The Pharmacy Chick

Flying the coup in retail

The patient patient: II Visiting the holy of holies: the surgeon

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 5:19 pm on Thursday, January 8, 2015

One might think that visiting a neurosurgeon ( or any specialist for that matter) is akin to asking for a private audience with the Pope, President or somebody of equal stature and significance.  AND you would be right…at least in the opinion of our insurance company AKA the GATE KEEPER ( insert a deep bow here). We must seek permission ( a referral) in order to see somebody.   We were both grateful that our request to be seen was granted without much delay, but “delay” is relative  because when we called to make an appointment with his Holiness, it was met with ” our first appointment is somewhere in 2017″.

Ok, that is a bit of an exaggeration.  It was 2015. However thru a bit of creative maneuvering ( an intervention of sorts) from our friend Dr PCP, Dr Holiness was able to see us earlier.  Well, NOT HIS exact Holiness, but another Holiness in the same clinic because there were 5 Holinesses and Dr PCP liked one the best but he didn’t want to look at Mr Chicks case. While Mr Chick was quite uncomfortable, he wasn’t totally incapacitated so Dr Holy I  said ” I declare thee not worthy of my time”.  So Holy II accepted our case ( MRI, chart notes etc).

Im going to pause here to reflect on something I found very profound when it comes to health care providing.  Tho I have moved away from speaking of the business of pharmacy, Id like to draw a comparison/contrast of seeing various health care providers. Pharmacists are quite like the great unwashed when it comes to providers…at least in my opinion..based on many years of being one.

When we walked into the surgeons office the first thing I noted with the distinct lack of noise.  It was quiet. You won’t see that in a pharmacy. The woman at the  desk would address me at precisely the moment she wanted to…after she finished her phone call.  There is no rush at the counter, or pushing or shoving and certainly no LINE. The phone rings very quietly in stead of the annoying SHRILL that my 6 lines have. Its very “library”-like.

Doctors offices pretty much know ahead of every day what kind of work load they will face..its on their appointment list….APPOINTMENT list.  THAT is the major difference between what I do and what they do.  I have no idea what is going to happen every day. I am at the mercy of the patient. I have to see and wait on every person what walks up to the counter regardless of what else I am doing or how many prescriptions I already have.  THEY rule not me. And if they don’t  get what they want all they have to do is whine and some middle manager with a white shirt on will make sure I am embarrassed an humbled by my behavior. In a doctors office, the staff rules.  You sit quietly and wait. You don’t get to see the doc until he is ready to see you. And he pretty much minds the time.  If you think that your 30 min appointment is going to be stretched into an hour because you have a hundred questions, good luck with that.  But if some Joe Doe wants to hijack me and agonize over Dayquil or Sudafed for a half hour, God help me. Back to Dr Holy II

Dr Holy II was a very amicable man. Tall and thin, both in stature and hair, he reminded me very much of my first boss. I like to see doctors who have some level of physical fitness and his pictures in the office seemed to indicate he pursues a lot of activities. Once the niceties were over Holy II gave Mr Chick an assessment of his back health and thru various modalities discovered he had a significant reduction in function and strength on his left side from the herniation. He produced the MRI and brought out a skeleton of the back, showing what he’d LIKE to see and what he ACTUALLY saw.   They were miles apart.

In summary, he felt that he was a suitable candidate for what he figures to be a highly successful microdiscetomy.  He feels that the nerve is being damaged  by the compression but is likely salvageable if we get the pressure off before the damage is permanent.  He said this, that, and the next thing about what we need to do over the next several weeks until he can schedule surgery including trying Gabapentin.

He said ” we will e-script in a prescription into your pharmacy of choice”  The pharmacist in me said ” this should be interesting”.

Guess what was never received at the pharmacy?  The E-script.  Mr and Mrs Chick. Just another patient waiting for something that isn’t going to come.We actually had a good laugh as we waited 3 days before we called the office to inquire about the awol rx. The answer wasn’t encouraging:  ” oh, we have no chart notes that any prescription was to be sent”.

Nice.  More to come later 🙂


Comment by Ken

February 21, 2015 @ 1:34 pm

I’m a regular guy. Been in the military for a lot of years. Anyway, I’ve always been interested in Pharmacy. I have no idea why and it’s kind of weird, actually. I even dated a pharmacist once. Once. I think I love this blog! 🙂

Comment by Amanda

April 29, 2015 @ 11:47 am

I’m so glad you are writing again. I have only been reading for the past couple of months (mostly archives) but your blog is really a great break for me. My techs always know when I steal some time and sneak in a little reading during my “lunch”. I’m usually caught laughing quitely to myself. I enjoy all the topics you write about however I really do enjoy the pharmacy stuff … we all go through the same thing, which is suprising on one hand and also not surprising at all. I hope you eventually venture back to the pharmacy side even if only every once-in-awhile. You really have a gift for writing. Also, I applaud you for your care/compassion for your customers/job. You’re right, you can’t get emotionally invested in every prescription but, like everything else in the pharmacy world, there are exceptions. Pharmacy life is complicated and hard to relate to, thus the haters… Anyway, all the best to you and Mr. Chick, I look forward to future posts. Thank you for sharing.

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