Halloween in September and Improving My Street Cred

I have found the best pharmacy.

And that isn’t street/code for anything… I mean I have genuinely found the best pharmacy.

You know you’re old and/or sickly when you regard this as a major achievement.

Maybe I’m so excited about my new pharmacy because I had such a terrible pharmacy before… so it’s relative.

My former pharmacy was a Walgreens located nearby and… it caused a great deal of stress.

For example, when my husband and I first moved back to Milwaukee I went there with the prescription my Pittsburgh neurologist had written so I’d be able to acquire the medication I need to live.

That was deemed a super important goal of mine.

So I go to this Walgreens and the pharmacy tech says my insurance doesn’t work for some reason which she can’t explain and suggests it’s maybe because my prescription was written by an out-of-state neurologist

(what)

and, as such, I would have to pay hundreds of dollars to acquire a bottle of my generic Keppra.

As I didn’t have an extra hundreds of dollars, I asked to speak with the pharmacist which did nothing, and eventually I retired to the Walgreens candy aisle and it was there I set up a little war room.

Internal pep talk: I can’t live without my medication so I need to get my medication. Huzzah!

I then called every Costco pharmacy within 100 miles and each Costco pharmacy was amazingly out of generic Keppra.

There was a national shortage, they said.

One Costco pharmacy referred me to what sounded like a witch doctor which was where they were sending their other customers who also needed this essential medication to live.

Okay, it wasn’t a witch doctor probably but it was some sort of “non-pharmacy”.

Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer to get my legally prescribed medication from a sanctioned drug dispensary.

Not a yoga studio.

Namast-noway.

I would consider getting CBD or aromatherapy oils from a yoga studio but I’m apparently not as willing to “try new things” when it comes to controlling my epilepsy and its wild ways.

Besides, the witch doctor/yoga studio was about a three hour drive so…

I moved on and called the new Milwaukee neurologist I was to see in the next week to see if I could get in to see him earlier than scheduled as I didn’t have enough medication left to get me through to the appointment.

“No.”

Now various neurologists over the years have solemnly told me that, since I need my medication to live, it is illegal to not help me acquire it if I’m in need.

But it’s amazing how so many don’t seem to care.

So I then asked my Milwaukee neurologist’s nurse whether maybe he could write me a prescription without seeing me…

I’ve had epilepsy since I was 12 and have lived in this insane state for most of my life so my condition is well-documented and that data is very accessible.

However, the response I received was again a hard

NO.

I can’t say I didn’t have a bad feeling about the Milwaukee neurologist from the start but I had to brush that aside.

(SIDEBAR: For more about my adventures with this unprofessional neurologist check out my earlier post: https://epileptaste.wordpress.com/2020/07/08/brain-scans-and-your-average-medical-male-monster/)

It was at this point I started to panic a little.

I tried calling former Madison neurologists but it was after hours and no one was reachable.

Therefore, I reverted to thinking how I could possibly live without medication.

It would just be for three days.

Historically, my epilepsy is mostly triggered by the transition from unconscious/asleep to conscious/awake.

So, in order to give myself the best shot to survive and not have a tonic- clonic seizure, I would simply remove that transition.

Therefore, I felt I could either

  1. take sleeping pills and sleep through those three days

or

2. not sleep at all and just be wine drunk for three days.

My epilepsy is also oddly calmed by alcohol. It distracts my brain from producing excess electricity.

At the same time, I didn’t think I could stay drunk and awake or asleep for three days straight.

I’m old. Things are so less possible than they once felt.

Some other organ would surely give out in a three-day drunken binge and I’d then have a separate and additional medical emergency.

My final war room strategy was to consider approaching an ER (this was pre-COVID) to say I was epileptic and in need.

But I assumed the ER would tell me to leave and come back when I was out of medication and actively having seizures.

Consequently, I didn’t like any of these plans.

