Magazine article Drug Topics

In and out of the Zone

Magazine article Drug Topics

In and out of the Zone

Article excerpt


Tuesday - the day after I worked all day on Memorial Day - was eight hours in the zone. Tired or not. The Prescription Mill proceeded efficiently. I spent some time engaging in high-value counseling opportunities, I took care of the day's parade of lost souls with no money. I was a triage pharmacist. One guy had been cut in a fight over a woman. I made eye contact jabbed my finger at him, and said, "You get to the ER or your goose is cooked."

"But I ain't got no money/ he protested.

"Doesn't matter, my friend, i! you want to keep that arm."

I called one patient's doctor and insisted on discussing an ambiguous prescription.

To the patient: "No, ma'am, this is not your call. The doctor himself has to tell me what he really wants."

I love practicing pharmacy. I have been doing it for four decades. I was filling prescriptions back when we prepared the labels with a typewriter. We kept a pile of scrap paper and a pencil to calculate prices. It was 10 years before there were calculators. Twenty years before pharmacy computers.

On that Tuesday, I got home exhausted. I went out to the pool and dove in. No swimrning. Too worn out. I just floated around and occasionally dove to the bottom. I was still in the zone, my brain moving at unaccustomed speeds.

I realized that in my life, the best thing that I do is work as a pharmacist. Being a pharmacist is right at the top. I can say with sincerity that practicing pharmacy for Plagakis is like what dancing is for Travolta.

I am a better pharmacist than I am a husband.

Victoria is the love of my life. She is my lover, my partner, my spouse of 10 years. We are going to run the string out hand-in-hand. And I must acknowledge that I am better at being a pharmacist than I have ever been at being a husband.

I hate that. I am frickin' pathetic The dedicated pharmacist JP is a flawed human being. News flash. Tell your friends and family.

In the pharmacy, it's different. I have done this so long and have become so adept that I can even tell doctors when they are wrong.

A woman called me over to the counter. She put a box of Airborne down in front of me and gave me a look. "Can my 16-year-old daughter take this?"

"Why would you ever want to waste your money on that? It's worthless."

"My doctor said Airborne and echinacea would get rid of her cold. …

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