#323–Hurry up and wait––for prescriptions . . .

Hurry up and wait applies to the military, my late husband used to tell me. And when I was in college, it definitely applied. We would get up in the middle of the night and rush to get to the front of the line to wait for certain have-to-have classes. In those days (early ‘60s) at San Jose State, you had to line up and sign up in person for the classes you took. I’m sure, these days, it’s all done online.

Now, it’s pharmacies that cause us to hurry up and wait.

Day before yesterday, when I was at my post-op in Springfield for my leg vein surgery that took place last week, I asked about the darkish pink color that covered much of my lower leg that was hot to the touch. I asked if it was normal after this type of surgery. The answer was, “No! Definitely not!”

The Fred Meyer in Florence is a big-box store.

Just one more twist in the saga of my leg vein surgery. The physician’s assistant thought it was Cellulitis. She called the doctor in, and he confirmed it. Oh goody! I first noticed it last Thursday, so it had been doing its thing for six days. They prescribed an antibiotic to take twice a day for a week. And to start that night. It was not only hot to the touch, but also was starting to pulsate. If not treated, it could become very serious and put me in the hospital with treatment through an IV. I needed to get treatment started right away.

I headed straight home and got to the Fred Meyer in Florence about an hour and 30 minutes later. I got gas, a few groceries, and checked out the line at the pharmacy. It was out the door, into where the carts are kept. I got in line and waited 15 minutes and it did not move. So, I went home and decided to try again in the morning. I was exhausted.

I got there about 10 a.m. and got in line. It was a few spaces shorter than last night and was moving. At 11 a.m., I got to the window, and was told to come back after 2 p.m. It was not ready.

Something to occupy my time while I’m waiting in line.

I came back at 5 p.m. This time, I brought something to occupy my time. It is the “kid’s page” in the Siuslaw News. I love word puzzles, so I got the word scramble done and also found the route through the maze. I know it’s the “kids page” but I just love doing those kinds of things. After that, I became friends with the lady behind me. And I chatted with friends who were on their way out.

The line was not moving very fast. Every time it did, we cheered. It was a congenial group. I, finally, got to the window at 6:30 p.m. and was able to pick up my prescription.  I raised my hands in the air and let out a whoop! Who knew this prescription that I was supposed to start taking the night before would require a total of two hours and 45 minutes in line! Hurry up and wait, indeed!

This is the third episode like this I’ve endured in the past few months.

When I had my colonoscopy on January 8, I stopped by to pick up the gallon of electrolyte yuck that had been called in weeks ahead. Not ready! Came back the next day! Not ready! Came back third day and needed to use the next day. This time, it was ready. That was approximately an hour in line each time—total three hours.

The Fred Meyer on W 11th in Eugene is a huge big-box store–at least twice as big as the one in Florence. I had a hard time trying to find the entrance that I came in at.

Last December 13, I was stuck over in the valley because of snow and had to transfer five different prescriptions from Florence Freddies to Eugene’s W 11th Freddies for a procedure planned there in a couple days. I waited in line an hour each of two days before I wised up to their “ticket” system.

I think, I’ll mention it to the Florence Freddies. If you wait in line once and your prescription is not ready, you get a ticket. Then, when you come back, you don’t have to wait in line again. You sit in one of the chairs up front and wave your ticket. And they get to you right away.

I didn’t know what the ticket was for when it was given to me, so when I came back the next day, I got in line and waited. After an hour, and only half way to the window, I figured it out. I left my spot in line and sat up front and waved my ticket. It worked.

This is the ticket I waved to keep from waiting in line again.

I know part of the problem for the Northwest is that Bi-Mart closed their pharmacies. And the Rite Aid in Florence is open but I think the pharmacy is still closed. Of the five pharmacies in town, two are closed.

So, pharmacies have become the latest “hurry up and wait” situation. This simply can’t go on like this. And I don’t have an answer.

P.S. Once I started taking the antibiotic, my Cellulitis was better the next day (Thursday)—no more pulsating and not quite as hot to the touch. Whew!

About crossingsauthor

Judy Fleagle spent 22 years teaching 1st and 2nd grades and 21 years as editor/staff writer with Oregon Coast and Northwest Travel magazines.Since 2009, she has written five books: "Crossings: McCullough's Coastal Bridges," "The Crossings Guide to Oregon's Coastal Spans," "Around Florence," "Devil Cat and Other Colorful Animals I Have Known," and "The Oregon Coast Guide to the UNEXPECTED!!!."
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