So I got an ear infection about a week ago, and when it didn't clear up on its own I went to my old doctor Monday morning (I haven't yet had an intake appointment with the new doctor so it seemed easier to just go to the old doctor even though the old doctor has screwed up enough times that I am looking forward to switching away from him, why no this isn't foreshadowing in the slightest).
So Monday morning I got in as soon as I could ("How long's the wait?" "No wait." "Great!" An hour and a half later, "The doctor will see you now.") and after five minutes of the doctor rambling at me about things that weren't at all relevant for the situation he prescribed me "a really good antibiotic, no penicillin so don't worry about that" as well as some Allegra, and told me to just take one every night before bed.
Monday night I didn't sleep very well but I figured it was just the infection.
Tuesday night I didn't sleep at all.
All day Wednesday I was feeling tired and drank caffeine which had no effect and was feeling tired and depressed and worthless and suicidal, and I was desperate for sleep so I took my antibiotic and laid in bed and still couldn't sleep, and I got up and checked the warnings for the Allegra, thinking it might have pseudoephedrine in it, but it didn't, so I checked the warnings for the antibiotic and it said that if you experience sleeplessness, nausea, dizziness, joint pain, depression, hallucinations, or suicidal thoughts, call your doctor immediately. (That's just the list of the stuff I was actually experiencing. The actual list of counterindications is much longer.)
So I called my doctor immediately and left a message (marked urgent) and read up on levofloxacin (fun facts: it prevents caffeine from being metabolized fully, it can cause sudden and debilitating spontaneous tendon ruptures, and it has a huge number of severe side effects, has been banned in several countries due to safety concerns, and the FDA indicates that it is only to be used as a last resort!), tried going to bed, and then two hours later gave up on sleeping and got online and started ranting about how if I die overnight it's my doctor's fault and just generally illucidly ranted a bunch. My friends convinced me to go to the emergency room, which I did.
I learned the following:
- St. Luke's emergency room still has patients put on their own gown even if they come in presenting with suicidal thoughts (and the thought of tightening the neck straps crossed my mind more than once)
- Levofloxacin is pretty much not the right thing for my doctor to have put me on, because of the side effects
- Levofloxacin also wouldn't have even treated my ear infection anyway, what with it being fungal, which the ER doctor saw right away
- Levofloxacin will also still be in my system for a few days (and as I later read online, apparently it can cause problems for as much to a year as it's been taken, if I'd taken the complete course)
The ER doc prescribed me some heavy sleeping pills to counteract the sleeplessness, and an appropriate antibiotic for my ear.
Meanwhile I'm still having occasional hallucinations but I'm at least tired enough to fall asleep tonight, I think, and generally feeling better anyway. Also just one day of the appropriate antibiotic (a topical drop that I apply 3-4 times a day) has helped my ear quite a lot.
Oh, and the doctor never returned my call. Thanks, Dr. Lim. You fucking suck and I hope you lose your medical license. Asshole.
So which hospital administrator and/or accreditation board should I contact about this? (This, incidentally, isn't the first time he's prescribed me an inappropriate treatment for a partial solution for a potentially-life-threatening problem and failed to actually handle any sort of followup with anything remotely approaching good medical care.)