Thursday, June 26, 2008

I've Got Diabetes Real Bad

One of the things that has always bugged the hell outta me is when someone goes, "I've got diabetes real bad." I have never, ever understood that statement. If you have complications from diabetes its not because you've got it 'real bad', its because you are not taking care of your medical condition.

It still floors me that there are diabetics who come into the store and still maintain the same lifestyle they had prior to being diagnosed. They seem to think if they take their medication and insulin, that they do not need to do anything else to maintain their health. This is far far from the truth and is usually where the complications arise. If you don't watch what you eat, excerise on a regular basis and, if needed, monitor your glucose levels shortly, you will begin to see problems arise.

What few also seem to not realize is that diabetes is closely related to cardiovascular issues. Those two combined can prove to be a very deadly combination, but not in a way where it will normally kill you over night. Just because numerous people have diabetes and yet seem to live problem-less lives does not mean it is not a serious medical issue. You can't blame the diabetes for your complications, you have to blame yourself. Although in today's society it is so much easier to blame someone or something else as we often do not want to look at our own faults.

I should mention that I am talking about Type 2 diabetics. Type 1's usually have a very realistic grasp of their medical condition. It is the Type 2's who lack this understanding. It is unbelievable how many of them do not know what their A1C level is (let alone know what it is) or what to do with a carb ratio. One could corrlate that Type 2 diabetics are often those of a lower level of society and thus may not have adequet schooling to understand such a concept. I call bullshit on that one because unless you have a mental illness, it is truely not that hard to understand such concepts.

And now they're talking about 'curing' diabetes. If anything that is making the problem worse because I know of some patients who look at it as a curable disease. The odd thing is this is probably one of the easiest conditions to prevent. I have done over 40 hours of advanced training on diabetes and the more I learn about it, the more I begin to believe that the prevalance of the disease its a reflection of our society as a whole. It is really sad when you begin to think about it.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

As I Find Myself Getting Older...

I often find myself reminiscing about my childhood. Stumbled upon this blog post earlier tonight and it should spark a few memories

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I Hate My Job

I love what I do for a living. Honestly I could very easily do this for the rest of my life, even on the most difficult days. Today I came to the realization though that I hate my job. Namely it is that I hate the place I work for.

Having nine days off caused me to relax for the first time in several years without worrying about the bullshit I have to endure here. I am pretty sure that all of management received degrees from Special Ed. University. Case in point from today:

  • Per a new state law we have to have a description of the medication attached to the label (a good law I may add). Due to this we had to redesign our labels. Now instead of rearranging the text on the label a bit to make room for it, they decided to add this big tag on the end. Now our labels will not fit anything smaller than a 20dr vial. We all know its good to have #30 Lisinopril 10mg bouncing around in a 20dr vial. When that problem was proposed what was responded was "Oh Well"

That's the kind of shit I can put up with anymore. I'm tired of covering for pharmacists breaking laws, I'm tired of busting my ass with no hopes of retribution for it. I'm also really really tired of working with incompetent co-workers. I know you're going to get a few in every job and normally I can deal with them, but it seems nearly everyone who works for this company is a retard. I watched the pharmacist today, whom has been with us for over 15 years, try and figure out how to resolve a "DIAG CODE NEEDED" reject for some test strips on Medicare. Didn't dawn on him for 15 minutes, until after he talked to our Medicare expert, that he just needed to put 250.00 in the DIAG field.

As of today I am on a job hunt. I could handle working at Walgreens after this to be honest with you. Some of you may think that I won't find anything better, and perhaps you are right. If those of you who are interested perhaps my next post will be a rant on the bullshit we put up with here. Actually that might make me feel a bit better...

Monday, June 23, 2008

I Am So Smrt!

