The Journey of 1,482.3 Miles Begins With…

The journey of 1,482.3 miles begins with…
A mental breakdown at my local pharmacy? Yep. That happened. I will elaborate, but first…

Geez where to begin? So I did almost nothing to get ready for our move, until the night before the movers were scheduled (Wed. night)…and I spent the next 2 days in a sleep-deprived, anxiety-ridden, twilight-zone-esque (altered) state of existence. I did bad things, and I’ll confess to y’all:

1. I drank 3 (big) glasses of wine & smoked 3 cigarrettes at the farewell party Mr. MLACS’s company threw for us on Thursday night. Felt like a$$ afterwards.

2. Been consistently drinking coffee 24/7 since Wednesday–I would mainline it if I could.

3. I’ve had to drug my cat (Kitty equivalent of Valium) and shove him in a carrier–for his own good–but it hurts my soul.

4. I was in a hurry to get on the road, and one of my last tasks was to pick up my prescription (one of many), and I went H.A.M. on my pharmacist…

I have to preface this story…I go to Walgreens pharmacy for ALL of my prescriptions, including my Remicade infusions (which cost $6000+ each).
I’d say, if you took the annual cost of my meds and divided it by 12, conservatively, I probably purchase (via insurance) $7000 of meds per month through these guys.
If they offered me frequent flier miles for this sh*t, I could plan a trip around the globe.
So, they ought to kiss my a$$, right? Well they don’t. And that’s fine by me. But they have a BAD HABIT that I have ignored for quite some time…until Saturday…
Besides Remicade, I now have 3 other meds I order each month. And they NEVER give me the full prescriptions…they say “Oh we only have X amount to give you today, but please come back on X day to collect the rest of your meds”. Well, take 2 trips and multiply it by 3 medications, and what you get is 6 trips to Walgreens each month. I never complain–it didn’t even cross my mind–the pharmacy is near my house, so I figure, no big deal, right?
Well, earlier that week I went to pick up my Canasa (suppositories, my fav) and the lovely ESL pharmacy tech informed me that (yet again) I would need to come back for the remainder of the script. Then, she said I had to pay for the whole thing up-front, which was unusual, but I gave her my card…and it was denied (insufficient funds) and I had to call Mr. MLACS to transfer more money into the acct, while this guy behind me angrily tapped his foot. But fine, whatever–she said the meds would be in before our move.
By Saturday, I was physically, mentally, and emotionally fried. But, home-stretch, I just needed to retrieve these meds and we could be on our way to the next chapter of our life together (Me, Mr. MLACS, and Kitty).
So I pull up to the drive thru, and wait for someone to greet me…and they see me, and I see they are not that busy, but I waited…and I pressed the ‘call’ button…and I waited…and finally the male pharmacy tech greets me, and I let him know I’ve already paid and I’m just there to pick up…which it should be SO simple for him to just grab the meds and shove them at me…but I waited…and I waited…and I was watching the pharmacist and the tech jovially talking to a customer inside…and suddenly my blood began to simmer…so I pushed the ‘call’ button again…and the tech replied “we’ll be with you as soon as we can”–like I’m pestering him–no “I’m sorry for your wait ma’am”…and I waited…

