Thursday, August 8, 2013

A trip to the pharmacy in drawings.

I knew I didn’t have enough insulin to cover us for the rest of the month, so I called my endo to order a replenishment of our supplies a week earlier than planned.  I told her I had four vials left, but it turns out, more boxes were empty than I thought.

I found out a few days after I called the endo that we only had ONE vial left.  Some boxes looked like there was insulin in there, but it was a ruse.  There was only one lone vial sitting in the fridge and my son grabbed it to fill his reservoir.

Only having ½ a vial of insulin in the house gave me the heebie jeebies.

But when I called the pharmacy the automated system told me that the boys' insulin prescriptions were filled and waiting for them at the pharmacy.

I slept great that night.

The next morning I told the boys I’d be right back.  I needed to pick up insulin quick.  I got in the car ecstatic that I was going to have a butter compartment full of insulin again.

I walked into the pharmacy and handed over the boys’ medical cards.

The lady walked over to the prescription bins and started digging around.

 I hung my chest over the counter and realized I looked crazy, so I relaxed my body and decided to be patient and not expect the worst.  She grabbed some empty bags with notes on them from the bin and then headed to the refrigerator.

But when she came back she had a million vials of the wrong insulin with her.  So I bite my lip and try not to sound like a complete loon when I spout:

 I got the deep sigh, and the “Let me talk to the pharmacist” line and she left.  I saw her grab one vile of the correct kind of insulin out of the fridge as she went to meet with him.  I heard her explaining the situation and when she got to the part of, "she has three children with diabetes," the pharmacist and two other people looked over at me.  You would think I'd be used to that look of surprise by now.  Nope.  It still shakes me.  The pharmacist returned with her and began his lengthy version of why I had gotten the wrong insulin.

“Hold the phone.  My doctor DID actually give permission, and our last shipment WAS of the off formulary insulin.  So check another screen and I’ll wait.”  I was twitching violently at this point.  My voice was shaky.  They knew I was going to blow.  The pharmacist put his hands in front of him to shield himself from the blast.

 As I tried to continue to explain, my voice was getting so high only dolphins could hear me.  The pharmacist understood that I was about to implode into myself.  “Have a seat and I’ll figure it out for you.” He said.

I looked over at the one bottle of Novolog sitting on the counter.  “Umm, what are you going to do with that vial?  You’re not going to give it to someone else when I go sit down, are you?”

"No, I’ll keep it right here next to the register by me."

I kept eye contact with her until I felt as though she sealed her solemn promise in nervous sweat to keep it safe.  She nodded reassuringly.  I backed up slowly to my seat, unwilling to let the vial out of my sight.

15 minutes later the pharmacist came out and kneeled next to me.  The look on his face was identical to the face that my father had when he told me my hamster had broken its leg and needed to be put down.  His voice was quiet and tentative.  He was scared.

“I’m sorry but I don’t have enough insulin to fill all the boys needs.  Well, I do, but I can’t give away all my supply.  I can fill two boys, but one I’ll have to mail to you.”

I had to give him mad props for telling me the truth.  Usually they tell me “That’s all I have.”  When I KNOW there is more in the fridge.  They’re hoarders.  I get it.  I gave him the wounded mom look.  “Ok.  I suppose that will do.”  But inside I was doing the happy robot victory dance.

I called the boys to tell them I would be late.  It was almost 12:30, and they all needed to check their blood sugars.  As I hung up I don’t think I ever in my life felt more like a mother to 3 boys with diabetes than I did in that moment.  Usually life has a rhythm.  It’s these pregnant pauses that get to me.

15 minutes later my name was called.

Not only had he filled the prescription for two boys’ insulin, but he also filled an outstanding needle prescription and the test strip prescriptions for all three boys.

When I left the pharmacy the sky was bluer.   The flowers were brighter, and the birds were blissfully singing.

You know, things are pretty good when you have almost $5000 worth of “Life” in your arms.


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