I was frowning at a bag of Milk Duds when the Walgreens pharmacy tech suddenly ran at me from out of nowhere, excitedly saying that the insurance for my prescription had magically gone through.

I appreciated her excitement. She was very excited.

And so I left my candy war room and walked back to the pharmacy, stood in line for a half-hour and finally reached the counter and paid

one dollar

for my anti seizure medication.

When writing this, my laptop’s autocorrect continuously changes the word “medication” to “mediation” and that pretty much sums up health insurance and the American healthcare system.

In any case, that Walgreens didn’t get any better and one day months later I switched pharmacies.

And that was one of the best decisions I’ve made this decade.

The new pharmacy is called “Life Change” pharmacy and it’s local.

Like, super local as it’s only known in our neighborhood.

And it’s great. It really lives up to its name.

This unlikely pharmacy has never had an issue with any of my prescriptions and they also provide a free delivery service.

This was especially great once the COVID 19 pandemic hit.

Right. So the people who deliver my medication are… great.

They’re super friendly and competent but they often also seem to drive drive really nice cars.

As in, large black Cadillac SUVs with tinted windows.

Or maybe they’re just really clean and sparkling. I don’t know. To me, they really stand out.

We live on a one-way street and so the pharmacy delivery people always park close to the curb with their shiny, intimidating, expensive-looking cars.

And also each delivery person is usually very cool and confident, and well put together.

They’re usually young but never spend their brief time looking around impatiently, or appearing bored as other young people often do… in contrast, they are very focused, look me right in the eyes and also appear super casual.

Therefore, I’ve started to wonder if our neighborhood – which is very nosy and gossipy – think I’m constantly getting drugs personally delivered by mid-level drug dealers.

I mean, I am getting drugs but not the “I’m not here” kind.

And I don’t want to profile what mid-level drug dealers look like but… three blocks from our house was the largest drug and gun bust in Wisconsin history.

Again, that large-scale drug trafficking operation – and its shutdown titled “Operation Island Hopper” by the DEA – happened three blocks from our building.

So, yeah, our neighborhood has a reputation.

Therefore, well-dressed people who confidently carry themselves and who drive extremely expensive cars with specific details like tinted windows and rims in this neighborhood are going to be profiled as mid-level drug dealers.

In any case, these pharmacy deliverers usually greatly improve my day just based on how they have never once caused me stress.

In contrast, I usually walk away from them, feeling aglow as maybe all their “looking like they’re doing so well” could maybe rub off on me.

Sometimes they barely accept the money I owe. One time their card reader wasn’t working and I didn’t have any cash so I paid them in change but I was short and the deliverer was all “no worries, you can just make it up the next time” but when the next time arrived, the different delivery guy looked a little shocked when I handed him two dollars in change and told him “Don’t worry. I owe you.”

Also, I get a small joy from what the neighbors may think.

So that pharmacy is just the best.

When I received my first delivery from Life Change, the package included a face mask and a small bottle of multivitamin.

Life Change Pharmacy gives me hope in humanity

and it also greatly improves my street cred in the neighborhood.

At least in my only child epileptic orphan mind.

😺

I’m an orphan. I’m also forty years old so it’s not that tragic of a thing. It’s just life which is often quite mean and cruel.

In any case, when living in Pittsburgh, a guy standing in line behind me at this hardware store, after hearing how I was a sibling-less orphan (I somehow managed to get into deep, personal conversations with a certain hardware store cashier) said,

“You’re exactly what serial killers are looking for.”

When someone says something really off I usually look around to assess the reactions of others, if there are others, before I react.

And the hardware store cashier was enthusiastically nodding her head in affirmation.

“Yes! They want people who are alone and without any family.”

I stood there and blinked for a couple seconds, feeling outnumbered, and then said, “I live with my husband and our giant mastiff so… I’m not alone and, damn, people, why do you know so much about serial killers? Personal experience?”

“I watch the ID channel!” said the hardware store cashier brightly.

