Saint Dustin of the Eternal Refill


"You say you took someone else's medication? And how do you feel?...

"You feel high?... Well, when did you take it?...

"A minute ago?" The pharmacist winced and pushed at the bridge of his nose. He switched the phone to his other ear, and motioned at me to show him what I needed.

Optimistic fellow. I indicated I'd wait. From what I could tell, this dude was going to need all of his attention for the live one on the phone.

He looked grateful for a fleeting moment, then listened, and quickly interrupted the caller. "No, no, don't drive if you feel high. Don't get in a car..."

"No, that medication shouldn't hurt you, but if you're feeling high, just stay home." The pharmacist flashed me a pained smile.

Then he blinked with surprise. "Pissing all over the place last night? But you just took the medication a minute ago... When did you take the medication?...

"Oh! Someone else is pissing all over the place? Well, I thought we were talking about you." The pharmacist was looking like he'd gone two rounds with Mohammad Ali to poor results.

"Let's just focus on you and the medicine you took," he went on patiently. "...No, no, don't try to operate a car."

At this point, I was wondering if there were sainthood options for well-meaning, young martyred pharmacists.

Dub him "Saint Tolerance of CVS"...

"Saint Put-Upon of the Holy Mortar and Pestle"...

Or maybe just "Saint Dustin of the Eternal Refill." I don't know. I'm not quite up on these things.

It made me grateful, though. At least in my line of work as a marketing project manager, when clients are befuddled, it isn't a question of life, death and heavy machinery operation.

Bodily fluids are oh-so-rarely involved.

And I almost never, ever have to play 20 questions to determine where urine is coming from, and its original ETA.

No, my challenges usually involve trying to explain that just because puce, chartreuse and teal are a CEO's favorite colors, it doesn't mean they'll necessarily make a snazzy impact for the new corporate logo...

That more flashing, spinning blimp-shaped bullets are probably not "tasteful attention-grabbers"...

And that anonymous surveys tend not to yield a whole lot of useful mailing list information.

Tricky at times, yes. But rarely hanging in the balance of stomach-pumping or daisy-pushing...

Hypochondria or hearses...

And definitely not rabbit-chasing grannies causing five car pile-ups on the Parkway, instead of simply sleeping it off in the La-Z-Boy in front of Oprah.

My heart goes out to the folks on the pharmacy front lines.

Now, I do know you've got to complete a certain number of miracles to apply for sainthood...

But I think if Our Pharmacist of Perpetual Patience managed to stop Great-Aunt Myrtle from hitting the roads higher than Grace Slick on a Wonderland Weekend... her pee-soaked companion riding shotgun...

Well, that would have to count for something...

Wouldn't it?

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30 comments:

Karen said...

Anything dealing with pee-soaked people, especially ancient ones, that qualifies you for sainthood...hands down, thumbs up, go straight to ice cream heaven.

Jenn Thorson said...

Karen- You said it!

It was pretty funny, he had quite a crowd of other pharmacists listening in on his conversation, too. I got the general impression that while they'd witnessed some interesting problems, this discussion was high on the Weird list. :)

Chaotically Calm said...

I totally think it counts I mean just think of the lives saved and the seats still in their same un-pee soaked condition. Somewhere there's a Buick (cause old folks always drive those big cars) thanking the Perpetually Patient Pharmacist (PPP).

Prefers Her Fantasy Life said...

Sounds like one for the Funny Pharm Files.

Jenn Thorson said...

Chaotically Calm- It's saved the resale value of the Buick, at the very least. :)

Meg- Ha! You're sharp today.

Da Old Man said...

I think pharmacists already have a patron saint, St. Steven. He was a martyr who was stoned.

By the way, those colors you mentioned-- as a guy, I have no idea what they are. If it's not in the 8 pack of Crayolas, I'm lost.

Jenn Thorson said...

DaOldMan- S'okay about the colors-- I actually chose them for their obscurity, so s'all good. :)

According to The Google, Saint Gemma is the patron saint of pharmacists. But I like your stoned martyr pun better.

Mike said...

I rarely have run ins with pharmacists due to my Herculean immune system and the fact that I'm built akin to a Mack Truck.

The one time I did have bronchitis, couldn't breath and handed the pharmacist a prescription for a puffer and antibiotics.

I got my puffer in negative 4 seconds.

Awesome.

Jenn Thorson said...

Mike- So... a saint with Super-Speed... COOL! :)

PS- You conjure quite an visual image, Mike!

Beetle said...

