Thursday, December 20, 2007

Which First, Crow or Egg?

The cardiologist's voice was solicitous: "I know you're worried about Dad, honey..."
Me, he honeyed. My mother, he darlinged. My brother, the airline captain, who has been gathering Papa-san's medical records assiduously, was spared the endearments.
The cardiologist did tell me that now he had figured out why the Crestor he prescribed had attacked my father's muscles and put him in the hospital: "Dad's" heart failure was advancing so quickly that "Dad" was unable to metabolize the Crestor, which built up in his system!
The cardiologist was immensely relieved to have discovered that he was off the hook for this one. He reminded me again that he considered my father a friend, his favorite patient, and he wanted the best for him.
I, wits dulled by stress, did not say, well, when he first,started complaining of weakness to you, why did you not even consider it might be Crestor? You checked his pacemaker, you sent him for a CAT scan, and you didn't do a blood test for this known side effect? And don't you think his current level of heart failure might have something to do with being on his back for a month with rhabdomyolysis and hospital-acquired infection?
So. The drug didn't cause the sickness, the sickness caused the reaction to the drug.
That's the cardiologist's story.

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