I'm a huge in believer in people taking charge of their own health care. I think people should memorize what prescriptions they have taken and should know everything about what they are currently taking. I think people should have their own copies of their own medical records. Sure, doctors are smart and educated, but they aren't magic. I think we need to help doctors to help us.
I think I should take my own advice.
Four years ago I went to a doctor to get some issues worked out. She gave me a cream.
Now, four years later, I am in a situation where I think that cream would help. I know my body well enough to know that it helped last time, that this is a very similar situation, so I wanted to use that same cream again. And yet, I didn't remember the name.
I googled it, but I couldn't find the name or the brand, only the type of cream. Still, I got some good, very general information: I need a prescription.
I hoped my last doctor could just re-write the prescription, even though I am in a different state now, and it has been four years. This doctor had moved offices in the last four years, so she didn't have my medical records and, sadly, Neither did I, but I held out hope that she would remember me.
I called up that doctor's office and spoke to the receptionist, who has his own God complex. After three phone calls over a one week period, I finally realized there was no way he was going to let speak with this doctor unless I agreed that it was a phone consultation and paid $120.
I asked my child's pediatrician if he would write a prescription for me, he said no, but gave me a phone number for another doctor who might. She wouldn't give me a prescription either, unless I did lab tests.
I finally asked my insurance for a local doctor who could help. They found me one and I made an appointment with a local doctor for a check-up. After a mountain of new-patient paperwork, and a check-up, I asked for a prescription for the cream. Although she was very willing to write one for me, she didn't know what I was talking about. I tried to describe it to her, but even after a phone call to the pharmacy we still didn't know the name of what I wanted. If I didn't know what I wanted, how was she supposed to know?
Defeated, I went home. I tried calling my old doctor again, but the office isn't open on Friday. On a whim, I decided to use Google Images to see if I could recognize a picture.
It worked! I did recognize it!
It's over-the counter. It costs $15 on Amazon.
And I am an idiot. Well, lesson learned. I hope.