Not What It Used To Be
As I travelled the twenty miles to town each breath was painful, and I realized that I needed to do something before I found myself in a bad situation. I phoned my supervisor and then headed over to my doctor's office, which thankfully opens at 8 AM. I was waiting on their doorstep and managed to get seen before they started in on scheduled appointments. After an exam, followed by a precautionary x-ray, EKG and blood work, and it was determined that I have a really bad respiratory infection, maybe something I contracted from last weekend's airplane travel in crowded cabins. Two shots, two prescriptions and another box of Albuterol ampules for the nebulizer, and I was sent home and ordered to stay inside and away from blowing dirt that would aggravate the problem, which made me smile, because at this time of year in West Texas that would require tying a garbage bag over your head to go outside.
I headed over to our local pharmacy to drop off my prescriptions, thinking that my husband could pick them up on his way home after work, since they are never able to fill anything in less than an hour or two. I pass them to the tech in the CVS drive-thru window and he informs me that he is sorry but they won't be ready for pick up until sometime tomorrow. WHAT? Tomorrow? He says they are short-staffed and running behind, still filling scripts from yesterday. Good Lord! I need the medication to start working it's magic today, not sometime tomorrow! Apparently acute med prescriptions don't go to the head of the line, nor do walk in customers, as used to be the case back in the good old days when you could sit on the chairs and wait for them to get filled within twenty minutes or so.
When I said that simply wasn't acceptable, that I truly needed the medications to address the pain I was experiencing while breathing, he suggested that I drive to the newly opened CVS across town and see if they might be able to do it sooner. Not feeling up to contemplating a change of pharmacy companies today, I decided to try that. Arriving at the new CVS, I was met by the pharmacist himself at the drive-thru window and I explained my predicament. He looked out the window and noted that no one was in line behind me, then told me to wait and that he would fill them immediately. In fifteen minutes time I had both prescriptions filled and paid for and was on my way home, grateful that the new CVS wasn't as backed up as the old one. Before leaving I had him transfer all my prescription records to the new location, and Papa Bear will do the same. The other one is so overloaded and understaffed that it is not unusual to sit in the drive-thru waiting line or inside at the counter line for thirty minutes or more when picking up refills. Hopefully having two stores will improve the flow of traffic. I was so very appreciative of his willingness to stop whatever he was doing and fill them right then.
Variations of this story are being played out all over Odessa, due to the huge oil-boom we are experiencing and the shortage of housing and service industry employees. Every business in town has signs up advertising for help, they are desperate. That also means that they aren't able to pick and choose and have to pretty much hire whatever walks thru the door, and keep them if they do even a half-decent job on the days they do show up to work. It's a sad situation, and it is so frustrating!
Gone are the days of outstanding customer service that I remember growing up with, and I certainly do miss that. We are supposed to experience another massive influx of oilfield business in the months ahead, great for the economy, but hell for the folks who live here. We simply don't have the infrastructure or workforce to support it, and it isn't going to get better any time soon.
Oh well, it is what it is, and counting my blessings that at least for today my needs were met. I am thankful for the doctor's office that got me in quickly and the pharmacist that kindly filled my prescriptions. I am thankful for my beloved Papa Bear who brought home supper for us, and for my furkids that cuddle up and keep me company while I'm snuggled into the reclining sofa with my blanket. I'm not feeling great tonight, breathing is still labored and painful, but in a day or so those shots will kick in, and then the pills will take over, and by Monday I should be good to go. Remembering to count my blessings, I am also grateful the problem wasn't something more serious, I had to admit that it was a little scary. Once again, I know that God was looking out for me today.