Just a few short months ago I was diagnosed with vulvar cancer. I also have other conditions that I was diagnosed with many years ago, including interstitial cystitis and degenerative disc disease. I have been on a narcotic treatment for the last 12 years.
Going into the pharmacy every month is such a torturous thing. The looks that the pharmacist gives you when you handover prescriptions from your doctor for a narcotic medication is something no one should have to go through.
I have in the past had a pharmacist tell me, “Sorry we cannot fill this for you” while giving me that look in the eye that says, “You’re nothing but a drug addict.”
I have had several occasions where I go into a Bi-Mart pharmacy in my county and turn in my prescriptions. If there is an error on the prescription the pharmacist turns and looks at me and says, “I’m sorry we are unable to fill this. You shouldn’t be taking so many. You’re taking more than what your doctors authorizing you to.”
I’ve even had difficulty trying to get medications filled after postop surgery for vulvar cancer.
There have been several occasions where I had to look at the pharmacist and tell him, “Look you’re not my doctor. You don’t know what’s going on in my life. Not that it’s any of your business, but I have chronic interstitial cystitis, vulvar cancer, plus degenerative disc disease.”
It is so sad to see the way the pharmacists treat people. What if they were in our shoes? What if they had to go through this every month, having to feel the way that we feel when we go to turn in our prescriptions? I know that there are people out there that abuse the system, but that doesn’t mean you have to treat everybody with disrespect and put them down for having to be on a narcotic treatment plan.
I wish there was more that can be done for the people who truly need these medications. I have tried switching pharmacies and have family members pick up medications for me so that I wouldn’t have to go in and feel the way that the pharmacist can make you feel.
It makes me wonder how well the pharmacists will be treated when they’re diagnosed with a disease that they have no control over. I’m sure a pharmacist on a narcotic medication doesn’t get the looks of other people who do not have a degree to hand out medications.
Wishing all of you who have a chronic disease or illness hope, faith and prayers. And that you don’t have to go through some of the things that some of us have already endured.
Chasity Levine Mitchell lives in Bend, Oregon.
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The information in this column is not intended to be considered as professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is for informational purposes only and represents the author’s personal experiences and opinions alone. It does not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of National Pain Report or Microcast Media.