Your Friendly Neighborhood Pharmacist: Part 4

I know I promised to write this blog post months ago and I could give you a million reasons why I haven’t but I won’t. I will tell you that life is messy and mine is no exception. At least the months in between gave me a few good stories.

Today was another one of those days behind the counter where I just wanted to beat my head against the wall. Yes, unfortunately it happens more often than I would like to admit. Some days it is because we are so busy I never seem to get anything done, other days it’s spending hours on the phone with doctors fixing or documenting prescriptions to be compliant with laws and store policies. Today was just dumb people day who like to say or ask stupid things. My annoyance is your gain.

I know it sounds terrible to call people dumb but perhaps a few of my stories will convince you I’m not such a terrible person for it. Or sadly they may make you want to hit your head against a wall like I do somedays, only you can be the judge.

My first phone call of the day wanted refills. Sounds simple enough, right? If only. The man asks me to tell him what he needs filled. Hmm I can only see what he had filled and when. I can’t see what he still takes or if he has taken them correctly and still has pills remaining. When I explain this he says he needs me to tell him, he can’t tell. So I try a new tactic and suggest he look in his pill bottles or pill sorter to see what’s running low. “No I can’t do that” he says. He needs me to tell him what to fill, yet he tells me 3 drugs including one he hasn’t filled since August of 2019 because I would magically know he was still taking a med he’s been out of for almost 5 months.

Another gentleman brings two different types of CoQ10 to my counter and wants to ask a question about it. Sure no problem. What is this wonderful question you ask. “What is the difference between gummies and tablets?” Hmm I had to think really hard on that.

I once had a lady show me two different strengths of a vitamin 50mg and 100mg and ask which was stronger. I blamed her ignorance on the new math they use now.

A common request we get is to fill a prescription then have it ready at another location. Sorry can we please think this through a moment. Would you ever call Dominoes 40 min from your house order a pizza then say oh by the way I’m at home so I want to pick that up at the one by me.

Then there is the lack of knowledge about what people put in their bodies. People have more awareness of the ingredients or calorie count in their food than the prescriptions in their medicine cabinet. I get requests for medicine all the time where people ask for: the white one, pink one, all of them, what I had last month. Most don’t even know what it’s for despite either the pharmacist telling them, handing them a paper telling them, or both. It’s like calling a pizza place and requesting the round pizza or the pizza with the round stuff on top. Seriously?

Lastly we will finish with my new favorite. This gem is from a non-native speaker. I see how someone who doesn’t speak English as their first language may have trouble finding the right words at times so this is more funny than anything. A woman came in yesterday and needed products for hemorrhoids. Unfortunately, she left her hearing aids in the car so privacy was out the window. Aside from the whole OTC section hearing about her bottom woes they heard her failure to find the right word as well. She told me how in the old country they had a product her mother swore by. She said it was like a candle they put in your butt. At first I was like we aren’t burning any butts here. Then I thought about ear candles, surely that wasn’t what she meant. Nope suppositories, they look like little candles, kind of. When I showed it to her that’s exactly what she wanted. So there you go suppositories are like little candles you put in your butt.

I’m not sure what my next blog topic will be in this series and that’s probably appropriate. I never know what’s going to happen at work. I’ll write again though. This time I will try to make it sooner.