This past week I experienced two extraordinary acts of healthcare kindness in unexpected ways.
The first occurred Wednesday. I hadn’t been paying attention, and my supply of oxycodone pain meds had run low. No big deal, except I was preparing to head up the South Carolina coast with Pattie for a long weekend.
I didn’t have enough pills to last until we returned on Tuesday.
I need the meds to help take-the-edge-off my bone and muscle pain–and the worsening peripheral neuropathy which now numbs and burns my lower arms and legs.
Because oxycodone is a narcotic, my doctor couldn’t electronically forward the script to my local pharmacy. I had to fight traffic and drive more than an hour each way to physically pick it up.
Inconvenient, but it is what it is.
Back at the pharmacy window in my local CVS store, I learned that “I couldn’t pick-up my meds for three more days.” according to the young woman at the counter. “I have enough to last three days.” I replied. “But I won’t be here Saturday to pick them up.” “Come back in three days.” she repeated, obviously annoyed.
OK. I will admit that I “lost it.” This is service? I barked a few not-so-kind words at the young Asian woman. It didn’t phase her a bit. “Come back in three days.” She repeated indifferently.
Houston, we have a problem! Fortunately, the pharmacy manager interceded. “I didn’t even realize that there was some sort of time of time limit for when or how much oxy I could use.” I explained.
I knew him from some long, evening conversations we had shared about my multiple myeloma over the past year or so. I didn’t use the pharmacy much now that Cigna Insurance required I use their mail order pharmacy for any ongoing prescriptions–like my warfarin, Gabapentin and/or acylovir.
He remembered me and interceded, listening thoughtfully to my problem. Looking back at the computer screen, he admitted that the issue wasn’t really my insurance company.
Yes, I should have one of my doctors change my script to allow a higher “as needed” number of oxycodone pills each month. “But it isn’t your insurance company that doesn’t want us to fill your script.” He shared quietly. “It’s CVS.”
Apparently, several CVS stores had literally been shut down by the feds in Florida recently. “CVS management is running scared.” the pharmacist said. “It’s the company that is putting restrictions on how much pain medications we dispense–and how often.”
He continued. “I try and remind them that we need to show compassion to cancer patients. Your prescription is on cancer center script. There shouldn’t be any restrictions on that!”
He then filled my prescription while I waited; an act of bravery if you ask me!
I originally included the pharmacy manager’s name and picture in my post. But the day after I ran the story, one of my readers suggested I remove them so not to put his job at risk.
No worries about something like that happening to the next character in our real drama…
Saturday, we experienced our second act of healthcare kindness. Pattie had been enduring a lot of back pain. After a long, six hour drive to Charleston, she woke-up the next morning unable to straighten-up and in excruciating pain.
Finding a chiropractor in Charleston on a Saturday morning shouldn’t be so difficult. But no one was open. After a dozen phone calls, we were starting to look for the closest emergency room when Pattie tried one last phone call.
Dr. Cythia Mignano answered at home. It didn’t take much coaxing for her to agree to meet us at her office in an hour. Apparently, she dropped everything to stop-by and treat my wife for almost 45 minutes.
She was warm, kind and skilled. Pattie left sore but walking upright.
Dr. Mignano didn’t over charge us for her trouble. I thought $75 was more than reasonable for almost an hour of her time on a Saturday.
So if you live in or around Charleston, Pattie and I can recommend you visit Mignano Family Chiropractic Center if you ever need an adjustment.
Two welcome but unexpected acts of healthcare kindness. Who says a pharmacist or chiropractor can’t make a difference in a patient’s life?
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat