A recent post by Dr. Grumpy reminded me of a patient last year. She came into the pharmacy literally in tears, handing me a prescription from her doctor for Lorazepam. It was to help her deal with a death in the family.
This situation happens more often than you would think. In fact, sometimes the first person a surviving spouse will call is the pharmacy. I don't know why. Maybe it's because when a patient is ill they see their pharmacist a lot and we're more sympathetic than the other healthcare providers? All I know is that I've entered a "D" for "deceased" in the patient's profile on the computer more than I ever wanted to.
The lady was quite upset and I worked quickly to get her the medication ready. In most cases, if I'm not interrupted I can get a new script typed, printed, counted, labeled, checked, double-checked, and ready to go in about 3.5 minutes. So 3.5 minutes later I'm handing her the prescription at the pick-up window and a box of Kleenex so she can wipe away the tears.
I felt very sorry for her. I did. But I didn't ask questions. Survivors of those who have passed don't want to answer questions. They don't want to hear how you know how they feel, because you don't. But they do like to hear sympathy, and I tried to express that.
She talked about her loved one that passed with great sorrow. But then the way she was wording things didn't make sense. A few more sentences and then it finally came out... she was talking about a HAMSTER.
All I can say is that must have been one special hamster.