Thursday, June 30, 2016

Pharmacists now required to annoy asthmatics, part 3

(Editors Note: Read Part 2 here)

Just as an aside here, I love the cartoons in my header, although it looks so gloomy. Even the name "hardluck" resonates gloom. I had actually changed the name once to "Gallant Asthmatic," and I think I should have kept it that way, as it offers a more positive tone. If you see a change in the future, this should explain it.

So, that said, I had finally had a run in with the pharmacist at Meijer. I went there to pick up my prescription for prilosec, and that's when he accosted me. He was nice, very nice. And he started asking me about my other medicines, the ones that put up a "red flag," so he said, from my insurance company.

The red flag was that I need to set up an appointment with him to discuss my medicine, side effects, and how to take them properly. He said, "Your wife said you are a respiratory therapist, and an asthma blogger, so I knew you would be a tough nut to crack."

He said all it takes is an hour. He said he has to do it once a year, unless I refuse. But if I refuse the red flag comes up every three months, and he has to ask me if I'm ready to set up my appointment.

He said it has nothing to do with Obamacare that he knows of. He said it's a policy of Medicare, and my insurance picked it up from that. Then he just started asking me questions about my medicine, the ones the red flag was in reference to, not the one I was picking up.

I explained to him that I tried Symbicort, Dulera, and Breo, and that the long acting bronchodilator in these medicines (I named them by their chemical names as though to show how deep my knowledge of these medicines went), formoterol and vilantnerol, were too powerful and caused me to become jittery and nervous.

I explained to him that I took Advair for 10 years and it worked great. But for some reason my doctor got a bug up his butt about getting me off Advair and on to one of the other combination inhalers. I tried them all. They all worked great, but had side effects I couldn't tolerate.

I even told him that I used to take salmeterol, the LABA in Advair, by itself back when it first came in the early 1990s. Even that made me jittery and nervous. But, for some reason, the dry powdered salmeterol doesn't cause that effect.

He shrugged as if to indicate, "That doesn't make any sense." But it does make sense. DPIs don't distribute the medicine as deep as MDIs, so it does make sense. Every asthmatic is different, and respond differently to different medicines, even different forms of the same medicine. So it does make sense. But I didn't want to get off the subject as I am here. 

So I realized I was going into a lot of detail, so I said, "Can we consider this our discussion?" He said, "No!"

What a prick. Sorry, but that's what I've decided he is. He was nice, very nice. But he is a prick. I say this because, over the past month, I have asked many of my fellow asthmatics if their pharmacist bugs them about their medicine. They all said that they ask, but when they say, "No. I'm a nurse", or "I'm a respiratory therapist," and they drop it.

This guy is one of those rule followers. He has no ability to use his common sense to walk around the rules. He is not able to think on his own. He may not like the rule, but it is how it is, so he follows it, even if it means annoying the crap out of me and my wife every time one of us picks up a prescription form Meijer Pharmacy in Ludington, Michigan, when he is working. 

That's how I define prick. Sorry, I will not tell him that to his face. I am political when we are face to face. But here, at "Hardluck Asthma," soon to be "Gallant Asthma" as soon as I get time and energy to make the change, I am not politically correct. I will not be politically correct. I do not have to be "Nice!"

And there's another aside I'd like to mention here real quick. A part of me wants to start over: a new blog, that is. I'm seriously pondering making a new blog, combining Respiratory Therapy Cave and Hardluck Asthma. But, for the life of me, I cannot think of a good name. When it comes, I will make the change. So, in the meantime, breathe easy.

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