Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I need counseling...seriously

Last week I developed a condition with my right eye. I had spent the weekend working in the yard, trimming the trees, pulling weeds. All kinds of landscaping/gardening activities. As Sunday evening rolled around I started to feel something in my right eye. I assumed it was some sort of allergic reaction since pollens typically cause me problems.

So I took some loratadine on Monday morning and assumed all would be well by the end of the day. After finishing a round of golf after work, my eye wasn't better. By the time I returned home, the upper eyelid of my right eye was swollen.

In between rounds and meetings on Tuesday, I was able to run over to one of the nurse practitioner's offices to have my eye looked at. The diagnosis wasn't an allergic response. It was cellulitis. The nurse practitioner decided to e-scribe an antibiotic for me.

Since our facility doesn't have an outpatient or employee pharmacy, I had to decide where to have my prescription filled. This was the first time in my career where I wouldn't be using my own pharmacy to fill a prescription. I decided to use the grocery pharmacy that I had managed a few years ago.

Being the responsible patient, I called the pharmacy to give them my new insurance information ahead of time. It would be four or five hours until I would be picking up my medication. The pharmacist on duty was one of my partners from ten years ago. We've always joked around when we run into each other. As we finished the call, I told him to make sure he had his whole counseling bit together because I needed to know how to store my medication and what to do if I missed a dose. We laughed and hung up.

After finishing at the hospital, I drove to the pharmacy to pick up my prescription. After paying for my prescription I asked about the counseling. Steve informed me that when I signed for my insurance, I was also documenting that I declined the offer of counseling. I remember that about that system. We laughed again and I went on my way.

Fast forward to Saturday. My family decided to do some school shopping and see what was left at the local Borders. It was getting to be late in the afternoon and hunger was starting to set in. As we drove to the Italian restaurant, a storm kicked up. I dropped my wife and kids at the door and ended up parking a considerable distance away from the door. I hopped out in the rain and hurried in. The only part of my body that the umbrella protected was my face and hair. Everything else was soaked.

By the time that we finished eating, I was still pretty damp. The storm had passed so we decided to hit another store.

While in the store I put my hand in my left front pocket. That's when I realized what had happened.

You see, I was going to need a dose of my antibiotic while we were out shopping. Rather than bringing along the prescription vial, I just shoved a capsule in my pocket.

What happens when the gelatin of a capsule gets wet? You know, like when it sits in a damp pocket for a couple hours.

That's right the gelatin dissolved to the point to where the contents of the capsule were now lining my left front pocket. I was half mad, half amused at what happened. Over the sixteen years of my career I have preached and preached and preached about not storing medications in humid environments. And look what happened to me, the pharmacist.

If only I had agreed to my counseling.


pharmacy chick said...

I find it interesting that your previous company requires patients to sign away their rights to counsel with their third party signature. I'm not sure that is legal in all states....I know for a fact its not in ours.

Anonymous said...

Gotta love the irony! So, how are you liking the switch/ Are you happy with your choice, the new work environment, etc?

Eric Durbin, RPh said...

The signature log had a box that was already checked to decline counseling. If you unchecked it, you would get counseling. The way the law reads here is that the refusal of counseling needs to be recorded.

pharmacy chick said...

A very clever way to document refusal of counselling...have it as the default setting. Not bad. We have to document we DID the counsel. so we have to initial a tag. all that paperwork...sigh

Anonymous said...

Are the antibiotics working? Or is it a misdiagnosed chalazia that is being inappropriately antibiosed?