That sounds like I’m out sick – but I’m not.
The article “When You Swallow A Grenade” looks at the microbe impact of taking antibiotics. It talks primarily about about it in a broad, layman’s way – just as they should. Carl Zimmer does a great storytellers job of talking about what happens to a persons entire body chemistry when they are on antibiotics. (Ladies, you know what we’re talking about here, right???)
It leads me to a minor confession – I am selectively dishonest about taking antibiotics that have been prescribed for me.
IF I am prescribed antibiotics and in the conversation with the MD/PA/NP it appears to be an actual *infection* of some sort, I will take them – as prescribed – every last one of them. I generally add a probiotic / yogurt / kefir but not in immediately adjacent to the antibiotic.
IF the doctor mumbles something about a virus, or worse, appears to walk in the door with a prescription in mind — theeeeeeeen, I’m much less likely to get the prescription filled. I am perfectly comfortable with feeling like crud while my body works it out on it’s own.
The other confession – I practice poor communication because I do not turn down the prescription.
I do not engage my MD/PA/NP by saying that I’m not planning on taking it, in doing so I don’t give them the chance to tell me that it is important, or that it is fine, or any of that other stuff that they might want to say. I never open that door.
It isn’t completely my job, obviously, I wish MD/PA/NP felt more comfortable telling patients to rest and take care of themselves in a way that doesn’t involve antibiotics – but they aren’t. I believe in patient engagement and a patient being a partner in their care … I suppose that next time it means I’ll need to own my choices and let them know when I’m not going to fill a prescription. I want to open that door.