Hey, Google, What Kind Of Cancer Do I Have?

, , , | Healthy | January 18, 2018

(I stop in a pharmacy to pick up some medication. I hear the following from a lady next to me.)

Woman: “I want to buy this!”

(She points at medicine on the shelf behind the pharmacist.)

Pharmacist: “That’s prescription medication. You can’t buy that. I’m sorry.”

Woman: “I NEED IT!”

Pharmacist: “Okay, well, we still can’t give you the medication. You need a prescription.”

Woman: “No! WEBMD SAID I HAVE CANCER AND I NEED THIS!”

Pharmacist: “Ma’am, I recommend you see your doctor before you get a self-diagnosis off of the Internet.”

Woman: “You’re a doctor! And I KNOW I HAVE CANCER!”

Pharmacist: “Actually, I’m not a—”

Woman: “YOU ALL WANT ME TO DIE OF CANCER! I AM REPORTING YOU TO THE POLICE!”

(She then proceeds to run out of the store, knocking down several displays and screaming “I NEED PENICILLIN! I HAVE CANCER!”)

Me: *mumbling* “How does she think penicillin will cure cancer, anyway?”

Pharmacist: “That’s not even penicillin.”

That’s What I (N)Said

, , | Healthy | January 14, 2018

Customer: *holding a box of OTC medication* “Excuse me. My wife is allergic to the Niacide family.”

Me: “Pardon? Do you mean NSAIDs?”

Customer: “No! NIACIDES!”

(I give him a puzzled look.)

Customer: “You know, ibuprofen and stuff!”

Me: “Right… NSAIDs.”

Customer: “Oh, whatever. Can she take this or not?”

(Then he showed me a box of acetaminophen.)

Benzo Combo No No

, , , | Healthy | January 11, 2018

(I work in a popular chain pharmacy/convenience store as a pharmacy technician. It is a week before Christmas and patients are swarming in to get medications refilled before they depart for the holidays. I’m currently working at a prescription filling station that is directly across from where the pharmacist verifies them, allowing us to talk as we work. Another technician takes in a couple of prescriptions and preps them for data entry; however, when the pharmacist spots them, he immediately sees a problem.)

Pharmacist: “Whoa, I am not filling this.”

Other Technician: “Why, what’s up?”

Pharmacist: “This drug combo, carisoprodol, benzo, and an opiate…”

Me: “Bad combo?”

Pharmacist: “It’s outright lethal. I need to speak with the patient.”

(We try to page the patient back to the pharmacy via the store intercom, but it appears that they’ve already left. The pharmacist decides to contact the doctor who prescribed the drug trio to alert them to the potentially fatal consequences. He immediately identifies this doctor as being a sketchy one that he has dealt with in the past. Nonetheless, he steels himself for the call and gets him on the line.)

Pharmacist: “Hi, I’m calling because of a couple of prescriptions that you’ve prescribed for [Patient]. When taken together these drugs are a potentially lethal combo. I wanted to see if perhaps we could if we could get the carisoprodol switched to, say Flexeril.”

Doctor: “There’s been no issues in the past.”

Pharmacist: “Right… but you are aware that is THE Unholy Trinity of drugs, correct? If nothing has happened previously then great, but all it takes is a single time or misstep and the patient is going to die. I highly suggest a switch here.”

Doctor: “I don’t want to do that.”

Pharmacist: *blinks* “So, just so we’re on the same page, you want to knowingly prescribe this potentially deadly combo to the patient, rather than switching?”

Doctor: “I’ve already discussed it with the patient. It’s fine.”

Pharmacist: “Okay, well, I’m going to notify the patient of your decision and make them aware of what’s going on here. I need to cover my bases.”

Doctor: “All right, sure.”

(The pharmacist was shocked by the nonchalant nature of the doctor, but decided to follow his gut instinct and not fill all three scripts. While there are noted instances of patients taking these drugs together, they are few and far between, and the benefits do not outweigh the risks; finally, the sketchy nature of the doctor meant that the pharmacist was less than comfortable doing so. He notified the patient of the situation (who seemed more disappointed with the fact that we wouldn’t fill all three drugs than with the fact that the combo was lethal) and wrote a note on the prescription stating that it was denied as well as our contact number should the patient try to have it filled elsewhere.)

Who Prescribed Some Madness?

, , , | Healthy | January 4, 2018

(We have a new member of staff at the pharmacy and we’ve got a number of regulars who come in to get their weekly medications, often quite a few items. This employee somehow gets it into her head that anyone with a weekly prescription is a drug abuser. One of our regulars is on a lot of different pain medications.)

Regular: “Good morning! I’m here to pick up my prescriptions. My name is [Regular].”

(The new staff member goes out to the back of the store and comes back out a few minutes later.)

New Staff: “No, there isn’t anything.”

Regular: “I pick this up every week, and I know I have at least three months’ worth of repeats for all these from the doctor.”

New Staff: “No. No, we have nothing.”

Regular: *spotting our pharmacist who knows her very well* “Hi, [Pharmacist]! Got my weekly meds?”

Pharmacist: “Oh, yeah. I did them yesterday—”

New Staff: “No! No, you didn’t. We have nothing!” *to Regular* “You need to leave; we have nothing for you!”

Pharmacist: “Don’t be daft. I’ll go fetch them.” *heads to the back and comes out with a large bag* “Can I just check your address and date of birth?”

Regular: *gives details*

Pharmacist: “Yup, here you go. See you next week!”

New Staff: “I told her we had nothing! Why did you make me look like a liar?!”

Pharmacist: “Because you were lying? [Regular] comes in every week and I always have her meds done.”

New Staff: “I saw what she’s on. She’s a f****** druggie. You shouldn’t enable these people.”

Regular: “I beg your pardon?”

Pharmacist: “Okay, we do not treat customers like that. Whatever personal views you have on certain medications, you leave those views at home.”

New Staff: “She’s a druggie. Why would anyone else need [strong pain medication]?”

Regular: “Because half my lower spine was smashed in an accident and I live in constant, agonising pain?”

New Staff: “Shut up, druggie.”

Pharmacist: “Right. That’s it. Go home.”

(She was fired that day, and officially cautioned by the police when for two weeks afterward she kept hanging around the pharmacy entrance waiting for our regular customer so she could yell at them some more. We know this because she told EVERY other customer entering our store. Luckily, our regular has a good sense of humour and just laughed off the whole episode.)

At A Hair-Loss For Words

, , | Healthy | January 3, 2018

(The men in my family tend to start suffering from hair loss in their mid-20s, and mine seems to have started, so I go to a nearby pharmacy to buy certain shampoo recommended by my stepfather. Note that I have grown my hair for a few years and it’s currently some 18 to 20 inches long.)

Employee: “Hello, can I help you with anything?”

Me: “Yes, I was looking for certain shampoo but don’t remember the name of the product.”

Employee: “What kind of shampoo? For dry hair, or–”

Me: “For hair loss.”

Employee: *goes silent and stares at my long hair, then grabs a bottle off a shelf* “Well, we have this one.”

Me: “That’s the product; thank you!”

(I only realized what had happened after I got back home.)

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