HOW they put the words together to sound good when in fact they were just smokescreening.

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