Monday, May 4, 2009

You thought I said WHAT????

Have you ever had one of those moments when you worry...just a little bit...about a profession which is integral to our society and (more specifically) is responsible for life-and-death decisions? Truthfully, I would argue that most professions fall into that category at least at some point in time - and if you're a parent, then guess what Buster? You are TOTALLY on the hook for life-and-death decisions every single day of your sleep-deprived life.

Anyway...I digress. I'm sure you're wondering what inspired this rant. Well, that would be a call I made to my OB/Gyn's nurse this morning.

You see, a good friend of mine pointed out to me this weekend that a certain medicine I've been taking more-or-less religiously for the last 6-12 months is known to cause weight gain. Hmmmm. I am very grateful to her for pointing this out but I'm wondering why I didn't know this earlier...

You might remember that I posted briefly about my unexplained weight gain before my glorious trip to Walt Disney World. In the spirit of full disclosure, I must admit the posting did not capture the full extent of my angst on this issue. Let me be clear: I have gained AT LEAST 20 pounds in the last year. That would be a 2 followed by a 0....TWENTY....pounds, people. I'm a vegetarian, I don't eat sugar, and I'm pretty good about exercising regularly. So this increase is relatively disconcerting, to say the very least.

I will be the first to admit that a year ago I was PERHAPS just a WEE BIT under-weight. (Which is why I can still wear MOST of my clothes although they are no longer as comfortable.) I will also admit that my exercising has not been AS REGULAR this year. But honestly - there's no reason for this amount of weight gain. Which is why I mentioned it to my OB/Gyn when I saw her before my WDW trip. She sort of blew it off and told me I was getting old. Ok, then. Fair enough. Since I'm not really one to argue with doctors I packed up my false teeth, grabbed my Ensure, and got on a plane to Florida.

Come to find out (over lunch with a good friend, NOT at my annual exam when I specifically mentioned the weight gain to my doctor as a concern AND asked for a re-fill of that prescription....) that lots of people report weight gain with this med. I decide to conduct a Jenn-hunt on the internet to see if this is true. Lo and behold...I find out that it's practically a GIVEN that you'll gain weight with this type of medicine.

Hmmm.... what to do?

More internet research...that's what! Luckily, within a few minutes, I've located a possible substitute medicine which does NOT have the unfortunate side effect of a 20 POUND weight gain. (Sorry to keep pounding those numbers home, but 20's completely annoying.)

So I call the nurse this morning. (Yes, yes....I am FINALLY getting to the point of this post - just hang in there, ok?) I explain that I've gained 20 pounds and I think (after my internet research, including research on the ACTUAL WEBSITE for the drugs) that it would be a good idea for me to try Wellbutrin and, if it's not too much trouble, would my doctor pretty-please consider changing my prescription?

I hear back from the nurse this afternoon. She says the doctor is fine with switching my prescription but she doesn't think Zoloft could POSSIBLY have had that effect on me and she thinks I should go see my primary care doctor. This is a little surprising to me, considering weight gain is plastered all over respectable websites as an expected side-effect. But, again - whatever. I figure she's giving me the new drugs so ...ok.

Here's where it gets interesting. The nurse goes on to jokingly tell me that she's going to start taking Zoloft herself because she WANTS that side effect. She says: "As a matter of fact, I might just start having to take 2 or 3 every day!" I say nothing. I'm rather baffled because I can't figure out why anyone would WANT to gain 20, or 40 or 60 pounds. Was this woman just rubbing it in that she was so thin she needed to gain weight?

Then she clarified by saying: "Yes, I'd love to lose at least 20 pounds!"


"No, no, no" I say. "I GAINED 20 pounds. I've gained it even though I'm a vegetarian, I don't eat sugar, and I exercise at least every other day. I gained 20 pounds." (See, even when the conversation is verbal - not written - I can't keep myself from focusing on the number - 20.)

"Oh!" she says. "Well I guess that is different, then!" (Hmmmm...ya' think????) "I'll tell the doctor but she'll still be fine with the prescription change. You probably don't need to go see your primary care physician, though."

I'm pretty sure this is annoying me because I seem to remember that something like this happened during my pregnancy. The nurse TOTALLY wrote the opposite of what I'd called about. I don't remember the details of it now (good Lord, that was 7 years ago and I was in a majorly stressful job situation with an absent boss and 800 things in the air....) but I remember the feelings I had when it happened. And you know what? I'd mentioned this weight gain thing to my doctor. So shouldn't that have registered?

Oh, well. At least she wasn't texting while she was driving my kids in a school bus. Nor did she incompetently defend someone who was later executed because of incompetent lawyer-ing. (A particular pet peeve of mine, since it reflects poorly on my profession...not to mention our entire judicial system.) And, I know that I got my medicine. So what am I worried about, right?

I just wish that the nurse had written GAINED instead of LOST on her notes. (I know I said "gained.") And I also wish my doctor would have put 2+2 together. I'm also annoyed because I know that even if I'm correct about this prescription change - the weight isn't just going to fall off. I'm going to have to work at it. And that sucks. But don't tell my son I said it sucks because he got in trouble with his dad the other day for saying something "sucked."

But really - it totally does.

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