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Thursday, September 30, 2010

I can't contain my joy over flu shots.

I had a busy summer, gearing up to the big announcement that now our pharmacists were going to give flu shots. The hype was crazy. Except, not at all, because people come in confused that we're offering them every day. I understand our big advertising push hasn't started yet, but our Muzak announces it every 5 minutes and all of our signage says something like "for the love of god, let us stick you!" Not to mention the big ugly button all of the pharmacy staff has to wear declaring "ask me about flu shots!" None of this is unusual, but let's just say I'm having issues with some of my coworkers. Most of them are really opposed to getting one and have no problem letting our customers know that. Me being me, I told one of our techs outright that she couldn't tell patients "I never get them, they will give you the flu and I was really sick the last time!" She's also an idiot so I didn't feel that guilty. Another tech is opposed to all non mandatory shots, but she's also not slow and doesn't broadcast that.
The one I came to talk about, though, is the one we lovingly call "the boy." He's our only tech of the male persuasion and the youngest on staff, so he gets more than his fair share of teasing. He was so violently opposed to a flu shot that I bribed him to get his done with a soda. (Hey, I'm a tech and cheap.) My pharmacist took one for the team and in her words, he cried. Cried! I still laugh over that. This was two weeks ago and he's still complaining about how his arm hurts and now he's gonna end up with SARS. No wonder he's single.

Monday, September 20, 2010

New job, life updates

So I've gotten a new job... keeping my part time job in retail, partially for the benefits, partially for the lulz. I apologize for the lack of updates.

I now work in a hospital, with nothing major to report yet except for the fact that DAMN, we have a huge staff for a relatively small volume of prescriptions. I honestly watched Netflix for part of my day today. I am either going to be bored to tears very quickly, or love this job more than children love puppies.

-- Fries with That

Who's Your Daddy?

We have pretty much seen it all in the pharmacy. First you could get a genetic test in a box to find out "Who's your daddy?" and now you can get a test in a box to find out if you are having a boy or a girl. This comes in handy when you live in an area where infanticide has become commonplace when one gender is preferred...not mentioning any large country that supplies most of America's imports, especially my favorite Mardi Gras beads and Le Vian jewelry knockoffs, but you know who you are....

We have become so super duper advanced that we can't possibly wait to find out if that little munchkin blooming in the womb has a stick or a hole. Why do we need a test in a box for this? Shouldn't you be seeing an obstetrician and making sure your babe is getting the best in nutrition so it isn't born looking like an extra in "The Hills Have Eyes?"

Some of the over the counter test kits have gotten way beyond ridiculous! What's next the "Liver Cirrhosis Test Kit" or the "Herpes, Wart, or Syphilis Sore Test" or maybe an "Is This Vaginal Scraping Cancer Test"? It is seriously starting to sound like the parting gift from some crappy game show and we are all gonna get the "Dr. Oz Home Game" on our way out the door. Thanks, Oprah...

I just don't approve. There are several conditions that you absolutely should see a doctor for. For example: There is a dark tarry substance in your poop. You don't need to spend $35 for the Fecal Blood Test. I guarantee you have blood in your poop so go see a doctor. "But Tasty, I don't want to drink that horrible liquid and crap myself for a day so a doc can stick a camera on a tube up my butthole." Stop your whining because I don't give a crap what you think about the necessary evils of bowel prep! You need that test to see if you have a large perforated ulcer (ie open hole somewhere in the digestive tract through which digestive juices and bacteria can seep out amongst your other soft tissues and organs nearby and have an Armageddon party at your expense) which requires surgical repair or if you have cancer which can be biopsied and treated. The longer you let something like those go the smaller and smaller your chances of successful treatment and survival.

The point is this: Many of the over the counter diagnostics are unnecessary and may lull you into a false sense of security. That HIV test in a box may give a negative in someone who is infected because it can take many months before the virus has replicated enough to be positively identified. Why do you think the Red Cross won't take blood donations from men who love that sweet sweet man on man back door action after 1977? Or for that matter prostitutes after 1977. They do put it ever so delicately on the questionnaire...

The best thing you can do when a problem arises is ask your friendly neighborhood pharmacist and we will let you know if it is something you can try to treat for a few days or if you should call your physician immediately. You don't need to use test kits unless your physician advises you to. Most people that use over the counter testing are doing so for blood sugar and/or ketones and to determine pregnancy. Those really should be the only over the counter tests we need and everything else should be done through a clinic or doctor's office.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Patent Infringement???

Look closely at the upper right side of the picture. Is it just me or does this particular drug delivery design look like the Clorox Toilet Wand? I was filling in at a 24 hour pharmacy and noticed the package when I was getting something else and I just chuckled. I hope it is just being used to treat back acne or maybe it is treating those "freckles" on your arse?

Dear Clorox, maybe someone should look into this? Maybe it is not worth the time. Maybe it is different enough to not infringe on your patent for the Toilet Wand, which does an awesome job of keeping my bowl tidy! Just thought you might want to know. Thanks! Big N Tasty RPH

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Behold the glory and magically delicious awesome that are these sixty Skittles. It is in fact the whole small bag minus the one Skittle that I just had to eat because it was looking at me funny. Sixty is a mighty big number of Skittles but it is even bigger when I took this particular pic of sixty Skittles to represent the sixty medications a patient is on.

Let that sink in: S-I-X-T-Y different medications.

Seriously S-I-X-T-Y different medications. Not only is that a Herculean task to keep track of dosing but are you even hungry after eating that many pills?

I happened to be filling in at a non-24 hour pharmacy and a lady came in with two Ziploc bags of medication bottles for us to transfer from another state because her sister moved in with her so they could help take care of her. We transferred about 12 prescriptions that day and the pharmacist at the other pharmacy told us she had 60 medications so we would probably be calling her back sometime soon for more of them.

I have not seen her entire list of Skittles but her sister said she was "real sick" but I just have to ponder how many of those Skittles she really needs. I am just saying when you get in the double digits of Skittles you are in duplicate therapy territory, not to mention ready for a stomach ache. I also wonder how many Red Skittles she takes to counteract side effects of Yellow Skittles and how many Green Skittles are treating the same disease state. The interactions can be limitless.

I also wonder if any of her doctors have seen her list of Skittles from her other doctors. This is where we have a problem with Skittle therapy in general. It is imperative for pharmacists to identify issues of over treatment, duplication, toxicity, etc. I am a firm believer in the minimalist approach to Skittle therapy. For each desired effect of a Skittle there are a possibility of hundreds of undesired effects. Some Skittles are worse than others and it also depends on how well a patient tolerates each Skittle and if the Skittles interact with each other. It is an increasing problem when patients use multiple physicians and multiple pharmacies to treat multiple disease states.

The moral to this story is that every patient should keep a current drug regimen list with them in their wallet or purse at all times. This will help keep drug therapy to a minimum and could save your life in an emergency situation. The other point to this post is that Skittles aren't only the most awesome candy on the planet but it is fun to say and I want the world to use the word Skittle just like those annoying little blue Smurfs overused their name. Don't make me Skittle you in the Skittles!