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Not What It Used To Be

I felt it coming on yesterday, tightness in my chest making it hard to get my breath, aching, a low-grade fever.  I woke  up at 5 AM and again at 6 AM struggling to get my breath. The second time I sat on the edge of the bed because I felt like I was suffocating when I laid down. I have asthma, and an attack can sometimes feel similar to this  so I decided to go do an Albuterol breathing treatment with the nebulizer before getting ready for work.  I did that, and it offered almost no relief.  Feeling lousy, I decided to forgo the shower and shampoo, pulled my hair in to a ponytail and headed down the road to work. 

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.

20 comments:

  1. I can only imagine how scary that was, especially when the Albuterol didn't work. So glad everything worked out. Hope you feel better very soon.

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    1. It was scary, not being sure what was going on. I am feeling a little better today (Saturday) thankfully!

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  2. Skeery! Glad you got the meds you need. Feel better soon.

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    1. Definitely scary, and frustrating chasing around to get the meds, but they are working and today is better, so I am grateful

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  3. I've found that customer service is nothing like it used to be every where one goes. I hope you're better soon.

    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com

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    1. Sadly very true, great customer service is so rare anymore that I am pleasantly surprised when it happens. A big part of the problem here is staff shortages but I also think management and staff training has a lot to do with it. Attitude is everything!

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  4. Seems there should always be some priority in filling a perscription. I have an occasional pickup of non-emergency medication and I just leave it and pick it up the next day. If told to wait an extra day because of emergency fills I would certianly understand.

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    1. I agree Joe, we always call in our regular refills a day or two before we need them, and we tell them that. Medications for acute illness, etc. need to be filled first, or have one person dedicated to those as they come in! Waiting an hour, or even a couple is doable if necessary, but twenty-four hours is ridiculous. CVS started as a 24-hr pharmacy here, they are now down to 12 hrs because they can't find staff.

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  5. There are jobs to be filled, and people to fill them. Companies need to start hiring. I hope you are feeling better now.

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    1. Everyone is desperate to hire here, McGuffy Ann, there are just not enough folks wanting the jobs. Bosses are scraping the barrel and hiring anything that moves and breathes. I'm thinking we should put some of those welfare mommies to work, at least a half-days, and provide daycare. It would be a win-win situation, and discourage that hand-out mentality.

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  6. How scary! I hope you're feeling better now. *hugs*

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    1. Not being able to get your breath is scary, Dana, stressful. I'm glad the little voice in my head told me not to "tough it out" but to go and get some help. Today I'm starting to feel better.

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  7. Josie, oh no! I am so so sorry you got sick!! No fun. Glad you were able to get your medicines - the part about your drive to work in your shape had me very worried!!

    Rest and get better! Love and hugs!

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    1. Hi Carrie! It was weird, because I wasn't really feeling any congestion, just pain, tightness, and shortness of breath. I thought I was ok when I started out to work, or I wouldn't have gone. By the time I was close to town I knew that I wasn't going to be able to work that way. Thankfully, the shots were a good kick-start to the meds and I am breathing a little easier today. Glad for the weekend to rest up.

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  8. You can't wait for your medication and the new place knew that. Good for you. What a shame you're having issues with service in your area. I hope that changes for the better soon.

    Have a terrific day. :)

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    1. I am pretty patient and understanding that businesses are doing the best they can with the help they have for the most part, but sometimes priorities need to be reexamined, and this was a good example. Surely taking fifteen minutes to fill my prescriptions wasn't going to set them back that much further than they already were! Hopefully, having two CVS stores will even out the demand a bit, we do like their pharmacy and their store, so will try it with the new one and see how it goes. I already like the pharmacist, he has a caring heart!

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  9. First of all, let me say that I'm so sorry that you're ill and I'm sending get well soon wishes your way. Secondly, this exact same thing happened to me just one too many times at CVS (waiting up to an hour or more for my prescriptions to be filled). Couple that with prescriptions being short pills several times and I was thoroughly disgusted. I switched to Rite-Aid and haven't looked back. I'm extremely satisfied and have found that the customer service that we used to receive is still out there.....but you have to search for it. I hope the new location works out well for you, but if not, just switch to a different pharmacy altogether. Get well soon, dear friend. Big hugs.

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    1. Hi Val! I considered that but wasn't feeling up to doing a "search for the best pharmacy" hunt at the time. Will try this, and if things don't improve we will definitely switch to another place. There aren't a lot of choices here, and having an accessible drive-thru is a must for me. Hopefully two stores will do a better job than one could? Hopefully?

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  10. Sounds like a difficult situation. Hope you are already feeling much better.

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    1. It was a frustrating situation, Shimon, because I didn't feel it was being handled well, but everything got resolved and I am feeling somewhat better today, so that's a good outcome.

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