We bring the FAST and laughs to pharmacy.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Just one Valtrex

I had a lady call at 4AM looking for a refill on Valtrex she swore she filled at my pharmacy. There had been no prescription for Valtrex filled under her name and birthdate ever. She explained that it was an emergency and she needed just one tablet. Can I give her one? Since there are laws regarding the dispensation of medication that require an active prescription I can't give her "just one Valtrex." Give me a break! I am not the tablet fairy, I cannot wave my magic wand and make the laws go away so you can have "just one Valtrex." I don't care what they do for you in Canada or Mexico. This is the US. We have to follow the laws of the US. Oh yeah, and besides that one Valtrex does not get rid of a genital herpes outbreak. Go to a doctor. I can't stand people who think that just because there is a pharmacy open at 4AM that any med can be obtained for any reason. People wonder why pharmacists get bitchy or develop a problem with alcoholism. People like her are the reason. Take your twisted sense of self-entitlement and stick it up your colonic opening!

Colonic Voodoo

The "retail" landscape is peppered with questions about bodily functions, secretions, excretions, pains, etc. Most questions I am asked refer to the starting or stopping of poop. Some people are greatly distressed by not being able to poop on a daily basis. If you are anorexic, bulemic, or just not a big eater you may not poop for days. Note to parents, teenage girls with chronic constipation, irregular or nonexistent periods and have poor dentition (that's teeth) are probably in the throes of an eating disorder. These girls do not "just need a laxative" they need counseling. An elderly man who eats three times a day and hasn't had a bowel movement to the point that he has cramping needs the laxative and maybe a doctor if that doesn't work. Other things that may cause distress are greasy foods such as deep-dish pizza, many varieties of sausages, Hot Pockets (Have you heard Jim Gaffigan's rant on Hot Pockets? It hits the nail on the head!). Don't forget the things that almost landed me in the hospital: soy chips. Stay away from soy chips. I was doubled over in pain from them. Healthy, my ass..... There should be a warning for the non-soy attuned GI system. More power to ya' if you can safely eat these products. I will stick to veggies and lean meat. No more soy for me!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

"Lice Capades"

Thank you Matt and Trey for the wonderful South Park episode. It brought back those magical childhood memories of a lice infestaton. At my school we were lined up in the hall and paraded one-by-one to the school nurse. Wading through the follicular environs of our heads in search of the much feared louse was probably not her idea of a great day. It was probably as exciting as the episode of Crocodile Hunter where Steve encountered the large land tortoise. I always looked to see if any of our classmates were sent home. Who needs RID? We Do, We Do!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

They keep calling me!

This is just a simple little bitch about days off and how they can be so easily interrupted. As I may have mentioned before, I work overnights. The way I am conned into doing this is with pure scheduling magic. I work seven nights in a row, then I am (theoretically) off for seven days - a whole week!

I have been a part of this great scheduling scheme for almost four years now. However, I can count on one hand the number of weeks that I have been off work without getting called by the scheduler, or my own store, to cover a shift with little more than an hour's notice.

Today happens to be such a day. Bear in mind that I should be exactly halfway through a wonderful week off today. Unfortunately, I am just getting off work (to cover my counterpart) so I have been up all night. I was looking forward to a small disco nap, followed by a well deserved celebration of St. Patrick's Day - the patron saint of drinking so much that you (or at least you hope it was you) end up shitting your bed sheets.

Case closed? Of course not. I've been home for about 45 minutes. Just long enough to take off my work yukkies and pour myself a stiff glass of chill-the-fuck-out. The phone rings. It's my district supervisor calling everyone she can in a frantic attempt to get overnight coverage for tonight. Being very lazy, and hating my job the way I do, I am extremely tempted to answer with 'no habla ingles'. As much as I hate my job though, I would hate my supervisor's job even more. I felt sorry for her so I helped her put out this small fire by telling her I'd cover it. Besides, I could use the money.

But don't think for a minute that I'm not already having second thoughts about it. If Big N Tasty (a fellow blogger) is foolish enough to call me today, I'm totally conning her into working for me. She needs the money too (and my sheets ain't gonna shit themselves)!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I know you're not a doctor, but...

Let me make an official disclaimer right now - I do not want to be a doctor. There was a time when I wanted to be one, but I was very young. If memory serves correctly, in that same year I also wanted to be a detective, a teacher and a blueberry. In my defense, I was four years old and under the influence of heavy doses of veterinary grade amphetamine.

True, many doctors get paid very well for the hard work that they do. They also work very long hours and have very little time to call their own. Damn that answering service! If I wanted to be a doctor, I would have gone to medical school. Instead, I decided to go to pharmacy school. My father was a pharmacist, so I knew what I was getting into. I did it anyway. The job is far from glamorous, but I make alot more money than many people who work a whole lot harder than me. I average 36 hours a week. And when I'm not at work, I don't have to think about it or worry that I'll be paged to come in as I'm sitting down for dinner with friends. Ahh, retail pharmacy... she's a harsh yet forgiving mistress. At this risk of glowing too much about my profession, I will also add that I hate my job. My favorite part of my job is the time off. That's why they have to pay me to go in. Otherwise it would be a hobby. A shitty, shitty hobby.

Now that all of that is out of the way, let me give any potential retail pharmacy customers out there a bit of advice. There is an unwritten code of conduct that our favorite customers follow. They may not be aware of it, but we most certainly are. Unfortunately I don't have the mental alacrity to go through all of them at the moment. But I and my fellow bloggers will most certainly hint on these unwritten rules from time to time.

So, there are Do's and Don'ts that determine whether or not your tablets/capsules have been subjected to the '5-second floor' rule. Here's a big Don't when first approaching the pharmacy counter...

