Monday, May 20, 2013

Melvin McReedy

Melvin has been coming to this pharmacy for many years. He's quite a guy. He's about 70 years old, always dressed in medical scrubs (although does not work in a medical field -- he's retired), and smells bad.

Melvin has been developing Alzheimer's disease for several years. As the disease gets worse, Melvin gets angrier and angrier. He does one of two things. He'll call in a medication for himself, dutifully typing the Rx number on the phone pad (you have to give him credit for that -- too many people just can't seem to do that), and then select a time for pick up. It will pop up on our computer and we fill it. Then it will sit there, on the shelf, day after day, until we call him. He then gets mad and tells us he never called it in.

The second thing he likes to do is show up to pick up a medication he apparently forgot to phone in, and then proceeds to get mad because it is not ready for him to pick up. Swearing is Melvin's favorite pastime because he sure lays it on us a lot when things don't go his way. He works with nasty words the way other artists work with oil and canvas (obscure movie reference -- do you know the movie?). I cringe when I see him because I never know what is going to come out of his mouth. It took him a good two years to learn my name but now he has it down and I've finally earned his trust, but he'll still go off like a gunshot if you don't have what he wants when he wants it.

A few years ago the company developed an addition to our computer system called Auto Refill. Just as the name implies, it will automatically print labels for patients two days before they (normally) run out of medication. This is a brilliant system, win-win for both patient and pharmacist. For the patient, they don't have to do any thinking... just come in when you run out of your medication and it is there on the shelf waiting for you. If you forget after a few days, the system automatically calls you to remind you. Plus, if you are out of refills, it will automatically fax the doctor for a refill, providing seamless drug therapy. For the pharmacist, it prints out a stack of labels two days ahead of time and we can fill them during down times in the pharmacy. And the BEST feature is that people who for whatever reason are afraid to type in their Rx number when they dial the pharmacy and then get connected to the pharmacist/tech and bug us during business times; now they don't have to bother. [Oddly enough, it's TOO CONFUSING for some people...]

Now since this system was developed, I have talked to Melvin at length about how he doesn't need to call in his Rx anymore. I told him we can put him on Auto Refill and he can just come in and get it when he runs out. He liked the idea and agreed, then promptly forgot all about our conversation. Thirty days later he called in to type in his Rx and the computer told him he couldn't get it for another 30 days (because it was waiting for him on the shelf) and he would get angry. The first time this happened he came in and screamed and swore at my tech. She told him he was on Auto Refill. More swearing, then telling us he didn't want any part of this Auto Refill nonsense and hell this and damn that. I promptly took him off Auto Refill. Then about 30 days later he came in and asked for his medication. When I told him I would need to fill it, he immediately started swearing asking why it wasn't on Auto Refill and what was wrong with our F---ing damn computer, hell this and damn that.

Auto Refill and Alzheimmer's disease. Take my advice: Don't mix them.


Anonymous said...

We had a patient that would come in, grab a Diet Pepsi from the cooler, chug it, belch loudly, then tell dirty jokes. I was just a lowly cashier at the time and would run and hide when he came in. Eventually he would pay for the drink he chugged and leave. One day a nice young man came in and asked if we'd seen his grandpa. Lo and behold, this old man frequently escaped from his assisted living facility, walked to our pharmacy and caroused and would eventually wander back.

LicensedtoPill said...

A Christmas Story :-)

Crazy RxMan said...

YES! A Christmas Story -- in my personal TOP TEN movies of all time.