Sunday, May 14, 2006

How Do I Prove I'm NOT Abusing My Medication?

I take 2 psychiatric and one heartburn medication every day. I absolutely don't remember the names of these medications. The two psychiatric medications are both restricted. People have been known to use them as 'party' drugs. I am given 100 generic Prozac at a time, but the tricyclic anti-depressant is restricted to 30 tablets at a time. Needless to say, I'm down refilling something every 30 days.

I also tend to forget which pill is what drug. I usually just bring in the empty bottle and that solves the problem. Today I made several really bad errors. 1) I left the empty bottle of the tricyclic at home and 2) assumed I could just remember what was what and the pharmacy would figure it out. No, no, very, very bad set of moves! As I said, I don't mess with medication. I do what I'm told, no more, no less. So, the thirty pills were gone again. I thought they were the generic Prozac. I told the pharmacists as much and within 10 minutes I was ready to leave, with new pills.

Then the Odyssey began: "are you taking more then one pill a day?"The clerk asks, while frantically interacting with her keyboard. I immediately realized I was in trouble. This is one of those situations like: "how long has it been since you stopped beating your spouse?" There is no win on answering that question. The very first thing an active drug abuser does, is to deny they are abusing drugs!

I patiently ran through my explanation and was told I had to see the pharmacist before they'd give me my pills. They didn't even ask for my co-payment, a really suspicious sign indeed. So, I'm confronted with a kind Japanese lady who begins to really grill me on my pill taking behavior. She kept asserting that I'd just had a 100 pills given to me on 3/29 and although they'd give me 30 more today, they wondered how I'd managed to go through so much medicine in a month. It finally hit me, that maybe they had refilled the wrong pill. Sure enough,once I corrected the error I'd made in the beginning of this transaction, I was again free to leave without any further special meetings. Man, I will NEVER, NEVER neglect to take my empty bottle of pills with me to my HMO again. I am thankful they care, and are careful. But, I had a real attention span trying to figure out how I'd prove I wasn't abusing my medication! Woo-Wee.

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