I’ve been going to the same pharmacy for probably 20 years. They’ve always been great and at times, have gone out of their way to help me. But this week, we hit a snag that resulted in about 24 hours of distress.
My dad is staying with us now instead of at my sister’s house. She is still going to work every day and was beginning to feel there was too much risk that she could bring the virus home. So, we loaded up all his stuff and moved him in on Sunday.
One of the first things he mentioned was needing to get a couple prescriptions refilled. Since he uses the same pharmacy, just in a different location, I was pretty confident there wouldn’t be a problem. And actually, there wasn’t a problem in getting it processed.
Prescription pickup – what happened?
As I’ve mentioned before, Tim has become our designated grocery shopper. He’s also been generously picking up my prescriptions at the store. It so happened that I’d just submitted refills for three of my prescriptions, so it worked out great. He could pick up mine and my dad’s.
He combined the pickup with a couple of other errands and came home with the bags. Our pharmacy uses a centralized distribution center for standard prescriptions, which are then delivered to the individual stores. Those are typically prepackaged and sometimes the pharmacy tech will take them out of those bags. But sometimes not.
When Tim got home and we were going through the bags, we noticed one of the prescriptions was missing. However, he had paid for it. To further complicate things, he hadn’t paid for one of mine. We did have the prescription notes for all five. What a mess!!
Tim went back to the store and explained we were missing a prescription. The person who’d checked him out had left for the day, so those there weren’t much help. He even called them again after he got home. They said they would have to wait until tomorrow when they could talk to her. I would get a call.
Pharmacy follow-up – not their fault
It was early afternoon yesterday before she called. They had looked at their security camera footage and according to her, it clearly showed her putting five prescriptions in Tim’s bag. Did you know they’re recording that stuff? Anyway, she pretty much told me it was no longer their problem and it was up to us to find it.
Tim searched his car multiple times. I picked through the garbage twice, even dumping it all in the front yard so I could sort it. Yuck!! Nothing. We emptied the entire recycling bin (and it was filled to the brim). Still nothing.
I checked the towels because Tim had brought everything in with a towel he’d used to dry off his car at the car wash. Nope. I checked a bag full of books that was sitting under the island where we’d unloaded the bags. My dad went through it once more.
I kept thinking, it has to be here, and we’ll find it and be so relieved.
We finally gave up. I was kicking myself for not going to the pharmacy myself. Not blaming Tim, but recognizing this wasn’t a simple pickup like usual and maybe I’d have paid more attention or known more about what to expect.
I learned two things during these 24 hours. First, while I thought he only had two of these pills left, he neglected to tell me he had already filled his pill box for the week. So, we were actually good for another week. That bought us a little more time.
Second, this drug is a controlled substance; something he uses for restless legs at night. As a result, they could not simply replace it. And it would be a problem to fill, even with a new prescription because they keep close tabs on how many pills are given out and when they should be gone.
The only thing we could do at this point was to call his doctor and explain the situation, which he did. He prescribed another drug that should work but said to let him know if it didn’t and they’d try something else. I felt bad because we know this one works for him.
Pharmacy follow-up – whoops!!
Around 4:00 I got a call from the pharmacy. Guess what? The bottle was found. We didn’t lose it. We never had it. They found it in a box under their drive-through counter. How it got there, we’ll never know. Evidently, their security camera didn’t catch that. 😉
I went right away and picked it up. I was ready to pay for the prescription we’d never been charged for, but the pharmacist said, don’t worry about it. Five dollars is nothing for all the trouble they had created.
I’d been thinking, he’s only been staying with us for two days and we’ve already screwed up! What kind of caregivers are we???
Was this an early April Fool’s joke on us?
There’s no point in blaming anyone. I will continue to use this pharmacy. These things happen. And maybe it was more likely to happen during this crazy time. At this point, I’m just happy all is well and we can relax again. And Tim feels vindicated.
My dad has 90 days of pills now. I sure hope we won’t have to go through this again. 🙄