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Is it Just Me Or Has the World Gone Mad?

Calm, organised writer thrown into befuddlement by what should be as easy as falling off the proverbial log. Yep, that's me.

I'm fine, honestly.

I'm fine, honestly.

Prelude to the Crazy

You know in I Love Lucy when Ricky says "'splain it to me Lucy!" When Mr. Spock decries something as illogical? I'm there. My brain hurts. My brain cells, the voices in my head, they're not talking to me. I may be crazy but my one tiny speck of sanity thinks not.

The medical sphere is clearly in a whirl but not Covid related on this occasion. Big love to all the doctors, nurses, carers, pharmacists etc. in the world. You're legends.

Just puzzled, that's all.

So, it just so happened that I needed to arrange for my pharmacist to get my repeat prescription ready. Easy peasy. Or so you would have thought. My normal pharmacy closed on the 8th October. Assured that my details have apparently magically travelled via the medical care atmosphere to the same pharmacy chain's other branch a short distance away, I order with confidence. Scratch that. You just know that chaos will ensue. Incidentally, the pharmacy chain are saving money by closing branches but they're in Germany and the customers here aren't overly impressed with their reasons for closure so it's probably just as well that they're a flight and a few PCR tests away! An avalanche of British sneering, sarcasm and moaning could send them dotty. Or is that an incentive to fly? I jest.

One pharmacy closes and another one   suffers chaos.

One pharmacy closes and another one suffers chaos.

My Logical Steps

Anyhow, suggestable logical next steps:

1. Phone the new pharmacy? Nope. You can't do that. They don't take prescription orders.

2. Phone the doctor's surgery? Nope. That's forbidden. Stern voice on their phone line repeatedly tells you that you must not, can not, will possibly burn in Hell if you try to get your prescription that way.

3. Phone the "POD" or Prescription Ordering Direct, a non doctor, non pharmacy call line for residents of the town I live in, as long as you are registered with a particular doctor's surgery.

OK, let's phone the POD. Dial, nice voice tells you that you are in position..."oh good grief I would have prepared sandwiches if I knew the queue would be this long. And who chose the hold music?" Great news though! Throughout Covid times we can use the online form on their website or e-mail in an emergency. It's not an emergency so I used the form. I filled it in, hit submit and received the acknowledgement that my message had been received and in five days my tablets will be at the pharmacy, shiny and new, ready for me to rehome them. I tried to believe this. I really did. Fool that I am.

"And one of those for me please Pharmacy Lady."

"And one of those for me please Pharmacy Lady."

Seven Days Pass By

Seven days later I phoned the new pharmacy who said they had nothing. They told me to phone the POD. Waited a while in the queue, grew whiskers, knitted a tea cosy, lost the will to live...kidding! Guess what? The POD had no record whatsoever of an order. Nada, zilch. The person on the end of the line, voice weary and probably being drip fed vodka to make it through the day, put through an emergency prescription which would so say 100% undoubtedly, no quibble, no delay, no problem be ready in three days time. Fabulous. Gave her great thanks, jumped for joy. Noticed arm ache from holding phone for a while.

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Checked that my Mum's prescription hadn't suffered the same fate, nope, that was going through nicely. But here's an oddity. The POD lady cancelled the original and put through a new order for Mum that would again be ready in three cheeky little days.

What could possibly go wrong. You've guessed already, haven't you?


But the POD Said...

Three days later, Friday, I stepped into the pharmacy, face mask on, socially distanced, eager expression. The pharmacist looked blankly at me. She didn't think my prescription was in. She checked the records. She announced in a rather damning tone that I was too early. The tablets would be ready on Monday, three days later than I thought and two days after I ran out. Not that I imagine that I'd have dropped dead but still, best to have them. The pharmacist said a customer services acceptable variation of "go away."

I replied very politely, I am British after all so I can do polite, firm and stubborn, that the POD guaranteed they'd be in, that the POD had assured and reassured me all would be well, that I wasn't going to run out of meds. Under duress, overworked, underpaid and quite possibly swearing under her breath, the pharmacist did make my prescription up as I took root in the window and waited. Tablets received, I heaved a huge sigh of relief.

My mum's tablets? No dice, I was instructed to return after 4p.m. today (Monday) at the earliest. Preferably not then though, just in case they haven't put the order together...I'm leaving it until tomorrow. Seconds out round two or hopefully all will go swimmingly.

All good luck wishes gratefully received...or just send alcohol and chocolate. They should help. And this story isn't over just yet.


Receptionist: "I Can't Book an Appointment." What?

Meanwhile, as an aside, my doctor's surgery left a voicemail asking me to call them back so better than that, I called by as the pharmacy and doctors are two doors from one another. I rang the bell and the receptionist came to the door. They're not letting patients in unless they have an appointment within the next five minutes to keep Covid at bay. I tell her about the call she closes the door in my face as she goes to check my records.

She returns. I am now due a tablet connection to the above pharmacy issue, this is routine. But...wait for it...this is worth the wait: The doctors receptionist cannot and will not book the appointment that the doctor wants booked on the doorstep or let me in to arrange it. I have to trot on home and phone the surgery, sit in their phone system queue and then she can book me the appointment...puzzled? Me too. I did as I was bid. Via the telephone I was met with no resistance, I was even thanked for calling them back so soon. Not many people do apparently. Well, um, I was on your doorstep half an hour ago...remember me? Silence at the other end of the line. Hmmm.

Thanks for Reading

If you're still with me thank you for following this befuddled ranting diatribe-anecdote. I think I need some medication now, and a lie down! Cathartic for me, hopefully amusing for you.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 Joanne Hayle

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