A Dizzying Ordeal

, , , , | Healthy | July 1, 2020

I have had vertigo on and off since I caught a bug in 2017. I usually bed rest and it goes away after a few hours. I have a bout of it in May 2019; it’s just not going after two days and my anxiety over it is making it worse.

I call the doctor and his receptionist says as it’s an existing condition I can have a telephone consult. Two minutes after I put the phone down, the doctor calls back and says he’ll send an electronic prescription to the local pharmacy. I can’t drive. I can only just stand, but the pharmacy is seven minutes’ walk, so I figure I’ll stagger up to the pharmacy, get the meds, and then stagger next door to the tea room, take the tablets with a drink there, and wait for them to kick in so I can walk home. My friend runs the tea room and will let me sit quietly in the corner.

So, the plan is made, and after fifteen minutes of stumbling up the road with the world spinning, I get to the pharmacy and hang off a display unit for another ten minutes until it’s my turn.

Assistant: “How can I help you?”

Me: “I’ve come to collect a prescription that the doctor has just sent through electronically as urgent for me.”

Assistant: “I’ll go look.”

She disappears for ten minutes. By the time she returns, I’m almost lying on the counter as my head is spinning so much.

Assistant: “No, there’s no prescription for you.”

Me: “Can you check, please? The doctor said he would send it through as urgent.”

Assistant: “Well, if you insist.”

Me: *Through gritted teeth*Yes, I do!

She goes away again and comes back after another ten minutes, by which time I’m starting to feel nauseous.

Assistant: “No prescription. When did the doctor send it through?”

Me: “As I said, he has just sent it through as urgent. Just now.”

Assistant: “Why didn’t you say?”

Me: “I did.”

Assistant: “Oh, we don’t look at the electronic ones until the afternoon. Can you come back in two days?”

Me: “I have chronic vertigo. I can’t see too well, and I can’t stand up, walk, or lie down. The doctor has prescribed these as urgent. No, I can’t come back in two days!

Assistant: “Are you insisting that you have your prescription made up now?”

Me:You think?

She looks blankly at me.

Me: “Yes, I am. Please make it up now or I will throw up and collapse here.”

Assistant: *Sighs* “If you insist. Can you go sit over there?” *Points at a chair behind a pillar* “You are stopping other people getting their prescriptions.”

I looked at her as if she had lost the plot and went to sit in the chair and lean on the pillar which was nice and cold on my head.

After another thirty minutes, still no prescription. I staggered over and asked the assistant how much longer it would be as it was now nearly an hour since I’d gotten there. She told me to go sit down and wait.

I stumbled back. After another thirty minutes, a different assistant came over with a clipboard and asked me to fill out a customer satisfaction surgery. I must have looked shocked and possibly homicidal at this point, as she said in a caring way, “Are you okay, love?”. I explained that I’d been there all morning waiting for my urgent prescription. She grabbed the clipboard out of my hands and dashed off. She came straight back with my prescription made up.

She explained that the pharmacist had started to make it up but had been called to the telephone. Then, it was given to the assistant pharmacist who started it, too, and then went to early lunch. The assistant I’d been dealing with had gone out on her break and it had been forgotten, and because I was behind the pillar, they had forgotten me.

This different assistant had been filling a display up, saw what looked like a dead woman on the chair, and brought over the survey as a way to talk to me. I dry-swallowed two of the tablets as she spoke, staggered home hours after I had left, and finally collapsed in bed. About thirty minutes later, the tablets kicked in and I filled the survey out in line with very honest replies.

Two days later, I moved to having my prescriptions filled by post — they come three days after you request them — and for urgent, I now send my husband.

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