A few nights ago I was at CVS picking up a couple of prescriptions. They blamed it on the computer system, but there was a problem filling one of the prescriptions so I had to wait extra time. It was late and I’d had a busy day, and my pain tolerance was waning. I had already been there for 15 or 20 minutes and it was looking like it was going to be another 20 minutes, at least. That’s not usually a problem, but the pharmacy tech was a new one they hired recently and she’s not particularly friendly nor is she, well, knowledgeable or concerned about moving faster than a snail. She was paired up with a pharmacist I had never seen before, and while she was quite chummy with this handsome dude, he wasn’t a particular charmer nor was he in the running for the Olmpics 100 yard dash. It wasn’t even very busy in there that night. No eye contact, shuffling, moving like they lived in Jell-O.
It was annoying. My blood sugar was low and I was thirsty. Boo. To occupy myself, I checked my CVS card and out printed a $1 Exra Buck so I got some Gatorade. I sat in the chairs near the pharmacy registers and read magazine titles to amuse myself while wishing I had some Advil that I didn’t have to pay for in order to take it.
Just when I thought I couldn’t stand it any more with Mr. McSlowyson and his sidekick, Pryncess Rude’N'Slow, a tall blonde woman walked up to the desk asked for some refills. She also stated some issues they might have, and wanted to know if one of the over the counter things she wanted to take would interact badly with any of her daily medications. As she listed them, I recognized several for anxiety, depression, and Bipolar Disorder. She was having trouble sleeping, she said, because her best friend just passed away suddenly and unexpectedly from a heart attack.
As the pharmacist looked up her information, I told her how sorry I was for her loss. She thanked me, and she looked so lost but also like she wanted to talk. I nodded to her, and she said again, “My best friend just died. I’m devastated.” As we talked I found out that her BFF was only 32 years old. They had been best friends for more than 16 years. She felt like she lost her left leg. She told me about how wonderful this woman was, and how warm, sweet, and funny. She told me about her children and husband, and how she died. She told me about the funeral. I couldn’t help but cry with her. And then she ran out of words.
So I hugged her.
She told me I was the first one to hug her. She had hugged so many people to comfort them in the last few days, but no one had hugged her. No one told her to try to take care of herself. That just appalled me, but I kept it to myself.
Suddenly my prescriptions were ready and Pryncess Rude’N'Slow was ringing me up. Mr. McSlowyson Pharmacist brought the blonde lady to the consult area. As I left, I wished her well, but as I drove home I wished that I had thought to ask for her e-mail or phone number.
I hope she’s taking care.