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Allergic To Using Her Brain

, , , , | Healthy | August 24, 2021

I work for an orthopaedic surgeon and the number of patients who don’t know their medications or allergies is staggering! This patient just called in and we’re concerned about an infection after her surgery.

Me: “The doctor wants to get you on a general antibiotic to be safe. Can you tell me if you have any allergies?”

Patient: “I think I have a few, but I’m not sure. I will give you a call back.”

This isn’t a problem, and the patient calls back to give me a list of five or so allergies. The medication that the doctor wanted to give her is a derivative of one of her allergies, so we need to know what happens.

Me: “Can you tell me what happens when you take that antibiotic, please?” 

Patient: “I can’t recall anything happening. I don’t think I’m even allergic. Let me ask my husband.”

I wait. The patient’s husband says he doesn’t know, so the patient is going to call a friend and get back to me. This is now the third time we’ve gone over this.

Patient: “I think you can go ahead and send that prescription. I don’t think I’m even allergic to it.”

Me: “So, just to be perfectly clear, you really don’t remember what happened the last time you took this medication?”

Patient: “Well, you know, I think the issue was that my throat started to close up.”

Cue me hitting my head on my desk.

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