Lately, I have been tested a few times by local pharmacists and I wonder why they would not hand over what has been prescribed by a doctor without giving you a third degree. I find their comments and questions unnerving either to myself or other patients in the queues. This is especially so when you are decently presented and what you are trying to buy off the counter is not dangerous in any way, AND or the medication has been prescribed by a doctor. It is especially annoying when you are sick and all you want is to buy the medication and go home.
Thalassemia is a disease that affects your body’s haemoglobin production – so the body does not produce Alpha globin. It is an inherited blood disorder. I have the minor trait which only got out of hand recently. Apart from eating well, loading up on green vegetables and staying healthy – I have to take iron tablets (pills). I have taken iron tablets before the birth of my sons and later as a precaution when my haemoglobin count dropped.
Last December and January 2015, I became very ill and stayed ill for almost three months. While doctors could not work out what was specifically wrong, my red count was low. It was found that my haemoglobin level dropped dangerously low and my cells lost their ability to make the other part of cells that complete the haemoglobin process. My doctor gave me the choice between an instant blood transfusion or taking more iron tablets. I was a little scared. I chose to take the tablets over a period of time with a super diet. I have been on the iron tablets for five months.
But, whenever I go to purchase the iron at any of our three local pharmacies, I get questioned over it. I don’t need a prescription for them. Here are some of the questions;
“Have you taken this before?”
“Why do you need it?”
“How long are you taking this?”
“Do you want to try other brands?”
You may say these are normal precautionary questions a pharmacist needs to ask. To me, it is all verbal diarrhoea. The fact is, if you can buy something off the pharmacy counter – you can. If the doctor gives you a script – you can get the medication too. There is not much a pharmacist can do – really – even after questioning.
So two days ago when I got to a crowded pharmacy and handed over the empty box and said – I need one box; the pharmacist (female) walks to the back of the room, picks up my new box and shouts to me: “Do you get constipated when you take these?”
Everyone in the queue, at least seven people looked from the pharmacist to me.
“Have you taken them and got constipated?” I replied (in pretend innocence).
Those that were in the queue giggled.
Embarrassed, she walked up to me and smiling said “I was just asking”.
“Yes, I know and I was asking too, I just love talking about things like that in front of strangers in a public place”. I said.