Customer: "I know you're not a doctor, but you're almost as good. What can I use for...?"
Me: "Gosh, I don't know. Maybe you should check with your doctor about that."

Hey gentleman with anal fissures... I'm not almost as good as a doctor. Right now I'm better than one! Mostly because it's 2am and you're too fucking cheap to go to the emergency room. My advice is free (for now), but you just screwed it up by being very condescending. Enjoy sitting on your painful, chapped ass for five hours in the emergency room!

You are welcome.

So this twat leaves a shopping cart in my parking space…

Gentle reader, know this... I wish not to offend, but if you fill a shopping cart full of merchandise from a chain pharmacy, not only have you overpaid, but there is an emptiness in your soul that retail therapy simply will not fix. How much 'As Seen On TV' shit do you need? Are we priced that much lower than our competitors on Chia Heads that you simply must stock up? Furthermore, if you leave that cart in my parking space again, I will CSI the damn thing for finger prints, locate you and destroy you in front of your awful, awful children.

I realize that this isn't exactly 'my' parking place. However, it is my favorite one. It's far enough away that nobody in there right mind would ever want to park there at 2am (a time that I am often at work). Plus, it's protected on one side by landscaping. Those of you who have had your car banged up in a parking lot while you were inside can surely sympathize. I never mind if an actual car is parked there when I arrive - it's a parking spot after all. It's just that damned empty cart that gets my blood boiling! Why?

So this particular entry isn't related to the actual practice of pharmacy. But it is useful in providing just a little bit of insight as to why I'm so goddamn crabby at work filling prescriptions, trying not to kill people for ten hours a day. =)

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Syringe Go-Fish

It's 4:30AM. The "fisher" arrives looking beaten and left for dead. She has a really bad hair-do, smeared make-up, and is wearing a thick down-lined coat. You know what she is going to ask because it is 70 degrees outside. Let's hear the whale-of-a-tale that ensues:

Fisher: I need to buy some syringes for my mother. We just drove down from New Jersey and she forgot to pack them. She needs her morning dose.

Pharmacist: Does she have a prescription on file with us?

Fisher: No she gets them at **anonymous** pharmacy without a prescription.

Pharmacist: We are a prescription-only county. The best I can do is call her doctor at 8am and get a new prescription for her. The other option is to drive to the next county 45 minutes away where there is no prescription requirement.

Fisher: But the pharmacy by where we are staying told me to drive 45 minutes to get here and I could buy them here. She needs a dose cuz she is shaky and sick.

Pharmacist: If she is that sick you need to call 911 and have an ambulance pick her up. (She said she didn't have a phone but I watched her stow it in the coat pocket when I suggested calling. When I offered to call 911 she said no. She would drive back and get her mom and take her to the emergency room.)

Fisher: Will she make it if it takes me that long to get her and go to the emergency room? She is really sick and shaky. I just need her syringes. (A ten day supply, of course...)

Pharmacist: I am sorry, those are the only options.

She left and the store manager followed her out to the car (out of curiosity because she came in and left so quick he thought she stole something). While in the parking lot he watched her ask a junkie (we know this because he is extremely thin, scruffy, and buys glass eye droppers, copper scouring pads, BIC lighters and nothing else every time he comes in) where she could buy some "fireworks." Go Fish!

Syringe laws are designed to keep these fishers from endangering the rest of us. Working in healthcare allows me the joy of seeing addiction at its worst. Rehab does not work for IV users. The government should allow us to humanely euthanize them like so many unwanted cats and dogs. It would be a new twist on the "Humane Society." (I do NOT condone killing cats and dogs unless it is a HUMANE MEDICAL NECESSITY. The overabundance of pets at my house is testament to that.)

This has been a public service announcement of the bitchy, disgruntled pharmacist network....beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep!

Give me liberty or give me Omnicef

So I fill a prescription for some Omnicef antibiotic suspension today and realize after checking the child's weight that the dose is double what it should be. My first thought isn't 'hey i'm glad i caught this' or 'hey i wonder if they'll write a story about me in the paper', instead it's 'son of a bitch now i have to call and question the great and powerful doctor who prescribed this train wreck'. Awesome. Here's a little secret: 70 to 80 percent of doctors do not take kindly to having their work questioned by the lowly pharmacist. Here's another little secret: 100 percent of humans are capable of making mistakes. So I call the doctor's office and after giving them the secret password and having my vocal pattern analyzed by a NASA computer, I am actually allowed to speak with the great man who wrote the prescription. When he gets on the phone, he impatiently says "Yes? This is the doctor", clearly implying that I am keeping him from his daily conference call with the UN secretary general. I say "Yeah, on this prescription it appears the dose is too high given the patient's weight...(akward silence where he says nothing)....Uhhh, so I have 24 pounds and you're dosing this every 12 hours so I'm assuming 7 mg per kg per dose"....(more akward silence)....Finally I get "Yeah, that's what I used, 24 pounds" (this is pretty much the end of the conversation as far as he's concerned). So I proceed to offer up my wild theory that the dosing is twice as high as it should be. This is the part where he gets annoyed and does the calculation, which is then followed by "Oh....hmm yeah that is a little high (note: "a little high" apparently is doctor speak for "Double what the infant should be taking")..."Go ahead and change that accordingly" (followed by the only part of the conversation with no akward silence since he just hangs up the phone). I don't get an 'I appreciate you catching that' or a 'wow thanks for saving me from a potential lawsuit' or even a simple 'thanks'. Unbelievable. I wanted to call him back but i knew i couldn't since I had to go apologize to the mom for wasting an extra 10 minutes of her life while I was trying to look out for her son's well being. As she impatiently grabbed the prescription bag from my hand and walked off, I remembered she didn't have to say thank you because she's on medicaid.