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Posts Tagged ‘perscription’

It was a simple idea. My son and I were at Sam’s for Christmas desserts, so why not fill his prescriptions there? His usual pharmacy had been out this morning of all three of the prescriptions from his pain management doctor at MD Anderson Cancer Center where his recent surgery was performed. One was to reduce inflammation, one for pain and another for breakthrough pain. J had decided not to fill the latter one. Sam’s had only the lower dose pain pills in stock, and only 37 of those. If he took those, he would have to get another prescription for the remainder. So we decided to go to Wal-Mart and get the proper quantity. Only Wal-Mart closed the pharmacy for lunch just as we arrived. So we went to the Publix up the road. They were out of all the pills. By this time the Wal-Mart would be open, so we circled back, got in the long line. They, too, had none of the prescriptions. This was beginning to look crazy.

Surely CVS, a stand-alone drug store up the road would have them. None. Nada. None of the three were in stock. Possibly another CVS could have it, the pharmacist said. So we drove to another CVS. Do I have to tell you they had none? If you have been counting, we covered six drug stores and one twice. The most encouragement we had was, “Check back in a few days.” J has only a few pills left. He only yesterday began feeling more industrious and able to concentrate on things other than pain. Christmas is two days and his sons are coming in four.

He was exhausted and fell asleep on the couch while I watched the ABC news. It was then I realized we had a lot of company across the country today. “Critical U.S. Drug Shortage” was the title of the report. Cancer drugs, blood pressure, surgery drugs, even drugs used in lethal injections are in short supply. Why? Some are no longer being made because they were not profitable, others had plant issues. Government can’t force a company to make a drug. If they decide to stop, they stop. The Philadelphia Inquirer ran this article December 12, this month. http://www.philly.com/inquirer/business/20101212_Critical_U_S__drug_shortage_worsening.html

As I researched this, I can see that the problem has occurred earlier in the U.K., Canada and other countries. Did no one see this coming? Is this Big Pharma’s push back from the push to insure more generic drugs?   So many more thoughts are running through my head here, but I am worn out from a day spent trying to fill a simple prescription.

J goes for a blood draw a MD Anderson tomorrow. Will the hospital pharmacy have the medications? Hospitals reportedly don’t always  have the proper drugs for surgery or chemo, so I won’t get my hopes too high. I just have one question: how could we reach this point?

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At 2:30 this morning an electrician with dreadlocks and I were taking eye tests with the chart on the wall. Did you know 20/20 is not the best vision? Apparently not, because if you can read two lines down (even smaller print) you are 20/10. We did not know that.

I also didn’t know an ER room could go so long without cleaning. There was a layer of grime on the waste baskets, bed controls and certainly the floor. I kept my hands in my pockets and used hand cleaner frequently.

While the electrician with the eye problem and I entertained ourselves in the hall, my poor son waited for relief from his back pain. He has had therapy since his bad automobile accident a few months ago, but physical work yesterday erased all that apparently. So with endless re-runs of “Earl” and “Sex in the City” on the TV, I alternately rubbed his back and exercised my legs and feet—well, as much as I could without touching walls or anything. We were there for five hours, from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. My tote of magazines helped for a while, but articles started looking familiar.

While my son did paper work earlier I discovered that many in the waiting room were just there to see their 70 year-old-grandmother who was experiencing her first heart attack. My son wanted to know how I knew what was going on with people. Simple. We talk.

Going back in the night even earlier, I spied my son in a chair just inside the door of the ER waiting room, but had to go through security check before entering. No one was doing checks, so I finally sat down. When the policeman returned I got up and put my tote bag on the table as well as my purse. I was asked to open the tote, which I did. He shined a flashlight on the reading material and OK’d it. I raised my arms facing, then not facing while the wand waved past my body. Cleared. That was a relief since I had a pop-out razor on my keychain (in purse), a nail clipper and serrated defensive flashlight in the tote. One patient did have to take his pocket knife back to his car before entering, but that had been in his pocket. He should have had a man purse – or not.

The challenge when my son was released was finding an open pharmacy at 3 a.m. There were none within ten miles of the hospital. My son stopped at one near his home in a neighboring town on the way home. There are a lot of things wrong with the health care system and cracks are beginning to show even more. Apparently hospitals are cutting back on cleaning (if this one is representative), we never saw a doctor, only nurse, and you still can’t easily fill a prescription at 3 a.m. Don’t get sick and stay out of accidents, people.

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