Don’t Listen To Your Doctor

I’m sitting at Miami’s int’l airport where it’s warmer than any temperature my skin has been in contact with since October, sitting in front of a couple who have enough mucus stuffed in their sinuses between the two of them to fill a bathtub. (This is the same woman, who just 5 minutes ago coughed so hard the deli meats from within her sandwhich were hurled from between the bread, onto the floor, when she picked it up and ate it).

While I have a few moments before my flight to Peru, I thought I’d just share a little funny and troublesome anecdote from the last 24 hours.

As some of you may know, I am scheduled to be in Cuzco, Peru this coming week. Cuzco, is 3,000 meters above sea level. For those who have been to Nairobi, and can feel the difference in Oxygen, Cuzco is about twice as high. Altitude sickness is rampant with those who visit from near-sea level locales. So naturally, altitude sickness medication is not really a recommendation, it’s a requirement.

I called my doctor the other day to perscribe me some Diamox, which was sure to help with any symptoms i might accrue, however he was on vacation, but luckily, the covering doctor, Doctor Shah, of Plainview, NY was taking my doctor’s patients. 

I remember Doctor Shah, and I should have learned from history. Dr. Shah perscribed me a strong dosage of Amoxocylin a few years back to treat bronchitis, something that hasn’t been done since the 1980s, and when i told him i’d rather get Azithromyacin, he told me to basically shove it. I ended up getting much worse and ended up having severe diarrhea for 10 days, until my real doctor perscribed the Z-pak.

So I explained to Dr. Shah my situation, that i was going into the mountains, going to do strenuous activity, and if he could perscribe me something to get me thru the week. Altitude sickness medication, Diamox was recommended to me.

The answer was “No! We do not give Diamox for altitude sickness. That is only for diabetes patients.” Oh… I mean, who am I to question the almighty M.D. 

I was like “are you sure? I’ve been recommended this by a few people.” He said “No, diamox is available over the counter and is only for people who suffer from diabetes, you need Scopolamine. It’s a patch. it will work for ou.”

“Well, whatever works doctor, I don’t wanna die upon the mountaintop YANOWHAAMSAYIN?”

So 8pm last night I arrive at the pharmacy where he called in the perscription (since i’m in Boston and he’s in NY), and the pharmacist asks me if I was going out to sea, or if i got seasick. And I said “no” and he said “well why are you taking Scopolamine?” and i said “for altitude sickness” and the pharmacist started laughing. The pharm said “NO! You need DIAMOX!” “My doctor said it was over the counter and its only for diabetes” and he said “Your doctor is completely wrong. It is perscription only and it is used for Altitude sickness, and sometimes in the treatment of Glaucoma”

I decided to call the doctor and interrupt his family dinner and explain the situation, to which he said “No. I will not perscribe you Diamox.” Are you **&*&* serious? “I need to evaluate you” Doctor, you perscribed me the wrong meds “They are not the wrong meds, go check yourself into the ER”

I wanted to punch this man in the throat, with brass knuckles.

After 20 minutes of arguing with this guy, I decided to give up and go for other options…. Basically… I’m banking on the 24 hour farmacia in Lima :)

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25 Things


1) I don’t mind most insects, worms, or creatures, but i hate spiders and cockroaches

2) I was once harassed and stalked for over a month by a cult at NYU

3) I went running with the Kenyan Runners in Nairobi, Kenya (and couldn’t walk the next day)

4) Up until the age of 16, I always thought ‘Merci’ meant ‘thank you’ in Arabic, not French

5) I’ve never been to Asia

6) I rode a bike yesterday for the first time in 20 years… you never forget (but your leg muscles do)

7) I was once called an ‘asshole’ by Meg Ryan

8) I was told as a child I’d never be a runner cuz of my legs and feet, and I’ve since proved my doctor wrong

9) In 1998, during an unseasonably warm February afternoon, my friend Ihsan and I entertained a crowd of people in NYC from our dorm room, using a 250 Watt Amp and a Microphone…. until the cops showed up

10) I got written up on a bi-weekly basis during my sophomore year (mainly noise complaints and pranks), and a year later became an RA

11) Becoming an RA during college turned my life 180 degrees

12) I broke my dad’s nose when I was in 6th grade accidentally during a very competitive game of racquetball. 

13) I was diagnosed with 2 (possibly 3) tropical illnesses during my last trip to Kenya

14) I can recite the entire McDonalds menu song from the 1980s

15) When I was 5, during an afternoon of boredom, I storyboarded the entire Wizard of Oz film from memory. Every shot and camera angle. 

16) Every year for Christmas, since 1990, I receive at least one Simpsons branded item from someone in my family.

17) I had a beautiful voice as a kid, and then puberty hit and it all went downhill from there.

18) In college I turned in a paper and got a D. I handed in the same paper a few years later and got an A.

19) I applied to be in a masters program at NYU for music composition, and based on my lack of undergrad music education, got rejected. I scheduled an appointment with one of the directing professors the following week, played for him the Simpsons theme song, and got accepted. 

20) If I could eat any food for the rest of my life, it would be cheese

21) I have a hard time pronouncing the word “cookie”

22) I had my first paid gig as a 15 year old for a Senior Citizens christmas party at a local VFW. I got paid 50 bucks, and my dad tried to convince me to give it back. 

23) I have a photographic memory, and remember events and dreams from before I was a year old.

24) I measure world history in two eras: Before AD and After AD (Arrested Development)

25) I really dig Friendly’s quesadillas

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