Granted I had 9 days off work, but obviously the dipshits were just waiting for me to arrive back at the drug store. Lets start a list of the idiots I have had to deal with today:

  • Had a woman come in and ask if there was a marijuana test she could by that uses hair. I told her no, that would require complicated blood work done in a lab. She then goes, "So I can't do that at home?"
  • Received a prescription for a gentleman with the first name Raymundo. First thought in my head was a guy coming in who looked as if he hadn't showered in days, was drunk and possibly didn't remember his own name. Sure enough I was correct as a shaggy, smelly man who reeked of whisky came to the county and asked "Is there pain pills for... Raymundo?" Classic
  • Someone called and asked if I knew where to get party supplies. I suggested looking in the yellow pages under party supplies. The woman thanked me.
  • A woman asked me if Diet Mountain Dew was really diet or if it was a conspiracy by the soda companies to get you to buy it.
  • When I first arrived there was a gentleman rocking out in one of the waiting chairs. He proceeded to tell me that "He loves AC/DC". Hey Jude was what he was actually rocking out to.
  • And finally I had a woman, a blonde nonetheless, ask me if she put on sunscreen under her clothes, if that would prevent her from getting sunburned. Ended up just kinda staring at her for a few minutes after that one -Edit: I have since found out that this is a legit question so I retract my uneducated remark. Was still strange to hear though

Its such a joy to be back...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I'm Back

Be prepared for more bitching and whining over the coming days. I know y'all can't wait for it.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

History's Unsung Soldiers

Saw this on CH the other day and it made my co-workers and I laugh our asses off...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Smoke Breaks

I pride myself in being a non-smoker. Especially when you are in this profession it makes of little sense to exercise an activity which will eventually kill you. I do not have an issue with those who smoke as that as their choice. I will ask, on some occasions, that someone not smoke (i.e. when eating). Other than that I say its your choice and you have to live with the effect that may have on you.

What I do not understand is how smokers can be given so many 'smoke breaks'. I've seen this at the various pharmacies I have worked at, I have seen it at businesses other than my own. People going out several times a day to 'have a smoke' and relax. Once again, I have no qualms about this. My friends at work who take their smoke breaks I applaud them for getting to take such a break. But here is where my bitch comes in. If I were to simply sit down for a minute and one of the higher ups were there I would be chastised for not doing any work.

My question is then why are smokers awarded 'smoke breaks', when at times I can't even rest my feet for five minutes or so? I would love to be able to take 3 or 4 or 5 couple minute breaks a day. Hell that would probably make my day go a helluva lot smoother. Just something I don't really understand....


As of right now I am currently on my way to Flordia. Any posts hereinafter for the next week were made while drinking a beer on the beach. :D

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

What They Don't Teach You

There are many things you learn on the job that you are not prepared for in your schooling or in your training. Many times its due to the fact that there is no other way for one to learn about such an item. I figured I would share to those of you who are aspiring to be a pharmacist as well or someone who is merely interested in this profession. Normally I bitch and moan about work or various aspects of the field in this blog, as do all the other pharmacy bloggers in the universe. Today you will find none of that. Today I shall write about one of the more... personal aspects of doing what you do.

First off if you wish to work in pharmacy try your best not to work in a Walgreens or Wal-Mart or Target or whichever. Find yourself a nice little independent store or chain and go and apply there. Why you may ask? Because of the people.

You see when you work outside of the Big Box Pharmacies you have a more one on one relationship with the patient. Sometimes this is simply because the pharmacy is open to the store and not closed off such as Walgreens and sometimes its simply because that pharmacy has stood in that exact same spot for 90 years (such as one of our stores). You have people who started going to the pharmacy when they where a child and who are still there when they are 70.
These are the people who walk in and you greet by first name. You ask them how the kids are, if they've been on any trips lately. You do this, not to be cordial, but because you are genuinely interested. Over a few years you become friend's in a way with patients. They bring in pictures of the grandkids or a story about the big fish that was caught the prior weekend. They will joke around with you, bake you cookies and try to cheer you up with a joke when you're having a rough day.

They are part of the reason I come to work every day. You simply do not find that kind of connection in all jobs. What other job can a patient/client come in and you know all their kids names, what TV shows they like to watch, where they like to go eat, etc, etc? These are people who when they need a prescription but are going to be ten minutes late, you keep the store open for them or deliver it yourself later that night. That is, in essence, what friends do.

