Friends

20 January 2018

THE SAGA OF MY MEDICATION


For the last few years I have been given medication on a two-monthly basis. All I had to do was wait for a text message telling me the prescription was ready and to collect it from the pharmacy. Several weeks ago, it all went wrong and I didn’t realise until I found I was down to the last two daily doses. 

Not knowing who to approach I chose the pharmacy. Staff there told me I had to ring the doctor but they would give me a week’s supply to tide me over. It was delivered (I qualify for deliveries now) the same day.

At the start of the next week I rang the surgery and, after a lot of questioning, was told I had to ring the pharmacy. Hmmm! How strange that the pharmacy had told me to ring the doctor!

Back to the chemist I went, apologising for the fact that I was again bothering them with my little problem and saying that being a long-serving customer didn’t mean I knew the way they worked or the doctor works. It was their attitude that made me utter that last sentence. 

Suddenly, the woman I was talking to transformed into a helpful person. I think it was my tone of voice that did it plus an additional spiel about being an ordinary person, untrained in the ways of working in surgeries and pharmacies. 

That did it! Suddenly the assistant became helpful, promising that in future the prescribed medication would be delivered every two months. Funny how she knew what I was talking about when hitherto I was given all sorts of instructions that didn’t include them.

Perhaps I should learn to speak English!

Medication arrived, one month's worth. When querying the reduced number I was told that things have changed .... really? They no longer give out medication for a two month period and in future it is up to the customer to reorder every month. 

It will, of course, cost the chemist more. However, who am I to complain!!

21 comments:

joeh said...

I find people are more willing to help if they feel you are helpless. I often pull the old man card saying I don't understand and acting a bit confused by how complicated something is that is actually simple but the person behind the counter is just acting annoyed...they suddenly become very nice and helpful. Don't know why it works, but I am not above using it.

Mac n' Janet said...

Ours comes by mail and my last shipment included a medication I only took once nearly a year ago. When I called the pharmacy they had no idea why I'd been sent it. So weird.
Plus my medications use to be on automatic refill unless I told them otherwise, but now, once a year, I have to contact them and say yes I want them on automatic refill, what a pain.

Valerie said...

Interesting, Janet. It must be common practice. It doesn't seem very efficient to move from easy to complicated!

Valerie said...

Joeh, I must try that and see what happens.

Sharon Qualls said...

A month at a time? We have been switched to another druggist and I have no idea what they have going. I am used to every 3 months. I won't have to act when I try to order my many pills ...

LL Cool Joe said...

Being overly polite and helpless always seems to work. At least you got the medication you need and delivered to you too. That's a bonus!

Ron said...

Bravo, Valerie! And I applaud you for speaking up and telling it like it was. Sometimes we need to be blunt and direct to get results. I'm all for being nice and understanding, however, there are times when enough is enough. I find that speaking up very often let's people know that we are not pushovers.

Glad to hear you got your medication sorted out.

"It will, of course, cost the chemist more. However, who am I to complain!!"

Ha! Yes you're absolutely right.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, my friend!

X to you and Charlie

Valerie said...

Sharon, you were lucky to get a three monthly service. I can partly understand the change but the way the pharmacists handle it is appalling. I will be interested to hear how you get on.

Valerie said...

Ron, I am almost due for the next lot of medication.... I shall keep a close eye on things and let vent (sorry!) if they continue to be awkward. My weekend has produced another post which will go on line in a couple of weeks. Life is never dull lately so watch this space.

Have a good week, my dear friend.

Valerie said...

Joe, I would much rather collect my own, but the chemist is too far away and I am nowhere near a bus route. Maybe in the summer the scooter will get me there but I dare not risk it in all the snow we have.

kden said...

It's frustrating when the higher-ups change the rules of the game but don't let us in on it.

Valerie said...

kden, frustrating is the right word for it. Next post explains all!!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

I will be eagerly awaiting you next post, Valerie, after reading this one. I'm glad that you did receive good service after first being frustrated. My husband is notified by the local pharmacy when one of his thankfully only 2 prescriptions are ready for pickup. I am grateful not to be on any medications and hope it remains that way.

Susan Kane said...

Our pharmacists/chemists have been so helpful, and I am glad you finally reci'd that care. But, there is still plenty for frustration just around the corner.

Valerie said...

Beatrice, watch this space for the next and hopefully final update on the situation.

Valerie said...

Susan, there is definitely more to come. See next post.

troutbirder said...

Grrrrr..... We've encountered this so many time I've lost. My spouse has Alzheimer's and so I do it two time over. If the Doctor is golfing in Hawaii it may take weeks to order refills. The more things are changed and computerized and made more efficient the more complicated it is to get any help. I often used your first commenters strategy by repeating over the phone.."well I'm partially deaf so speak up and slowly as it also overcomes my confusion etc. etc. Well sometimes it helps though if your talking to a robot/computer not so much. Sorry Valerie I just couldn't help my self. My keep calm medicine hasn't arrived yet>

Valerie said...

Gosh, TB, my experience is bad enough but yours is far worse. It must be a worldwide practice to confuse and annoy patients. When you get your keep-calm medicine will you send a few drops over to me...lol. In the meantime, I guess we should keep smiling but over what is another matter.

LL Cool Joe said...

i used to ride a moped before I learnt to drive. I loved it, but not on wet or icy roads!

Jenny Woolf said...

I had to actually buy a week's supply of pills as a "private patient" of the pharmacy when the surgery messed up. the pharmacy was quite helpful and so was the doctor's but it did feel rather like pushing a large stone uphill getting them to see the problem!

Valerie said...

Jenny, I thought my experience was a one off, so to speak. It's horrifying to read everyone else's experiences.