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Have you hugged your pharmacist today?


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I'm so glad I found this site, I wish I would have found it years ago. I'm new to this forum, found it because of my experience this weekend. Below is a letter that I wrote to Eckerd Drugs tonight. I thought you'all would appreciate my experience. If anyone has symptoms like I have, I would like to hear from you. Meanwhile, if you have a great pharmacist, give'em a hug next time they help you out!

To whom it may concern,

I have suffered from HSV for the past eight years. I no longer get the "normal" symptoms associated with HSV2. Over the past few years the symptom that I experience when it flares up is extreme pain on the right side of my body. The pain used to just be in my left leg, mainly in my calf. This Memorial day weekend, I started feeling pain in my calf. It was Sunday night and my regular pharmacy was closed.

Earlier in the week (Wednesday) I began to get a muscle twitch just below my left eye. I thought nothing of it but, thought it strange that the problem would last for five days. When I awoke on Monday morning (Memorial Day) the right side of my face was numb, drooping, sunk in and partially paralyzed. As you can imagine, I was horrified!

Having no medical insurance, I decided to do some research on the net before I totally freaked out. Thinking that it might have something to do with my HSV, I ran a cross search with HSV and facial muscle twitching/drooping. Low and behold I found out that many professionals believe that Bell's Palsy may be associated with HSV. I knew right then, that I had to fill my Rx for Valtrex pronto.

As I said earlier, Due to the fact that it was a holiday, my regular pharmacy was closed. I remembered receiving a $25 gift card coupon for Rx transfers at Eckerd. Having no insurance and being strapped for cash, savings is always a concern with me, even in a medical emergency. I could not find my coupon - didn?t really look. I got in the car and drove to my nearest Eckerd.

When I arrived at the pharmacy counter, I was greeted by Pharmacist Gerges. I think he could tell that I was pretty upset. I told him I was there because my regular pharmacy was closed and I needed a refill asap. I could see him looking at my eye as it rapidly twitched away. He said he would need to talk to my regular pharmacist to transfer the Rx. I explained to him that it was closed due to the holiday. Gerges called and confirmed that the Albertson?s pharmacy was indeed closed.

Gerges asked me if I was totally out of my Rx, and I told him yes I was and desperately needed a refill. I said, just look at my face and my eye (as it twitched away)and I am in a lot of pain. Gerges said but this is an anti viral not a pain medication. He was obviously perplexed.

Feeling that I could not get help at this stage, I felt it pointless to go into detail with Gerges about how the drug helps me with the pain. I think at that moment, Gerges felt my pain and understood me. What Gerges did for me yesterday may not be "proper company policy" but, proved to me that he was a caring professional, concerned about the people that he serves. Gerges gave me a one day dosage (two pills) and told me to return the next day to pick up the rest. I can't begin to tell you how much that meant to me and what a help it was for me.

Gerges called me today to let me know that my Rx was ready to be picked up. I found my coupon, (I had been using it as a coaster on my desk for weeks)only to find out upon check out that it had expired - oh well still needed the meds. Before leaving the store, I motioned to Gerges as he was working behind the window. He was kind enough to take time out of his work to talk to me. I just had to thank him for his understanding and kindness the day before. I let him know, I was already feeling some relief; relief I would not be experiencing with out his kind and caring acts. Gerges gave me his card and said, if there is anything I can help you with in the future, please call me. I believe him.

In this day and age of managed care, it is rare that you find someone in the healthcare profession that really cares about the patient. I feel that Gerges really cares about his work, his community and the people he helps everyday. I've seen your commercials showing pharmacist that care and quite frankly, never once bought into it. Having sold cable, radio and print advertising in my former career, I don't "buy into" commercials. Today, I now know for a fact that Gerges represents the image that Eckerd has tried to express in it's commercials. Gerges is truth in advertising!

Again, I don't know your company policy but I implore you to acknowledge Gerges' actions in putting the customer first. Sometimes people are more important than following the rule book. Gerges is now my pharmacist for life!

As far as my suspected Bell's Palsy, I can not get into see a doctor at the clinic until next week. Having no health insurance, that's the best I can do. My symptoms are improving though. Mine seems to be a very minor case.


Hibiscus Queen

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After reading your message, I quickly went to my neurology text to look up Bell's Palsy.. I remember it being taught, but H was not mentioned as a possible cause... at least in class. The information I have mainly goes into cranial nerve VII and it's compression, but I just wanted to share what I remembered from class. Our instructor, who has dealt with a lot of Bell's Palsy patients, mentioned that in his experience treatment has been very successful. In fact, one girl in my class had Bell's, and she completely recovered.

I'm sure you're aware of all this.

I'm happy to hear about your compassionate pharmacist! In my experience there are so many indifferent, uninformed health care workers.. I'm hoping to not be one of them!

Lots of luck to you and hope that your recovery is very quick.. don't worry.. xo

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That's great that you got the meds you needed, but you got super lucky. Speaking as someone who works in the medical field & as a patient - I can see both sides. It's hard to understand when in a position of need that normally, a pharmicist (using this as the example given) would not/could not just gove you meds. It is not because they are not compassionate, or because they are following "company policy", or because they don't want to; it's because they can't. Legally speaking, only a physician can prescribe meds. It doesn't matter that it isn't a narcotic, it doesn't matter that your previous prescription may have just expired, it doesn't matter if you beg, etc., etc. Legally only a doctor can prescribe medications; case closed, that's it. He technically could get into trouble for having done that. I see it from your side as well, of course, but just realize that 99% would not have done it, but not because they necessarily didn't care. A pharmicist's license is for dispensing, not prescribing.

Is there any way your clinic doctor can give you some samples or a prescription you can fill to have on hand in case this happens again? That sucks to have to wait days when you want to take the med & start suppressing the outbreak immediately.

That's very bizarre about the Bell's palsy - my eye was twitching one day last week all day and it was a few days after my first outbreak - but the twitching was gone in the morning - I was looking up Bell's palsy online that night too! Let us know about that.

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oh my god....another thing to worry about! Bells Palsy...? I am not even going to research it...I will psyche myself out too much! IT sucks, cuz in the past year I get all kinds of weird twitchy eye things.....BAD too....aaarrrrrrgh.

Yes, there ARE some pharmicist out there who really DO try to help. I think they feel bad for most people who have to pay EXHORIBANT prices of these drugs...and they are drugs we need to keep us from going insane. (I have eczema, so you can IMAGINE what I spend on that alone each year...) For people who have things like Eczema or herpes, I do not know why we can't just have a perpetual refill...maybe getting checked once a year or eveyother year by a doctor or something to get a new prescription....I dunno, I am not making sense. I am still reeling from the Bells Palsy thing....

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