It’s hard not to be irritated with doctors in general right now.

Let me back up for a second. Ever since the rat problem in the back yard and the flea infestation in the house and all the cat sicknesses, and all the rest of it, Karsten has been having a lot of trouble sleeping. He hardly sleeps, and then when he does sleep, he’s been waking up with major anxiety attacks. You can imagine how, after a while, that would start to make you not want to sleep at all.

I’ve been trying to convince him to go to the doctor and get a prescription for Ambien or something similar. He’s willing to take something over the counter, but I foresee the possibility that this will turn into a fairly long-term arrangement and I feel like a doctor should be monitoring it.

But the problem is, doctors have had a history of misjudging and mistrusting Karsten, especially when he goes in asking for a prescription. They think he’s a drug addict, and this seems to be based partly on his somewhat non-conformist appearance and partly on the fact that he works in the arts. Once, when he was being examined for sinus problems, a doctor said “You’re a musician, so you’ve used a lot of cocaine, right?” while nodding his head at Karsten as if to encourage him to agree. When Karsten replied (somewhat indignantly, no doubt) that he’d never used cocaine at all, the doctor regarded him with a suspicious look and refused to give him any medication at all.

Another time, when our apartment neighbors back in San Jose were making our lives miserable (one actually spit in Karsten’s face) and we were both jittery wrecks, Karsten went to the doctor — a different doctor, of course — and asked for something to help calm his nerves, like Valium or something, because he couldn’t write at all. This doctor also asked about Karsten’s recreational drug use (none) and refused to give him anything stronger than what amounted to a placebo.

After all this, I think it’s pretty understandable that he’s reluctant to go in asking for a prescription for sleeping pills.

But I suggested that he explain his state of mind, explain what’s been going on, and ask the doctor for a recommendation. If the doctor refuses to prescribe something, I said maybe he should offer to take a blood test to prove he doesn’t use drugs. He actually seemed comforted by having that card to play and it sounds like he’s going to go.

Has anyone else ever received this kind of suspicious treatment from doctors? If so, what do you do to ensure the outcome you’re hoping for?

Non-comformist appearance + musician + artist = hopeless drug addict?
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3 thoughts on “Non-comformist appearance + musician + artist = hopeless drug addict?

  • September 12, 2007 at 9:45 am
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    I have had the opposite happen. I walk into a Dr office and say “Look, I am a recovering drug addict so I don’t want anything addictive” and they are like oh, well, here is a prescription for Ritalin, Hydrocodone, and Valium (all different times from different doctors). Which I refuse.

    The end result is often the same though. I don’t get the treatment I need because the Dr doesn’t know when to prescribe which drug.

    Reply
  • September 12, 2007 at 11:11 am
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    [sigh]
    I took a friend to lunch at Fido once…she was convinced that all the artsy types in there were drug addicts….

    I recommend seeing a psychiatrist instead of a general doctor. A psychiatrist can help with the anxiety and the sleep issues.

    If you need a recommendation, drop me an e-mail and I’ll tell you about my experience.

    Reply
  • May 12, 2008 at 11:50 am
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    Stasticially the profession with highest rate of drug addiction is…medicine.

    The next time a doctor gives him any shit, ask the doctor if he or she thinks you should believe he or she is not a drug addict.

    Reply

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