Two weeks ago, when The Dormouse was throwing up her toenails, I got an anti-nausea prescription from the pediatrician. It was a nightmare getting it filled because I went to FIVE (5) pharmacies, who all said, "Oh we don't have that in stock. We can order it though; it'll be here in about three days."

It's not like any of them didn't have the actual med, it was just that the pediatrician had prescribed it in suspension form and they, I guess, didn't have the form of the medication that would mix in a suspension.

The last pharmacy I went to was Target - which was also the largest. When
they didn't have the suspension form in stock, and I could see the box of pills on the shelf behind them, I was exasperated. "Look, can you call the pediatrician and see if it's possible for her take the pill? Since the whole point of taking this med is to get something to stay in her stomach today before we have to go to the ER for IV fluids tonight, I'd really like to not have to wait three days to get it filled." Then the pharmacist there suggested I go to each and every pharmacy I'd already been to:

Pharmacist: "How about CVS?"

Me: "I've been there; they don't have it."

Pharmacist: "Or Rite-Aid."

Me: "They don't have it either."

Pharmacist: "Medicine Shop?"

Me: "Nope."

Pharmacist: "Costco?"

Me: "Yes, I went there too. Like I said, I've been to FIVE pharmacies and no one has it. You're the biggest one in the area and if you don't have it, I'm pretty sure just driving around to other random pharmacies isn't going to yield any success either. She's old enough to take a pill so would you please call the pediatrician and see if he'll allow her to take the pill instead so I don't have to end up in the ER with her when a simple pill might keep her away?"

Pharmacist: *heavy sigh, stomps off to the phone and dials the number*

Woman in line behind me: "They HATE to call the doctors here. You go girl, make them work!"

After another discussion on the phone wherein the doctor asked to speak with me because apparently the pharmacist said "Zoloft" instead of "Zofron" on the phone and he couldn't figure out why the mother was asking for an anti-depressant instead of an anit-nausea med, everything got cleared up and we got sixty (60!!) doses of some sublingual equivalent of Zofron. They didn't have the entire sixty pills, so they filled thirty and told me to come back later and pick up the other half. I got home, stuck one pill in The Dormouse's mouth and fifteen minutes later, she was able to keep down the pedialyte and tylenol we'd been poking into her gob for two days only to watch her throw it back up again. So, needless to say, I didn't really make the effort to go back for the other thirty pills.


Now, fast forward to this week when I hurt my back. Don't know how; I just got out of bed one morning last week feeling fine and then twenty minutes later while walking through the kitchen, I stepped down and pain shot up my leg like an exploding firecracker. The rest of the day, I couldn't stand up straight and I went to work looking like a question mark. My colleagues finally tired of working with Quasimodo and pretty much pushed me out the door to see their chiropractor across the street (we should just pay that woman a bulk fee and have her come to the office). I'm not really a chiropractor person, but I bow to public opinion way too often so I went over there. She got me standing up straight again, which was nice, but the damage to my back muscles had been done and three days later, I still felt like I would rather stick a fork in my eye than bend over.

I finally realized I had a prescription for tylenol+codeine that still had a refill on it hanging around the house leftover from some other purpose, so I asked The KoH to go to a pharmacy to get that filled. He chose Target, got the meds and left them on the kitchen counter when he came home. When I went in a little later to find my precious, precious painkillers, all I found was a filled prescription for The Dormouse.

"Didn't you get my codeine?" I yelled from the kitchen.

"It's right there on the counter," he yelled from the living room.

"No, it's not."

"It's the red and white bag."

"The only thing here is the other half of The Dormouse's prescription."

"I didn't get anything for The Dormouse; it's RIGHT THERE."

"No, this is the other half of The Dormouse's prescription from last week."

"No, it's yours."

This when on in a very Who's on first? style until I finally opened the bag with The Dormouse's name on it and looked closely at the bottle with The Dormouse's name on it. It was my prescription for codeine, but they'd accidentally put her name on it instead of mine.


This is a huge mistake. If we had not been paying attention, it would have been very easy to accidentally dose our little forty-two pound girl with codeine prescribed for... let's just say a more than forty-two pound adult woman -- especially, if The Dormouse was still taking the other medication. I keep meaning to go back to the pharmacy and show them their mistake, or report them to the American Pharmaceuticals Association, but given that we're all sick in one way or another, I haven't really gotten out of the house to do this. I will though.

I'm not really even sure why I'm writing about this now except for the fact that yesterday the balance of the original prescription was delivered here by UPS -- apparently because I didn't pick it up -- and it reminded me of the whole fiasco.

I just want to offer these words of advice to whomever might be reading: know what your doctor is prescribing and check it once it's filled. Most, if not all, pharmacies include in the printed information that comes with each prescription a written description of what the pill/medication should look like. Make sure it matches what's in the bottle; don't just take the pharmacy's word that what's written on the outside of the bottle is what they put in the bottle. It seems to me that it's very easy to make a small mistake while filling a prescription that could have drastic consequences, just ask Dennis Quaid. Add to that, the problem we have in my neighborhood where 90% of the pharmacists only have the smallest grasp on the English language and it just makes sense to take some responsibility for managing your own health care.

The End