I imagine doctors have even stranger people to deal with - possibly peeing on the chair in their surgery :O)

Melanie said...

Funny post, but it got me thinking (I know, it's something I rarely do!) I don't think I've ever met a pharmacist who wasn't a saintly helpful person. I mean, they all just seem to be really great people.

Tony Single said...

I agree with Melanie... and the funny thing is, they always seem to know much more about the effects of various prescription drugs than doctors do. My hat goes off to them! :)

Jenn Thorson said...

Beetle- I'm sure eventually they see just everything!

Melanie- I don't know-- maybe it's the ready access to painkillers. :)

Tony- That's certainly true, or at least they seem more willing to look at your different meds and EXPLAIN to you about them.

Ram Venkatararam said...

That's a great post, thanks. Very funny.

dana wyzard said...

My husband works with a pharmacist for his "retirement job" and one day a woman brought two bottles to the pharmacist and asked why the pink one helped her indigestion but the white one didn't. The pharmacist tried to convince her that they were the same, the pink just had artificial peppermint FLAVORING. As she kept insisting that the pink one worked best, he finally just said "Well, peppermint IS known to help with indigestion" and she was happy.

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Jenn Thorson said...

Dana- With tales like that, you can see why sugar/placebo pills end up working so well for some folks! It's often mind over matter.

~Static~ said...

LOL
What a convo to overhear.

Also, "St. Tolerance of CVS" forgot to mention that it was his fault that the caller took someone else's meds. It was a HUGE mistake because he gave the caller the wrong medication meant for another customer moments before that phone call!

Hahahahaha!!!! Oh shit, I'm so high I'm pissing all over the place again. I better call the pharmacy back, 'cause this ain't right!

LeeVB said...

I bet that conversation wasn't even the craziest one the pharmacist had heard that day. Those guys probably have some pretty crazy stories.

Chat Blanc said...

I definitely feel for the pharmacist, but my greater amazement is that someone would call in WORRIED that they felt high! Seriously, once you're high you really shouldn't be caring whose pills they were or have the inkling to drive. ;)

Karen said...

What a great post! I never gave much thought to how much a pharmacist goes through. They are probably like a doctor who I am sure sees the craziest things.

Tiggy said...

So what was the mystery medication that makes you high and causes other people to piss?

Jenn Thorson said...

Static- Oh, I think it was Little Old Lady confusion that did it. I suspect she grabbed husband Harold's pills instead.

LeeVB- I'm sure not, though he pretty much indicated that it was the strangest one he'd had that day at the time.

Chat Blanc- Heh, I don't think in the "minute" that the person had to even digest the pill anything was happening to them other than hypochodria. :)

Karen- I'm sure that's true.

Tiggy- I don't know, but there are all sorts of strange side effects these days. :)

Jay said...

Hahaha! Thanks for the laugh!

I have a friend who is a pharmacy technician - perhaps I should send her the link!

Jenn Thorson said...

Jay- I'm sure she can tell you some amazing stories!!

chyna said...

Would that be Saint Steven Adler that was stoned? Sorry been watching alot of Celebrity Rehab lately. ;)

Jenn Thorson said...

Chyna- Erm... no. Probably not. Looking for a slightly older dude. :) But good thought!

~Static~ said...

["LOL
What a convo to overhear.

Also, "St. Tolerance of CVS" forgot to mention that it was his fault that the caller took someone else's meds. It was a HUGE mistake because he gave the caller the wrong medication meant for another customer moments before that phone call!

Hahahahaha!!!! Oh shit, I'm so high I'm pissing all over the place again. I better call the pharmacy back, 'cause this ain't right!"]

"Static- Oh, I think it was Little Old Lady confusion that did it. I suspect she grabbed husband Harold's pills instead."

Little Old Lady Confusion forgot what day it was so she didn't even make it to the pharmacy that day. This was clearly the doing of Mr. Snafu, who switched Harold's pills with Old Lady Confusion's. The result was one big ball of confusion and a puddle o' piss.

The Great Fox Hating Potentate said...

See, anytime I get tempted to feel bad for pharmacists, I think of the time I saw one chew out a young woman for asking for the morning after pill.

Or was that in a law and order episode?

Jenn Thorson said...

Static- Little Old Lady Confusion and Mr. Snafu might just make a good song name. :) It'd probably have to be prog rock, or something... but still.

Julian- Well, Law and Order is "ripped from the headlines" right? (Meaning, "we don't have to actually come up with fresh plots of our own...") :)