There comes a problem with this connection though. One must realize that if these people are in fact visiting us that means there is something medically wrong with them. It can be something as simple as high blood pressure or something as frightening as cancer. You can watch a gentleman come in the door striding to tell you a humorous story and not even a year later see the same gentlemen wheeling himself in with a walker. I have watched one of the nicest men I have known progress to one of the cruelest because of a tumor in his brain. I have watched patients literally start to wither away over a period of years or even months. And it makes it very very hard to watch at times.

Everyone has those few customers that shine above the others. It is those few who make things difficult when something happens to them. When they tell you that have a terminal illness or succumb to whatever they had been fighting, it gets to ya. Sometimes you look up at the door thinking that patient is gonna come in and tell you one of the dirtiest jokes you've ever heard again. But they won't come through the door again.

Last week one of my favorite patients died. It was a sudden death, but a bit unexpected. I figured I would share this because I haven't really seen this talked to about to much.

So, Mr. L, this posts is for you.

I'm Not Dead

Just been a bit busy the past week or so. Between work and planning my first vacation in ten years, I've been a bit spent. No worries though, I have more posts comin'!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Jocks Suck

I have often thought that you can look at the relationship between pharmacies and the hospitals as a kind of high school relationship. The hospitals are the jocks, doing whatever they want and telling others what to do. The pharmacies are the nerds, cleaning up the messes the jocks leave and making sure things continue to run smoothly.

Now I don't know if its because summer is almost here, but the jocks seem to be going nuts. On a daily basis we find at least 4 or 5 mistakes on prescriptions we receive. Fax of on Atenolol 50mg 1TQD, get back a script saying Atenolol 100mg 2TQD. When you call and check on it 99 times out of 100 someone just imputed it wrong. Never get a thank you though. Kind of funny how that works since we effectively save their ass on a regular basis.

Lately on Lortab scripts they've been printing, in large letters mind you, "Do not exceed 4000mg of APAP during a day." Well no shit. Its almost as if they have suddenly realized this and feel the need to inform others of their new found discovery. I think that's kind of our job to monitor this (especially when we'll see scripts for Lortab which will state a max of 10 tablets a day.... whoops!) I think they get their rocks off on telling us what to do, much like jocks in high school.

The other day I sent off a fax on something and received the reply at the end of the day. In big bold letters, circled nonetheless, they wrote a note saying:

Prescription sent on 2/4/08 with three refills. Please check your records before you send stuff from now on!
Little cocky wouldn't you say? So I sent them a note back

Prescription was filled 2/4/08, 3/3/08, 4/1/08, 4/29/08. That is an initial fill, plus 3 refills. Please check your math before you send me notes like that.

Rude? Perhaps. But in my mind they should be snapping at me like that. My last story, which is my favorite, is when I got my ass chewed by a doc for about 10 minutes. You see sometimes we have to send notes on our faxes (i.e. to verify dose and whatnot). Usually they don't actually read the fax, which is scary when you think about it, because you'll get it back with some refills and a signature and no acknowledgment to the note. Well this doc had done this four times.... yes he couldn't read it 4 damned times. One would assume that receiving duplicate faxes would sound an alarm in their head, but alas that is not the case.

Now you have to realize that this is the end of a very busy day, this patient had chewed our ass out numerous times, and I was generally in a pissy mood. I decided I'd get his attention with the fifth fax. I decided I would draw a cartoon. I drew a dog and a ball in the corner. Then I had the ball bouncing away from the dog has the chased after it. Eventually the dog caught the ball at, you guessed it, the note I had been sending. Below that I then wrote "Oh look, a note!". Kind of a smart ass thing to do, but I was pissed off. Probably wasn't the right thing to do, and I just sat there and took the shit he was spewing at me (so he would feel better about myself), but my coworkers thought it was funnier than hell. Best part is since then that particular doc has never messed a note we've sent him. Mission accomplished.

I guess I can admit that I am a nerd. I'm ok with that. Now off to play Dungeons and Dragons! And wheres my Tang... and my inhaler...