Thursday, March 22, 2012

Highlights From Recent Pill Counting Action

My Pharmacy Manager doesn't know how to kill herself very well. I said if worse came to worse I would just take a handful of phenobarbital and slip quietly into the good night. She said she would use Ambien, which should thoroughly embarrass her, because in any drug induced death competition, phenobarbital totally kicks Ambien's ass. Ambien can't even get in the ring with phenobarbital unless it's backed up with a good stiff drink or five. Ambien is for suicide posers. I lost some respect for my Pharmacy Manager and was happy to see her go home for the day.

The trash saga in the store continues. I've written before how there are now four or five different categories of trash in the store, and the corporate mothership is taking trash management very...very seriously. The assistant manager came back to the happy pill room with a look of supreme solemness on his face. Bigwigs were in the building he asid, and they were giving pop trash quizzes. I am not making this up. The manager showed me a piece of paper and said softly "I'm not supposed to be showing you this." On it were the answers to the trash test. In the end I decided I was too honorable to go this route, that I would face the trash challenge on my own and would rise or fall based only on my ability and trash talent. No, I would not dishonor myself or the integrity of our landfill with dishonesty.

In reality, something more important came up. A man who wanted to know if you could put Preparation H in your nose. After him came a phone call of the "let's play 20 questions to see if we can figure out what you need refilled" sort. I asked the nice lady if it could be her amlodipine she needed and she said "maybe, is that the one with the Indian name?"

Later the bar code reader decided it would no longer read any prescription labels. This happens from time to time and it has something to do with the quality of the paper the labels are printed on. We know the drill. Everything stops and we pull a roll of labels from every box we have in the pharmacy, running one from each batch until we find one the bar code reader will recognize. I was having no luck, but did notice that every time my arm  went under the scanner, it beeped and sent the computer some sort of error message. The bar code scanner was completely dead to the actual bar codes being placed under its nose, but found something on my lab coat sleeve it thought it should relate to. I wondered of perhaps my bar code reader just needed a little therapy.

A doctor called and asked if it was OK to give Bactrim to a patient allergic to penicillin and a customer got into an argument with my cashier when the cashier said we owed her a refund. "OH NO YOU DON'T!!!" I heard the customer say through her asthma attack. We were trying to give the lady who couldn't breathe a rescue inhaler and some money, which naturally made her very angry.

The pharmacy manager left her phone behind and it now started to ring. The front of it lit up and displayed a full screen picture of a cross. Like Jesus was calling. Maybe he was calling to say she shouldn't kill herself. We'll never know because Jesus didn't leave a voicemail.

We finally found a label roll that would scan. Except now the printer printed three copies of every label.

The next man at the counter came with a question. I think. He started to talk and quickly developed diarrhea of the mouth. He talked and talked and made no sense at all for a long time. Finally he started to tell a tale of cold sores and constipation and coughing, each word deepening my dread a bit. He said something about his grandson and head lice, and I prepared for what would surely be an ordeal. Finally, after commenting on the traffic situation in the parking lot,  he held up a bottle of Tylenol and a bottle of ibuprofen and asked, "Which one of these is stronger?" You have no idea how much I thanked my lucky stars as I dispatched him with one word.

Jesus called back a few minutes later. I thought about picking up but decided I really didn't have anything to say to him.

And yes, during the heyday of the powder cocaine epidemic, it wasn't unusual for someone sucking up a blizzard of blow through his nose to use some Preparation H in an attempt to soothe the resulting irritation. Problem solved with crack I suppose.

I think if I put a picture of something on my cellphone it would be Iggy Pop, who kinda looks like Jesus on cocaine.



Anonymous said...

I would have rather emailed you this link but there is no contact form. Anyway, I think you will appreciate this "ATM medication dispenser".

Best :).

Anonymous said...

we scan our patients armbands before giving drugs. total PITA when the laundry sends a certain pattern of hospital gowns. They scan as a drug, so you have to be super careful not to let the scanner see the gown.

StMarc said...

Preparation H reduces swelling, right?

A lot of people have problems with swelling of the nasal/sinus tissues, right?

It's moronic but it's not illogical. :)

Anonymous said...

I've actually seen Premarin cream used to control nose bleeds. It stabilizes the vessels kinda like in the endometrium.

Anonymous said...

I'm mystified as to the "one word" that dispatched your patient.

Anonymous said...

Hell man I would get a kick ass bottle of wine/liquor a real fine car and a bottle of nitrous oxide. leave one window cracked open and laugh myself to death

Stavros69 said...

Jesus called to tell her to vote for Rick Santorum.

Stavros69 said...

Jesus called to tell her to vote for Rick Santorum.

Heather said...

Anon @ 10:30 - I'm guessing that word was "ibuprofen"

Mike said...

Kind of fitting that you mention the doctor asking about Bactrim in a penn allergic pt as my infectious disease exam is on Monday.

Just based off my hazy memory banks, cephalosporins have the chance of cross sensitivity if the patient's allergic to penicillins, but I think sulfonamides are cool.

Anonymous said...

A full box of fentanyl 100 patches would kick phenobarbital's ass any day. Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

i've told u before...luv u! ur the shining beacon of a pharmacy day.