Friday, June 25, 2010

Our eyes met......... (for Brande)

In between scripts the other day I ran over to the self checkout to buy myself a Coke. I looked up after inserting my dollar and that is when I made eye contact with her.

She was standing at the service center. I quickly averted my eyes so that the glance would not become a gaze.

You see, a couple days earlier I had made eye contact with her after the pharmacy had closed and I was picking up a few items in the store. I quickly looked away and moved into the nearest aisle.

No, it's not some ultra-hot babe.

It's our own unmedicated crazy woman.

Every pharmacy has one. The patient/caregiver that nobody wants to interact with. Mrs Crow (not her real name.... HIPAA) is one for the books. It's both comical and sad to watch this woman. She is obsessive-compulsive to the n-th degree. When she comes in to pick up her husband's diabetic prescriptions, it can be a major hassle. Since he gets both needles and test strips, we need to use a grocery bag to bag his meds. The area in will-call for these bags is the bottom shelf with over-flow on the floor. But not for Mr Crow. His bag must always be on the shelf, having never touched the floor.

When we grab his insulin out of the fridge, we need to place the insulin boxes in their own bag, apart from his other medications. Mrs Crow then will open the bag and place all of her husband's medications on the counter to check them. This usually takes her about 5 minutes. After checking his meds, she wants us to staple shut both the bag holding the insulin and the grocery bag.

While she is checking the meds, she asks (every friggin' month) if we can recommend a good physician for her husband. Because they have been released from 4 different offices over the last 18 months due to her constant questioning and antics. When she speaks, her thoughts are not organized and she keeps rambling on and on and on and on and on and on. You can't counsel her because she cuts you off after your third word. I can understand why the physicians don't want to be in the same room as her.

And she is paranoid about germs. She can't stand to be around anybody with a cough/sneeze/ you name it. But she is also afraid of cleaning solutions. If she can smell cleaning solution around the counter, neither she nor the prescription bags can touch it. It's comical because she wears an old yarn hat that has about 15 years worth of grease on it. She is not a very clean person. I can only imagine what the house looks like.

One slow Saturday afternoon, Mrs Crow called with a question about Mr Crow's insulin. He has been taking Humulin-N and Humulin-R for years and his blood glucose is always high. His newest physician wanted to switch him to Lantus and Humalog. After 15 minutes of explaining how the new insulins were supposed to work and how he should get better blood glucose control, Mr Crow picked up on another phone and I had to go thru the whole thing again. That's when I realized that crazy old Mrs Crow is the sane one in her house.

How these two people hooked up, I have no idea. How they function as a couple is even more of a mystery.

And he's due for a refill on his insulin soon. I can only hope Mrs Crow comes in on my day off.







This is a repeat post from my old blog. I filled in at that pharmacy today and saw Mrs. Crow. If you follow my Twitter updates, you'll see how I tried to hide from her today.

3 comments:

John Woolman said...

A "heartsink" patient. http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/short/297/6647/528

oleapothecary said...

When I left retail in 1993, the Internet was still a new word in the language and the Web was still something for hobbyists, so I never had a pharmacy blogosphere to keep me company in my lonesome job. But now that I do have it, and can read about many other pharmacists' experiences, I am reassured that I wasn't the only one facing the Mrs. Crows of the world, that they were universal. Eric, I sure did have a few of them. The husband of one of them once acknowledged his intent upon evil when he said, "If you think my wife is tough, you haven't dealt with me yet." (his wife was Lucifer's mother). And that was how he said his how-do-you-do.

pharmacy chick said...

She sounds like the crazy lady we have at our store. Stooped over, Mrs Nutcase comes in with one of those folding carts on wheels that she puts all of her stuff in. If you make eye contact with her, you are dead. she snags you like a cheap sweater and won't let go. she has to share every weird remedy she has ever heard of. She uses milk of magnesia as a salad dressing and will tell everybody who wanders too close that THEY too need to use it. she coats her face in a heavy troweling of Aquaphor so its shiny as a new penny. She constantly talks to herself....Must be Mrs Crow's sister..