Monday, September 24, 2007

Drama Can Also Occur in a Pharmacy. Believe Me, I Know. I Stood In Line In One All Day

my trusty service animal needed to restock

I finally know how my immigrant forefathers from Romania must have felt as they were herded through those awful winding barriers to have their eyes checked for glaucoma. I waited in line for so long today at Kaiser that I had to take a break just to go and flirt with the guys at the coffee stand near the windows at the end of the hall. Usually I actually buy something. I am a familiar face to them, however, because I am disabled now and always at Kaiser with my best friends Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte. Usually when I swing by they pull out a little salt lick for Herman, my service animal.

Indeed, by the time Herman and I made it back to the pharmacy I could see my name in red lights on the marquee signalling to all the world that my drugs were ready to be softly nestled in Herman's little blue service pouch. I patiently rejoined the endless queue. Then the funniest thing happened. A discrepancy of sorts, you might even want to say.

The service clerk dutifully pulled out my brand new bottle of my brand new prescription pills. They were tangerine-hued and oblong. Oh yeah, I told Herman nostalgically. I used to take these in college and they made me take naps when I was supposed to be studying. Herman agreed with me that those are the best kinds of prescriptions. Did I say 'prescription?' I meant 'excuses!'

The service clerk and I looked at the unusually large pills. Take 1 and 1/2 tabs before bedtime, the directions stated. The service clerk gave me a 'pill cutter' which has a razor blade in it. I was flattered that she trusted me, but Herman looked a little worried.

But then I noticed the discrepancy. A big yellow caution sticker slapped across the amber bottle. Big words. DO NOT CHEW OR CRUSH. SWALLOW WHOLE.

Do not chew or crush? Cut pills in half? Swallow whole? I mulled over my options and decided to consult with the pharmacist, something I almost never do since the time one of the 'pharmacists' gesticulated loudly in broken English that my medicine was for 'crazy people.'

Other people looked at me. I could see the craziness in their eyes but didn't have the same sort of proof about them that they had about me.

This pharmacist was different and solved the problem after only a few growls from Herman, my service animal. For the record, she too believed that there was a discrepancy between the directions on the bottle and the scary warning label and warning pamphlet that always comes with my medicine highlighting potentially lethal side effects to show me exactly how I am slowly killing myself. Of course this meant that I had to wait in line again and I really couldn't go over to the coffee stand again. That would be shameless and although I am completely shameless, I like to act like I'm not. So no coffee stand this time around. Herman was peevish, however, because he was jonesing for his salt lick.

Still it is so weird to me that Kaiser would not have their shit together enough to prevent such a discrepancy from occurring. They are so good at organizing those winding ropes to keep people standing in long, coiling lines. Well, multi-tasking gets the better of the best of us, I suppose!

1 comment:


Sometimes things just happen you know? People are people too, and speaking for the drug industry, we don't do critical thinking, we just push shiny yellow buttons with big blue gloves and have seizures at age 38 because of all the bright lights.

In other words, I am sorry for your pain.