Just give me the drugs!

“Last name?”


“Date of birth?”

“Well, um, I’m picking up for several people.”

“Sure. Which one first?”

“Umm, me I guess. 5/13.”



“Okay, it looks like you have two ready.”

“Two? My doctor called in three. There should be a 10 mg and 20 mg escitalopram and a 50 mg trazadone. You don’t see that?”

[My heartrate picks up a bit. What could be the problem? Why is there always a problem! What’s this tech’s name anyway? I think the name tag says Melissa.]

“I see the 10 mg and the trazadone. It says the 20 mg is on hold.”

“On hold? What does that mean? I’m all out, so…”

[Now I’m getting agitated. What am I supposed to do? They give me a few extras sometimes in a pinch, but they’re going to start getting sick of me. They must think I’m so delinquent and irresponsible. I’m not. I know I’m not. Shit.]

“I can’t tell from here. You’ll have to go to the drop-off window. Someone will help you over there.”

“Okay…I’m kind of in a rush. I know that’s not your fault, but…”

“Someone will be right with you over there in a minute.”

[I walk 8 feet to the right to the drop-off window. Now I’m double-anxious. I do not have time for this, or maybe I just don’t want to have time for this. “This” sucks. “This” is an inconvenience. “This” is undignified, embarrassing, a reminder of underlying dysfunction. “This” is….]

“Okay, what was your last name again?”

“Bornstein. 5/13”


“Yes. Still James.”

“And what script is there a question about?”

[Really? We were talking about this 45 seconds ago.]

“Escitalopram. 20 mg. You said it’s on hold. I’m all out.”

“Right. Okay, let me see…[typing, typing…confused glare at the screen…typing…]…Have you ever taken this drug before?”

“Only for about a decade.”

“It looks like your insurance rejected it. It says it’s too soon to get more of that drug. Have you been taking them as directed? You might need to call your doctor, or the insurance company. You might want to call both.”

[My toes are clenching up into a foot-fist now. Why is getting a prescription that I’ve been taking for 10 years basically a part-time job? Who has time for this?! Don’t they know how cruel it is to make a person with anxiety and depression fight to get their drugs to treat their anxiety and depression? I’m trying to stay outwardly calm. It’s not her fault. She makes an hourly wage to deal with customers pissed about a broken insurance system. It’s not her fault. It’s not her fault….]

“This makes zero sense. And what am I supposed to take this evening? Can I talk to the pharmacist or something?”

“Well, yeah, I guess. I’m sorry. It’s just what the system says. I can’t do anything about it. Karen? Can you come over here for a minute. The system says he can’t fill this prescription yet.”

[Here comes Karen. Be nice. Try to be nice.]

“Okay, let me see. Looks like you last filled a prescription for this drug on…hmmm…that’s strange.”

[Strange is not really the word I would apply to this situation…]

“What does it say? What’s strange?”

“Wait a minute. Let me just check one more…You know what. I can fill this. You might have to pay and then get reimbursed from your insurance company though.”

“Okay, fine. Whatever. How long with that take?”

“15 to 20 minutes.”

[Yeah, I’ve heard you say that before…]

“Fine, I’ll wait. I had a few other prescriptions to pick up as well. Can I just get those at this window now?”

“No, sorry. You have to pick them up at the pick-up window. Melissa, can you meet Mr. Bornstein back at the pick-up window?”


[I said “fine” again. Did I say that with too much attitude? You know what, I’m allowed to have attitude right now. This is shitty. But it’s not their fault. I know it’s not their fault. Uch, I hate when I treat people like that. What does that say about me? They must be sick of me already…I can’t even. Okay, here we go again, Melissa.]

“Last name?”

[For fuck’s sake.]

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