“Cool, thanks,” I weakly replied, grabbing my purchased items and wondering why I ever engaged with people.

“Have a great day!” they both called after me.

I rarely leave the house.

On Tuesday of this week, President Trump visited Kenosha, defying the request of Wisconsin Governor Evers which asked him not to visit because he just brings discord and conflict with him, wherever he goes.

Therefore, I was happy to have minimal human contact with Life Change Pharmacy this week.

In addition, I also put up the Halloween stuff recently, trying to visibly take back the color orange.

I felt that, with things being how they are, a little Halloween was needed.

And I also enhanced our table coaster.

Sorry to spoil the country farm scene you repeatedly paint, Terry Redlin.

IT ALL LOOKS THE SAME

In any case, despite how terrible and dumb and hateful the world often seems, it’s important to remember that the dark side will never win.

Happy Halloween in September! 🖤

4 thoughts on “Halloween in September and Improving My Street Cred

  1. That was an amazing story…. I burst into tears and I’m crying now when you said “But it’s amazing how so many don’t seem to care.” Yeah. I know what you mean. Enough said. I was just going to come down here and reply to that, but I kept going. I laughed as the pharmacy tech came to you. Very pleased with herself. And then sneered when you paid a dollar. WTF? Why do they act like it’s no big deal… Oh, it’s a couple hundred dollars. No biggie. WHAT!? And I’m SUPER intrigued by your new pharmacy. Sounds like a drug front to me. I shouldn’t say too much, but I take ‘unprescribed’ meds on the daily. I feel the same way sometimes, as though I’ll die without. It’s mostly in my head though. I get them from a local corner store, they aren’t a pharmacy per say. But same profile. Nice NICE cars. And the cars have like Police support symbols on them. So I imagine they’re in cohots with the local force 😀 . They’ve been renovating the sotre and adding neat touches like parking lot lights, new coolers, a coffee station… in the last two years. They just repaved the parking lot as well. I got there ALL the time. Some times I go daily. I wonder about them a lot. I’m extremely curious. I don’t know what you write, but everyone you talked about has a story of their own. Why your doctor is such a dick, I don’t know. That’s very interesting to me. Why are doctors such assholes? And if I were in your place, I’d be screaming in that candy aisle! The candy would be on the floor! I was a bit nervous when you said ‘war room’ and took a pic of the candy 😛 But let’s imagine the pharmacy tech goes through this a lot and was glad she was able to do something. For once. I’m dying to get the story behind the mid-level dealers though. I guess we’ll have to make that story up ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha well, I know for a fact that my pharmacy isn’t in cahoots with the local police as I live in Milwaukee and the police don’t come to my neighborhood. And, if they do, they come in large groups of SUVs… community/police relations in Milwaukee are… terrible.

      But I think it’s a bad sign if your pharmacy is in cahoots with the police! But… maybe not! It really does depend on where you live. 😂

      My neurologist is no longer my neurologist… yeah, he was a super dick. He’s now out of the picture.

      Now I have a great neurologist! So that’s good. 🙂 not a dick at all. She is great.

      And ohhhh I liked the pharmacy tech at that Walgreens. She was genuinely excited for me. It wasn’t at all her fault that that Walgreens was remarkably unable to do anything. They are famous for being terrible around here.

      I’ve never known a franchise pharmacy to have such a terrible reputation but then again… I can understand why. 😬

      You always just have to be your own advocate. Know your rights and stand up for yourself yada yada.

      I say this when I somehow knew it was Labor Day (Twitter) but didn’t remember what that meant aka businesses are closed. I’m all gearing up to call my neurologist and… OH YEAH. 🤪

      Sigh. Hard to advocate on your own behalf when holidays elude you somehow. 😂

      But I’d like to think the pharmacy delivery people are just paid very well by this little local pharmacy. I’m sure everyone uses it BECAUSE THE WALGREENS IS SO TERRIBLE.

      They’re probably making bank. 🙂

      Like

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