Today, in the clinic a couple ruffled my feathers, metaphorically speaking. They were a discordant couple (meaning one is HIV positive while the other is not). The one who is positive was diagnosed with HIV about 10 years ago and subsequently was started on HAART (Highly Active Anti-retroviral Therapy) a few years later. Those days, HAART was not free and so, after about a year, she decided to stop.
Recently she came back to the clinic and asked to be started back on HAART. Some one saw her last week and started her on a normally used regimen. Unfortunately after taking the medications for 2 days, she decided to stop as she could not bear the side effects of the medications.
I was asked by the MO to see the patient and because she has had experience with HAART before, I had to ask her why did she stop her medications the last time. In the course of the conversation, her hubby who was beside her, decided to speak as well. Here are parts of the conversation:
Me: Do you remember which medications you were prescribed?
Wife (HIV+): No, I don’t remember.
Hubby (HIV-): I also don’t know, it was so long ago.
Me: Why did you stop your medications?
Hubby: Because the doctor told her to stop.
Me: Really? It’s hard to believe because no doctor will ask a HIV patient to stop his/her medication
Hubby: Yes, I am sure of it. It was in this clinic!
Me: Really? Here? What is the name of the doctor who asked you to stop?
Hubby: I can’t quite remember the name but I think it was Dr. XXX!!
All this while the wife was quiet. What really dissed me off was the fact that ‘Dr. XXX’ happens to be MY NAME! And this person who freely said my name didn’t even recognize who I am!
Me: Are you sure it is Dr. XXX?
Hubby: Yes, he told her to stop taking medicine.
Me: Don’t talk nonsense here. I AM Dr. XXX and I have been treating patients for the last 10 years and not once have I ever asked anyone to stop medications!
Hubby: Oh…..errrr…..well, it was so long ago! I can’t really remember..
Me: If you can’t remember, then do not simply say all kinds of untruthful things. I know every single patient I have treated either by name or face and I do not remember your wife.
Later we discovered that the wife has decided to stop medications on her own accord and they made up the story just to cover up. They couldn’t care less whose name they maligned in the process!
Keeping my anger in check, I made some adjustments to her HAART regimen and after a bit of firm counseling, they left, by which time they were quite apologetic.
I just hope her new regimen works, otherwise, the going’s gonna get really tough.
There are many things a physician wants to know or expect from their patients. For me, one of them is complete truthfulness.
Fri, 300410 @ 1330