Two summers ago, when I was still very new to the medication that I am still on to this day, I had a minor accident that led to an interesting story. One involving the only time in my life I have ever noticed that I was being discriminated against.
One night, I was feeling very anxious, so I took a few Klonopin. I took the amount prescribed to me by my doctor. I was not yet familiar with the drug, and certainly not at a point where I was abusing it. I was, however, so new to the drug that it really messed me up when I took it.
So I took a few Klonopin and a few minutes later I had to pee. But, by the time I had gotten to the bathroom the drugs had really hit me and I decided it was best if I sat down while I went. I sat down, did my thing, and woke up several minutes later on the floor, severe pain in my neck and a lump on my forehead with my wife over me with a very concerned look on her face.
I didn’t know what had happened but I was in intense pain, arguably the worst in my life. I must have passed out while on the toilet and just fell forward. I smacked my head on the rim of the bathtub and jarred my neck. When I woke up my shoulder was against the tub and my opposite ear was touching my opposite shoulder. You get the picture, I am sure.
Once I got back upright, I noticed that I was extremely tired. It was late, well after sun down, but also Klonopin makes you very sleepy. My wife and I were concerned with two things: first, that I might have a concussion. My wife said it was the loudest noise she had ever heard, and my head and neck were in terrible pain. Second, that I might have injured my neck, as I was having a hard time holding my head up straight.
We decided that the urgent care just up Mack from our house would be adequate to find out if there was an issue or not, and we could go from there. So we drove up to the facility and checked in and waited to see the doctor.
I was still messed up from my medication when we got there. Taking Klonopin tends to be a lot like drinking alcohol. The nurse and the doctor noticed. I filled out the form about the medication I was on and told them about what I had taken before the accident. The doctor was not impressed.
They basically refused to help me. They checked my eyes or whatever for a concussion, something I assume they ruled out mostly by looking at me. They refused to give me any x-rays or even manually examine my neck. They told me I would be fine. They didn’t even write me a script for Motrin or anything for pain.
The doctor looked at me and said, “I think you should stick to your prescribed dosing and try to get off these drugs”.
I had seen it numerous times at the hospital, where someone would come in claiming back or stomach pain, simply to get something. Usually free dinner, but sometimes it was to get a pain script. They were addicts. Doctors constantly complained about them and would make inappropriate jokes to the nursing staff or other doctors. I never thought much of it until I was being accused of the same thing. I really was seeking help. How many of those people at the hospital were really seeking help as well? It is a scary thought. It is saddening to think about really.
At the time, what really got me was his recommendation that I get off my psycho-tropic drugs. What did he know? I’m sure he hadn’t seen too many bipolars before, because there are not many of us out there. But I am positive he had run across dozens and dozens of people on similar drugs. Klonopin is prescribed all the time.
Clearly, he didn’t lie those drugs. Clearly, he was drawing conclusions about what kind of person I was based on the drugs I took, and the fact that I fell off a toilet. Clearly, he was denying me care based on an opinion that he did not care to flesh out by asking me questions about my past.
Would his opinion have changed if I told him I had just spent a month in a hospital receiving and learning to take these pills for the first time? Or if I told him that I had attempted suicide just a couple months prior to sitting in his exam room? Or if I told him that I was bipolar and needed to be on meds like this, not just a twenty-something getting anxious about writing a term paper?
I think the better question is this: should he really need any of that information to simply treat his patients and keep his personal ignorant beliefs out of it?
We left the urgent care a little while later and I returned home. It took a couple weeks for the pain in my neck to go away completely, and I had a decent headache for a couple days. Nothing bad really happened, which I am thankful for.
People like that doctor are the reason I do this blog. This type of thinking needs to go away, and soon.