AND SUDDENLY I SNAPPED

I literally burnt rubber speeding away from the drive thru, then I sped around the corner and screeched to a halt in a parking space. I threw the car into park, threw open the door–slammed it–and literally ran into Walgreens. I walked briskly for a moment, but then jogged to the ‘drop off’ window, peeked around the corner and saw the Pharmacist, and said “Bill (not his real name), I need a manager NOW!!!!!” My voice was breathless and shaky. He looked alarmed and quickly ended the phone call he was on, and asked me what was the matter. I stammered,
“I’ve been waiting and waiting–more than 10 minutes–in the drive thru, to pick up a medication I already paid for, because you didn’t have it ready the other day. And furthermore, your pharmacy tech could’ve taken care of it quickly, but instead he left me hanging and when I finally pressed the call button all he said was “we’ll be there as soon as we can”–with no apology for my wait.” And Bill said “I’m sorry, but please don’t scare me like that–I thought you were hurt or there was an emergency”.
And I calmed down a bit. “No” I said “I apologize for scaring you. But you know if it’s not my Canasa, it’s my Delzicol. And if it’s not my Delzicol, then it’s my Rowasa…it’s not fair I should have to come here so often, and then be made to wait and wait and be treated like I’m an inconvenience. I know you deal with a lot of people, but is it too much to ask for timely and courteous service?”
“No” Bill said “I apologize, we are short-staffed. And also, I can look at your scripts and make sure to have them in-stock for you so this doesn’t keep happening.” And the pharmacy tech apologized. And I felt vindicated, so I grabbed my script and left, without telling them I’m moving and I won’t be their problem anymore.
I got in my car, and just started sobbing….I was embarrassed! But why should I have had to do that? Obviously the pharmacist and techs have no f*cking clue what it’s like to live with a chronic illness.
I spend a disproportionate amount of time going to doctors, feeling like sh*t and laying around, paying co-pays for prescriptions ($150+ per month) that I’d rather spend on fun stuff, plus the time it takes to actually take/use said prescriptions, and then making superfluous trips to the pharmacy…I spend too much of my life dealing with this sh*t to have to waste another 20 minutes waiting at your f*cking drive thru window, especially since it’s holding up my family from starting the journey to our new life.
So yeah, I wish that had never happened. In fact, I wish my immune system had never corrupted, causing all these problems in the first f*cking place. It’s not fair. I’m tired of dealing with it. I want to be well. I want to be off all medications. I want my f*cking life back the way it was before autoimmune disease started tainting it.

Ok, end rant. We are currently in the sunny & quaint town of Grand Junction, Colorado. We finally got our ducks-in-a-row and left the the Southwest behind us yesterday (post-pharmacy-meltdown). Only 977 miles left until we reach our new home in the Midwest. I hope my new Walgreens is more sensitive than the old one, because they have no idea who they’re dealing with–I’m loco de la cabeza.

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10 thoughts on “The Journey of 1,482.3 Miles Begins With…

  1. I can definitely relate. I’ve gone off on a call center rep or two in my day. I’m sorry you have so many health issues to contend with, it’s completely unfair and who needs sh*tty customer service on top of it all….

  2. So sorry you had to deal with all that! I would have been upset too and I think you did exactly the right thing – your pharmacy was totally out of line and should have been more courteous. And given that you’ve been filling your prescriptions there for some time, they should anticipate that you will need them every month and should have them in stock. Not volunteer to do it only after you’ve complained. Happy and safe travels!

  3. It made me want to cry reading that you sobbed. You shouldn’t have to feel embarrassed and you shouldn’t have been put in that situation in the first place. I cannot stand a-holes in the medical profession that treat patients like a burden – it’s bull sh*t! You are going through enough hell right now. Hugs! I hope that you find a new pharmacy that will be more professional and helpful.

  4. Wow, what a nightmare! To be honest, I’ve never had a good experience at a “big box” pharmacy. CVS, Walgreens, Target… I’m much happier with my smaller, hometown pharmacy. They grab my prescriptions as soon as I walk in the door. I don’t even have to give my name. I hope you find a new one that you love!

  5. I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but I kind of laughed when I read your paragraph about sleep deprivation and anxiety after not being prepared for your move. Uhm, BEEN THERE! I was reading it and thinking – wow, that’s so me. Which is ridiculous as an adult – I mean, really?? And mainlining coffee is something I can DEFINITELY relate to as well! LOL I really think you’re onto something – only instead of a “frequent flyers” card, you could get shares in the company that produces these ridiculously expensive meds so that you, too, can reap the benefits of their evil price-gouging. Also? Don’t feel bad about snapping because unless “banter” has suddenly become part of a remunerated job description – in which case, SIGN ME UP! – that’s just RUDE. I actually walked out of a store today because of something similar – if you’re not going to even pretend to have basic customer service skills, I’m going to take my money elsewhere. In your case? You’re totally entitled to open a can of extra strong bitch-slapping when dealing with such an obvious A$$HAT. Consider me giving you a standing ovation for actually speaking up – the tech was rude and the whole situation could obviously have been avoided if he’d just shown some appreciation for your patronage and time. Instead of being a grade A d-bag. HUGS!!

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