Thursday, February 2, 2012

Tell Me About Your IV Drug Use

I know I've been talking a lot about the liver issues I've been having for going on two months now. But there really is SO much to talk about. And even though I'm "getting better" they still don't actually know what's wrong with me and it may even be something that I'll have forever. There were three questions that I was asked by every doctor that I saw: Do you smoke (or have you ever)? How often do you drink alcohol? Have you ever used intravenous drugs?
  • I don't smoke and never have.
  • I rarely almost never drink. So little, in fact, that I consider myself someone who doesn't drink.
  • I've never used drugs. IV or otherwise.
Seriously. I just don't it. Any of it. Never wanted to. I'm not trying be a goody-goody.

The first doctor asked the questions. I said no to all of them. And he asked a follow-up question to all of them and then that was it. The second doctor, same thing. Except he lingered a bit on the drug use. "You're sure not ever?" he asked. I'm sure. The end.

Doctor number three - my current doctor at UNC - would. not. drop it. And he phrased it differently too. This exact conversation happened at my appointment on December 20th:

Doctor: Do you smoke?
Me: No.
Doctor: Have you smoked?
Me: Nope.
Doctor: *suspicious look* What about alcohol?
Me: I don't drink.
Doctor: *big sigh* Even once a year?
Me: Well, yeah. I had a glass and a half of champagne on my anniversary last month.
Doctor: And the date of that?
Me: I had the champagne on November 19th. If you're interested, the last time I drank before that was a glass of wine last Christmas Eve.
Doctor: Tell me about your IV drug use.
Me: *stunned silence* Um...well, I...I don't...I haven't...I don't.
Doctor: You're sure?
Me: *WTF?* Yeah. I'm sure. Not ever.
Doctor: Not ever? Even a long time ago. When you were younger.
Me: *Really?!* I'm sure. I've never done drugs. Of any kind. I don't even take NyQuil if I have to go to work the next day. I've never done drugs.
Doctor: Are you sure?
Me: Yeah.
*Doctor stares at me with skepticism all over his unhappy face*

He asked me if I was sure so many times that I actually started to convince myself that I may have done it! I know that, as a doctor - and a liver doctor at that - he gets lied to frequently about people's...uh...bad habits. But he was starting to make me feel like I needed to go to meetings for an addiction I don't even have.

A few weeks ago I had a follow-up visit with him that was pretty much just going to be a question & answer appointment for me. I asked Husband to go in case he had anything he felt like he needed to ask but also because I wanted him to see and hear how condescending this man could be. So, of course, he was much nicer this time. Convenient! Husband and I ran through our questions with him, went over my blood test results, and asked more questions (he never even examined me). My last questions to the doctor: With the medication I'm on, is there anything I shouldn't be taking? Things I need to stay away from? He says "You shouldn't be drinking alcohol. Or doing any drugs. You shouldn't be smoking. People don't think smoking can affect your liver, but it does. Don't do any of that."

I quit.

Ok, so he's not all bad. Last week I left a message for his secretary on Friday because I hadn't gotten my test results from that week yet (my blood was drawn on Tuesday!) The doctor actually called me back on Sunday afternoon so he could discuss the blood test results with me (which were good, not normal yet, but getting better) and let me know his plan for weaning me off the steroid I'm on. I'm starting to think he might not be a giant a--hole like I had originally thought but maybe just socially retarded. Whatever the case, I've decided to stick it out with him for a bit instead of launching my search for a new liver specialist.
That's my liver on steroids :)


  1. Are you sure you don't use any drugs?



    1. My cousin said when he said "tell me about your IV drug use" that I should have told him that I'd just finished some in the waiting room. Ha! This guy has zero sense of humor so I'm sure he would have dropped me as a patient right then.


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