My son is sick.
He has been sick for almost a week. It started with vomiting a few hours after eating solid food. My first thoughts were allergic reaction or food poisoning. The following day he started the sniffles and cough. This was curtsey of my daughter’s preschool.
Raising baby number 2 is in some ways easier but also more complicated. With my daughter, she did not get a respiratory infection until she was two (when she started daycare). With the new baby, keeping him at home doesn’t protect him from those infections. My daughter brings them home to him.
I started to worry because he only had his first dose of flu shot. What if this was the flu? There have been few flu related deaths in our town, some of them babies.
For the next three days he, my daughter and my husband had mild cold symptoms. Then on day 4 he started spiking high grade fevers. This fell on the weekend. It always does.
His fever had started on Friday and I required round the clock medication to come down. I called the pediatrician on call at 7:30 Pm on Saturday. He called me back at 8 advising me to take him to Urgent care. I had to wait for my husband to come home since we only have one car. By the time we made it to the urgent care it was passed 9. The doctor was a friendly female. Baby started crying. He looked so pathetic. He also seemed to have his first case of stranger anxiety. She found a slightly red ear drub and decided to treat him with antibiotics for presumed ear infection.
There was a Walgreens right next to this clinic but as we approached it, they turned of the lights. They closed at 10. It was 10 … We drove to the next closest 24 hour pharmacy some 30 minutes away.
Sure it is convenient to have 24 hour pharmacy but late night shopping there can be quiet annoying. The pharmacist was a middle aged man who was helping an elderly lady in front of me. She was picking up her prescription and also buying some other non pharmacy items. I could see some lipsticks, a few cans of chunky beef soup and some other items in her baskets. The pharmacist was incredibly slow helping her. She had many questions and apparently lot of time to waste. Question about price of the lipstick and if they were on sale “are these buy one get one free?”
“No they are buy one get one half off” followed by “do you still want them”
“how much would they be with the half off?” She asked.
This went on of almost every item in her shopping basket.
Finally they seemed to be finishing up as he was giving her the grand total for her merchandise.
“That seems to be too high” she asked.
So he started going through the prices with her again.
Finally she wanted him to go over the price of the two prescriptions 15 or 16 dollars I believe. She conceded to the grand total and reached for her wallet.
Great she seems to be done! I thought. I was wrong.
She was about to pay when the pharmacist said, “wait there seems to be a mistake with one of your prescriptions, they wrote for 8 pills but the instructions seems to indicate it should be 12”. “I have to call the doc and clarify”. He called the manager to void the entire transaction. There were also a couple of cars lined up in the drive through. He started helping the first car but there was a problem there too, one prescription out of the 5 was missing. Then he went to make the phone call.
I was so mad. He could have just given the damn 8 pills and call the clinic or hospital later to see if more needed to be dispensed. He could have called the patient later to inform her if more pills were authorized by her doctor. But no, at 11 PM he was making phone calls to clarify the issue right now.
I am still mad. The manager who had come to void the entire transaction asked If she could help me I said I was dropping off a prescription for my sick baby in the car and needed antibiotics for him right away. The pharmacist overheard this and gave me an annoyed look saying he is working as fast as he could and there was no guarantee when he could help me. “there is only one of me here”. I hadn’t said anything to this slow irritable bozo. The lady he was supposedly helping had wondered off to the cosmetics section. She did not seem to be in a hurry at all. I was. A guy standing in line behind me suggested I go to CVS next door. I took this advice and headed out. A good 20 minutes were wasted here. Baby was crying in the car and my daughter was cranky because she had fallen down and scraped her legs. We drove to CVS. I headed inside and here too there was a guy ahead of me filling out a prescription for hemorrhoid cream. He had no insurance and the script would have cost him over a $100. He asked for generic. This too was taking long. I suppose I had the annoyed look on my face. Of course I had to provide all my insurance information and my son’s information because we hadn’t filled scripts here before. There was an annoying overhead announcement ever 2-3 minutes loudly saying “pharmacy call, number one”. Pharmacist told me she was doing the best she can but she couldn’t guarantee any faster service than Walgreens. I forgot to mention I bitched to her about the long wait at Walgreens next door.
Now I had pissed off two pharmacists.
I tried to patch things up by saying I completely understood even saying something to complement her tolerance to the annoying voice announcements. She cracked a little smile saying she has learned to ignore it. “this isn’t even the worse, sometimes it is 3 or 4 waiting”. How much can one person do?
I wondered if I should have waited at Walgreens for the slow bozo to finally get around to helping me. Then I remembered my days as a slow, irritable bozo running around taking care of too many patients in too little time. I would snap at anyone making a comment about waiting too long.
But now with a sick baby and a cranky daughter in the car at 11:30 PM I had no patience and very little self reflection.
As I was reminiscing, a man approached the pharmacy window “where you all’s condoms at?”
Someone was getting lucky that night. He didn’t have a sick baby and a cranky 5 year old in the car.