Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Iron Maiden

You might recall a blog post a couple of weeks ago about a lady who is convinced that her phone lines are tapped and refused to talk about her father's medicine because she wasn't on a secure line. You can read that story here.

We've had even more fun with this lady recently. And when I say fun, I mean the opposite of fun. Let's review the "fun."

Her dad, age 90, is on an iron supplement. According to her, the doctor recommended a specific brand of iron supplement. For whatever reason, this brand is currently not available. Not here, not next door, not around the block. We don't know why. We don't care why because there are many other iron supplements which give the same elemental amount of iron. They're therapeutically equivalent.

So last Friday afternoon (we get busy then-- people are on their way home for the weekend and try to get their errands out of the way) the lady calls about the iron supplement. I'm running around like a monkey trying to do everything while the technician is on the phone for a full 45 minutes discussing the options available for an iron replacement. She wants to know the name, NDC, and also where it is manufactured.

The technician keeps interrupting me while I'm helping people to find out information about these supplements because, well we don't know why... yet.

The time goes by, tech on phone, me doing on the work, and then it is time for the tech to leave. Five minutes after he leaves, the lady starts calling me. I'm not as polite as the technician, so I ask her why on earth she needs to know where the iron is from. "They're therapeutically equivalent," I tell her. They're suitable replacements for the brand her father was taking. She tells me some nonsense that the doctor told her it is important to know where it is from. I tell her I have to help some people and that I'll call her back later.

Ten minutes pass and she calls me. She's whispering.

"The reason why we need to know where it is from is because he suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. If it is from another country my father won't take it."

Me, trying to fill prescriptions and talk to her on the phone: "It's a global economy now. All of the companies the technician told you about have United States' addresses, but it will take quite a bit of research to find out exactly where they were manufactured. I really need to help some people. I'll call you back when we slow down."

Fifteen minutes pass. I'm still busy. She calls again, whispering.

"It's not my father that has PTSD. It is my husband."

The demon inside me can't help it. "Then what does it matter where the iron is from?"

"Because my husband will know where it is from and it will freak him out. He listens and watches everything."

PTSD is a real, disabling issue. My heart goes out to those who really, truly suffer from this condition. I just seriously doubt it has anything to do with iron supplements for another family member.

There's more to the story... which I will continue later...

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