I had my Annual Physical Exam a week ago. I didn't want to have this test. But unfortunately, it was required by my employer. Worse, Pasig is requiring all employees to have mandatory drug tests.
This is the first time I got nervous of an APE. Why? Because my HIV drug, efavirenz, can yield a false positive drug test result.
Oh well, I did what a guy in a support group suggested. I drank a bottle of Coke, and 1.5L of water before the test, and tried to pee as much as I could. Right before I went to the clinic, I peed one more time. Damn, my urine was still too yellowish when put it in the vial. Could be due to my TB prophylaxis, Isonazin + Rifampicin. Anyway, I had no way out.
I signed the drug test consent form. It asked if I took medicines for the past 30 days, and if yes, I needed to list them all. So, I lied in the form. What would the doctor and my HMO say if they found out I've been taking Lamivudine, Tenofovir, Efavirenz, Fluconazole, Isonazin+Rifampicin, Cotrimoxazole, Azithromycin? It's a giveaway!
The form is also asking for my consent for the clinic to send the urine specimen to DOH's confirmatory lab in case the initial urine screening yields a positive drug result. So, this gave me relief. Coz, I know that the confirmatory test will definitely yield a negative result.
But, in any case, I already thought of an excuse, in case they ask why the first screening resulted positive. I'm gonna say it's because of the Chinese herbal supplements that I have been taking. It's supplement (not medicine), so i ticked NO meds for the past 30 days in the form. If they asked what supplement? Well, I forgot, since it's in Chinese characters! And, it is actually none of their business. They can send my urine specimen to the confirmatory lab all they want, and I'm sure it'll turn out negative! That's the only thing they need to find out.
I also got nervous of the physical exam by the doctor. Why? He will definitely ask if I have been hospitalized for the past year. I was planning to lie, but decided not to. I'm sure the doctors of the HMO will not immediately correlate my pnemonia hospitalizion to HIV. My pulmonologist misdiagnosed my pneumonia with asthma... how much more a neophyte doctor of an HMO with a few years of practice? And even if I said I was not hospitalized, I'm sure their systems are not interconnected, such that it will check my HMO claims to verify my response. We are not in a first world country with advanced IT systems! Luckily, as it turns out, there was no physical exam this year. I don't know if they only forgot to check me, but I'm glad there wasn't. I don't expect much from an HMO doctor doing the APE. I'm sure my HIV doctor (who happens to be a UP professor and PGH consultant) is far better, whom I consult regularly anyway.
So there... I finally finished my APE. Today, I got my results. Normal chest findings. Good, I don't have pneumonia. Normal BMI. 20/20 vision. But I have high cholesterol. I kinda expected this, as this is one of the side effects of my ARV. I will have to check with my ID what to do with my cholesterol. I guess I now have to start eating the yucky oatmeal daily.