Growing up with arthritis has given me a chance to meet lots of great medical professionals. None I enjoy more than the pharmacists. This group of human beings are the unsung heroes of our medical care. They remain largely invisible, stand three feet above us for some reason on an elevated platform, and know everything about our disease(s) and how we treat them.
When you pause to think about it, there’s a lot going on here. I mean these people check their egos at the door, don’t require any attention, and — when you get to know them — turn out to be the coolest group of healthcare experts in our circle of care.
The other day I started chatting up the new guy at the pharmacy. Cool guy — got transferred from another pharmacy — and when he pulled up my record, politely said, “Looks like I’ll be seeing more of you.”
This, of course, is because I am an idiot and haven’t figured out how to time all of my refills to come out the same week.
Instead I’m picking up a prescription every third day, or so it feels, which is why the gang has gotten to know me, and likewise. So the new guy kind of felt like a first date. Except every piece of private information you’d NEVER tell a first date, he pulled up with one stroke of the keyboard. Jeeze.
I asked Arnold (that was his name) what was the most expensive drug he had ever filled. What’s better conversation than a factoid like that? And he said that just last week a lady came in and picked up a prescription for $2,100! And she paid cash!! Which was delightful and disturbing at the same time. Disturbing because a drug actually cost $2,100. Delightful that someone walks around, somehow, with that much cash on them. What’d she do, hold up a convenience store and make a bee-line to the pharmacy? Who wouldn’t?
Arnold didn’t volunteer what drug cost that much money, but I am sure after a few visits to my friendly neighborhood pharmacist, that HIPAA and confidentiality wall will come crumbling down. After all, he’s the keeper of the secrets.
Get to know your pharmacist if you can. They’re cooler than you think.