Easter Sunday is fast approaching. Now, I am not a religious person by any means. However, Easter will forever be special to me as it is the anniversary of one of the most vile moments I've had in pharmacy. Two years ago at about 7am on Easter morning, a small framed woman (probably in her early 80's) came in concerned about a recent problem. She had been on doxycycline (an antibiotic) for the past 3 days. As expected (by me, apparently not her) she subsequently developed diarrhea.
Personal, somewhat yucky sidebar here... being a 'good times' kind of guy with a penchant for vodka, I have had many wonderful Grey Goose fueled evenings of harmless debauchery. Consequently, I have also not had a solid bowel movement since 1997 (a wonderful respite provided by the constipating side effect of Tylenol #3 prescribed after dental surgery). Needless to say, I am unbothered by the occasional presence of diarrhea. Water in, water out. It's the circle of life. Replace what you waste, and everything will be just peachy.
Anyway, back to the Easter story. This very nice lady began filling me in a little on her recent medical history - how poop soup began brewing pretty much on day 1 and she had been concerned ever since. As fellow blogger Big 'N Tasty (and any other pharmacist) will attest, a good portion of the questions we answer have to do with helping people either stop or start pooping. Ours is a profession of glamor and riches indeed! After listening to what she had to say, and asking a few questions to help me make a better assessment (and to rule out the remote chance of something more serious), I launched into my speech about how diarrhea is often an undesirable, yet minor side effect of many antibiotics. (A teaching point for non-pharmacists... clindamycin is an antibiotic that diarrhea is deemed a serious, therapy-ending side effect)
I was starting to wrap up our session with some advice on how to manage the problem, when she reached into her purse for 'Easter goodies'. She said that she was glad that she came in, and brought with her a 'sample' ... just in case. (?) So this sweet, elderly lady whom I was thrilled to help just minutes ago, reaches into her purse and pulls out a Ziploc freezer bag containing diarrhea soaked toilet paper - in case I 'had any questions'. The only question I had at the time was "What the fuck?"
So I guess I totally blew the assesment. This was indeed a serious problem. This customer has obviously shit herself crazy!
Keep in mind that I'm working completely by myself at this time of the morning, and a small crowd of would-be customers has begun gathering for prescription pick-up, medical advice, or to pay for overpriced garbage (ahem, 'merchandise') from the sales floor. (I could go on about spending five years in a hellishly difficult pharmacy school for the privilige of ringing up Yoo-Hoo and lube, but that's a topic for another blog). Oh, gather around the pharmacy counter one and all. Make sure you get a good look at this bitch's bag of toilet paper soaked in watery shit!
After taking care of her, grief counselling the innocent bystanders and swallowing the vomit in my mouth, I called Big 'N Tasty at her pharmacy to relay the story. "Yeah, on holidays our customers usually just bring us cake", she said as I slammed the phone down to no longer suffer her tortuous cackles. I really hate her sometimes.
So, Happy Easter, I guess. =)~