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Straight No Chaser: Your Doctor’s Romance With Big Pharma Could Cost You Your Life

Op/Ed By Gloria Winston –


gloria newNormally, discussing my personal business is not something I am comfortable doing.

But, since my loving granddaughter Tiffany Taggart, and my very good friend Michael Avent Sr. put me on Facebook blast after my recent stay at Rochester General Hospital, I’ve felt the need to explain what happened, and hopefully it will save someone’s life.

My granddaughter sat with me, in the Observation Unit at the Emergency Room, with the sweetest smile on her face while she was messaging on Facebook, calling for prayer.

I had been refusing to contact anyone who is close to me, and I soon regretted making that decision after receiving responses from those who truly love me.

My son in Alabama called me, highly concerned and upset, and my little brother, who is battling his own health issues in Virginia, also called me because of Facebook.

I love you Tiffany and Michael, but the heat I had to take from those who would have liked to have been advised of my condition was more than interesting.

And, as I noted in the THANK YOU I posted after getting home, I love and appreciate ALL who were concerned.

Thank you again Michael Bruce, for making sure my release was timely and swift.

I had no desire, after three days, to wait until others had gotten off work to come pick me up.

And, thank you for the Taco Bell stop which helped me to eliminate the taste of those dried turkey sandwiches I had been forced to digest for three days.

Anyway, I digress.

The symptoms that caused me to take the ambulance ride to the hospital were light-headedness, shortness of breath, and a feeling of faintness.

They were all symptoms that had me, and others, believing I was in the throws of a heart attack.

And, because I am a diabetic, I am usually more than concerned whenever my blood sugar has dropped too low, or may be too high, in some cases.

I had just gotten up when this occurred, and I had eaten nothing, so I did not think anything I had eaten would have been a factor.

During my time in the hospital, I was given every test imaginable to rule out the heart attack, to rule out potential blood clots, and to make sure that a heart attack was not on the horizon.

And, each test result continued to trigger the need for another.

As a result, I had also become a human pin cushion, and so much radiation had been delivered via injections into my veins, I had begun to feel like a microwave oven.

Fortunately, I only had to cuss out one doctor and one department head in the nuclear stress division who both seemed to become indignant when I asked questions, due to the fact that I am prone to getting more than one opinion when it comes to my health.

I believe some doctors do confuse themselves with being God, you know.

Anyway, the real angel God assigned to me during my stay was a nurse by the name of Aimee Agustin.

Her observation skills, and her assessment of the meds I had been taking just may have saved my life.

The fact that my granddaughter, Tiffany, used to work in the same unit with Aimee may also have contributed to the extra attention she seemed to give me.

She even made sure I had a recliner in my room, so that I did not have to sit on the side of my bed all day.

My granddaughter also brought my lap top, since I wasn’t sure how long I would be there.

She is truly an angel.

During my second day in the hospital, Aimee told me she was withholding my blood pressure meds because my blood pressure was fine, and normal.

I was concerned, of course, since I have been taking blood pressure medication for over 15 years.

However, Aimee took the time to explain to me that, since my blood pressure was normal, if she had given me the medication, it may have made my pressure drop too low.

This made sense to me.

Since I had arrived at the hospital, my blood pressure had been monitored almost every two hours.

I don’t think I’ve ever had so many EKG’s either.

And, Aimee, in her wisdom, got me thinking, especially since she had been with holding the FOUR meds I had been taking for blood pressure.

You heard me right, FOUR!!!

Then, prior to my release, God sent me another angel, named Dr. Jake, whose bedside manner and patience made me wish he was in private practice.

Dr. Jake took the time to asses my blood pressure results, and we both concluded that I had been taking TOO MUCH blood pressure medication.

As a result, he CANCELLED two of the drugs, and cut the dose of one from 50 mg to 25.

Are you all with me??

My so-called doctor is HISTORY, and should consider himself FIRED.

How is it that a young intern, and a concerned nurse can determine I am taking too many drugs related to high blood pressure, and my doctor could not?

I wrote a column a few years back, called “Gangstas in White Lab Coats,” because this is a day and age when bonuses from pharmaceutical companies seem to be motivating some doctors to write more and more prescriptions, without caring about the drugs’ impact.

If my insurance would pay for it, I would rather have an ND, a natural doctor, instead of an MD, anyway.

I am saying all of this to warn everyone who is reading this to QUESTION their doctors, and take the time to understand what they are taking, if nothing else.

For some time, I’d felt that my doctor was too fond of writing prescriptions, and not fond enough of tracking my progress.

I had been diagnosed with high blood pressure ten years before being diagnosed with diabetes.

Due to my diagnosis, I changed my lifestyle and eating habits, which should have worked to better my health.

However, my doctor had not noticed, and he certainly didn’t seem to love anything but his prescription pad.

Thank you Dr. Jake, and thank you Aimee, for being the angels God sent to be my guardians.

In conclusion, whatever you do, be sure to QUESTION your doctor, and get second and third opinions – because your doctor may also have a romance with Big Pharma, and may be accepting their courtship and bonuses at YOUR expense.

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