A Small Victory at the Pharmacy

It doesn’t matter what you do for a living, when someone in your family is sick you lose your cool.

I’m trying to make sure my Dad gets all he needs, and grateful for six brothers and sisters tag-teaming as well as ADL home nursing on scene. I spent some phone time last week with the VA confirming his appointments. I would have like to have gotten him in sooner, but at least we have a date. I also made three phone calls, told by two people that I would have to stuff Dad in a car and drive him to VA or Kent to sign a release of records so his cardiologist could get his test results, and– third time a charm–, spoke to medical records at Kent where a pleasant woman assured me she would send everything ‘I’m printing them up as we speak’, and never even asked my name. They’re going from one hospital to another– what is the problem??? It’s not like they will be entrusted into my profane hands.

Kent Hospital changed Dad’s heart meds, so when he was discharged I took the new prescriptions to the CVS he used to use. I filled three of four, partially, hoping we could get them transferred to the VA which sends them in the mail, cost covered by the gummint. Well, this is going to take a while, fortunately he is on cheap pills.

A week later, my sister got Dad a digital med organizer that pings and says in a chirpy voice that it’s time to take your 4 o’clock– saving family from chirping and being growled at. I went to CVS to get Dad’s heart meds filled and was told they weren’t in the computer. I was picturing myself calling VA and Kent and going to Chalkstone Ave to pickup pills before Dad missed a dose of what is probably his most important med and despairing that the hospital had somehow sent him home without a vital prescription. I had handed over two pages to the pharmacy last week and had not photocopied them first, though I had a faint visual memory of there being all his prescriptions on the page.

As I waited for the other scrip to be filled, I recalled that computers mostly exist to foul things up, and just maybe the medication order was on one of those pages, and prevailed on the pharmacist to get it out of the file.

Problem solved. Apologies. Scrip filled.

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7 thoughts on “A Small Victory at the Pharmacy

  1. I spent two days and a night at the VA this week with cellulitis in my right foot/calf.No cuts,scrapes,so why is a mystery.
    I got some take home antibiotics and one of them was a continuation of the IV drug,moxyfloxacin,which as I found out fast can cause tendonitis/rupture.I had tendonitis before so I know the feeling-sure enough it started in my “good” foot and I can still barely walk.
    I called the VA and got the helpline to find out if I should stop taking the drug or get an alternative-the nurse on the line wouldn’t put me through tot he medical team that treated me-she insisted I go to the ER.I had spent 9 hours in the ER before being admitted and I couldn’t get down my stairs anyway.
    I “thanked”her for thw ridiculous advice(I didn’t have an immediate emergency,just needed a question answered.
    She said”try calling the floor yourself”-OK.
    The medical team was glad to help-they prescribed another antiobiotic aand my wife was able to pick it up at the inpatient pharmacy after hours.
    Sometimes people are like computers-they follow a template even when it is devoid of common sense.
    Hopefully your father can concentrate on getting well and not trying to chase down his meds.

    • I hope you feel better soon, sorry you’ve been sick. Yeah, the VA can be great or totally unhelpful depending on what you need and who you talk to. I’m glad you didn’t give up.
      One problem with health care in the US is multiple providers with no easy way to communicate, and 19th century systems within hospitals, like when the unit at Kent didn’t know what the ER did. Buyer beware, you have to look out for yourself.

      • The VA has one great thing going on for them(among others)-your records(assuming you get all your care from them)are vertical,with the last provider contact at the top of the page.
        EVERY VA medical facility in the country has it immeiately available.
        Also all your meds.
        Now,if you get any care or meds elswhere,you have to make sure the VA gets it so they can incorporate it into their system.
        The nurse,unfortunately,was just repeating a rote set of instructions because that’s the”rule”.
        I spent most of my life in the military and law enforcement and there were a lot of “rules”,and if you let them consistently overrule common sense,you’d get nothing done.
        The doctor I spoke with was more than gracious and helpful-he called me back twice to make sure everything was ok.
        BTW the floor nurses were so nice I didn’t really feel like leaving.
        What the VA needs is an urgent care section that handles the non emergencies that appear at the ER.
        Cellulitis can potentially kill you if you ignore it,but not like a seizure,stroke,hemmorhage,heart attack,etc.
        Even DVT is urgent in the sense that they don’t have to treat it in minutes.They can’t even diagnose it all that fast.
        I guess the government is saving money.
        On that note,what criminally negligent individual thought it was ok to pack 30 elite fighting men into a slow helicopter that was new when I was in Nam 42 years ago?On a combat mission no less.
        I recall a CH47 getting shot down in Nam with over 40 people on board.No one survived.
        Why not disperse them in three Blackhawks?Absolutely horrible.
        The Russians had this happen all the time in the 80’s ,but they are pretty cheap with their soldiers’ lives.

  2. Today in my church, as every Sunday, the names of all the service members killed in the wars were read out loud. ‘However we may feel about the war they are there in our name, and their suffering and sacrifice, and that of their families, ought not be forgotten’. Also acknowledged were the civilians killed in the conflict and their families. I don’t know how we will get to peace, but continued war is not the way.

    • I don’t support these wars as policy either.Whether it’s Bush or Obama(Obama didn’t inherit Libya)the people getting killed are just doing their jobs.
      I think it’s a terrible waste of human life.
      I check a site called “Faces of Valor”every few days-it has photos,some personal info,and sometimes comments about every service member lost in the wars.
      I originally figured we had to inavde Afghanistan after 9/11-I think most people did.
      By now there is no reason to be there propping up Kharzai and his drug cartel associates.
      Iraq was never a good idea.It will go down as the most ill-conceived war in our history.
      Well,maybe the Spanish-American War,but that was relatively brief and largely was decided by two naval battles.
      I always figured that if people who started wars had to serve in them,there might not be the cavalier attitude towards life there is now.
      Back in the “old days”,like during the Thirty Years’War,national leaders like Gustavus Adolphus had to lay down their lives on the battlefield to achieve victory sometimes.
      Try picturing Richard”Cakewalk” Perle or Paul Wolfowitz doing that.
      Or GW or Obama either.
      Actually Bush 1 sure did take the risks.

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