Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Be Thankful for the Laughter

Cindy came in to the pharmacy on a busy Monday. I could see by the look on her face what she had to tell me. Rick, her husband, had passed away.

Rick was always in a good mood. He was always pleasant, funny, upbeat, and nice. He made me and the technicians laugh, and sometimes that's not an easy thing to do in the pharmacy.

He had been a patient of ours for as long as I can remember. In the past few months I had not seen Rick very much. Cindy had told me he just wasn't feeling well, so she was the one picking up his medications. Rick had COPD, insomnia, depression, and restless leg syndrome among his list of ailments. And for someone with so many issues, you would never know it because he was always in a good mood.

When Cindy gave me the news, it hit a lot harder than with other patients I've seen pass away. Maybe it was because I liked him more than other patients. Maybe it was because we had more in common. Or maybe it was because he was just so nice and friendly all the time. I gave Rick his flu shot every year, right square between the eyes of buffalo he had tattooed on his arm. It became a yearly joke. "Is it time to shoot the buffalo?" he would ask? New techs would wonder what the hell we were talking about and Rick and I would laugh.

I will miss Rick. I admired his ability to make people laugh. I hope that I can be like him someday. I want to always be in a good mood and always be able to be able to make people laugh no matter how I'm feeling. All too often it is easy for people to let their ailments get them down, and who can blame them, really? So I admire that about Rick.

No one lives forever. Your turn and my turn will eventually come. Make your time here count.

Rick did. 

3 comments:

Pillboy said...

Dammit Crazy...bad day at work today and you go and put things in perspective. Thanks, most of us pharmacists need that once in awhile.

Anonymous said...

I think every pharmacist has a patient like Rick.

Mine walked to the pharmacy nearly every day just to say hello to the people that worked their regardless of whether or not he had a prescription to be picked up. When he walked up to the counter, every single face in the pharmacy would light up with a smile.

When he didn't show up for a while, we started to get worried. When his daughter showed up, we knew. I don't think there was a dry eye in the entire store, pharmacy and front end.

It is a damn shame that people like that are the exception rather than the rule.

Anonymous said...

Do you recommend people contact their loved ones pharmacy after their death? A few years ago, after my 38 y/o brother passed, I contacted his pharmacy to let them know! My main reason was because of the types and quantities of meds he was on at the time? I also had hoped they had a disposal suggestion, which they didn't (thankfully, the ONC did)!