Smokey the Magnificent

Failing the Turing Test since 1986


Doctors worry me sometimes.

A few days ago I went to one in search of a prescription for heartburn medication, Gaviscon and Mylanta being unable to touch the might of my fetus-enraged stomach juices.

She: “OK, so the one we usually prescribe is omeprazole.”

Me: “Cool. And that’s safe for pregnancy?”

She: “Oh… let me look.” She pecks on the computer for a bit and brings up a chart. “It’s class B3. That means it’s been taken by a limited number of pregnant women without any bad effects. But it has been associated with fetal abnormalities in animals; but they’re not sure how relevant that is.”

Me: “Um. Great. Are there any other options?”

She: “Oh, OK! I’ll check.”

After some hunting about we decided on ranitidine, also known as The One That Doesn’t Cause Fetal Abnormalities in Animals and is Class B1. Is it just me, or would it not make sense for that option to be the go-to for pregnant women? She said they worked about equally well. Isn’t mutant-rat-babies versus no-mutant-rat-babies a fairly clear-cut choice? But then, I am not a doctor.

  1. Trish

    Indeed you are not. It’s good actually, that you aren’t, because it seems to be the non-doctor’s job (we used to be known as patients, but I think we’ve become too exasperated generally for the name now) to keep the doctor on game. Someone has to.

  2. smokering

    Go with ‘client’. It sounds professional and makes one feel like one is wearing a pencil skirt and an impeccable French twist, nodding sagely at PowerPoint slides being presented by grovelling corporates.

    Or ‘drug-seeker’, for accuracy.

  3. Trish

    He, like.

  4. Krissy

    I was wondering how you were coming along, oh she-of-abnormally-low-blood-pressure. I may never forget that factoid about you.

    Doctors are ridiculous on steroids.

  5. smokering

    My blood pressure’s slightly up, in case you were spending the long winter evenings charting my diastolic and wanted new data. It was 100/53 recently. I reported this smugly to my midwife, and she said “Oh… well, that’s OK. Blood pressure usually dips a bit in the second trimester, because your blood vol–” whereupon I said “No, no, it’s gone UP, it was 40 last time!” and she said “Oh… good then?” in a bemused sort of way.

    I was quite offended. She’d seemed so impressed with my 40 at the time that I’d assumed she’d spent the intervening month telling fellow-midwives about it in hushed tones at cocktail parties. But noooo.

  6. Krissy

    I would feel slighted. 😉