‘Today Is Not A Good Day, Am I Wrong To Feel This Way?’ by Dawni #mhuk #ukmh #stigma @Boots_Official

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Today is not a good day. Yes the sun is shining, the kids are well, and there’s food in fridge but it’s still not a ‘good day’.

I’m feeling very low, and I know that’s a ‘reaction’ to a uncomfortable experience, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still feel ‘low’.

Something happened this weekend. No-one close to me died, the ceiling didn’t fall in, nor did I find myself feeling ill, but it was enough to impact on something inside of me, and I feel pretty ‘winded’.

It was only a repeat prescription order, made as ever, over the telephone, on their answering machine:

Message: Please state your name, date of birth, prescription requirement and a telephone number.

Me: Hi, my name is Dawn, born March 23rd and I need all the meds on my repeat. Could you also ask GP to add an additional two weeks as I will be unavailable to collect next month’s order. Could you please telephone me if you need any more information on my mobile number…..

On Saturday I got a lift to Sainsburys to shop and popped my script in at the pharmacy. I went back 20 minutes later.  The pharmacist said

Pharmacist:  “I’m sorry, I can’t dispense your prescription because the GP has written on it by hand, and when they do this, we have to telephone the surgery to confirm. I am sorry but as it is a weekend I can’t get hold of them, so I can’t do this.”

Me:Oh, I see that’s a little odd and embarrassing but I understand, I’ll just pop it into my usual pharmacy on Monday.”
On Monday I took it to Boots.

I said: “Hi.” (smile) “Took these to Sainsburys on Saturday but pharacist explained he was unable to dispense because as you can see the GP has written on the scripts, so can I leave them with you so you can call surgery and sort it out?”

The Pharmacist said: “Yes.”

I went back a few hours later, and she said: “There’s a problem, I can’t dispense these because the Surgery are saying they don’t know who wrote on them because the GP who signed them is not in today, so another GP has said you can’t have them.”

Boots locally is quite small, and it was a little busy, so this was becoming a little embarassing.

“So.” I said. “what does that mean exactly, because they are as they were when I picked them up, save for your pharmacy stamp?”

“Well”; she said, “they can’t be sure the GP wrote on them, it’s not normal practice because they are a controlled drug.”

I was geting a little uptight by then, ‘controlled drug’ made me wonder what the other customers waiting behind me may be thinking at that point. So I rang the surgery.

The Receptionist said “We wouldn’t have written on the prescription and that is why the Doctor has refused it, I’ll get him to call you.

I replied: “Well someone there DID write on them, and this has meant that twice I have been refused my medication, and it’s hugely embarassing, and humiliating.

She said: The Doctor will call you.

Indignant at that point I asked the very helpful Boots pharmacist, if they happened to have a photocopier and if they did could they please supply me with a copy of these scripts because “I’m not enjoying the implication that they ‘may have’ been tampered with by me”  A very obliging and sympathetic staff in this small Boots store obliged.

Armed with my photocopy and red face indignant anger I went directly to the surgery. I showed reception my photocopy. Again, in waiting room with other patients, I was subjected to words such as “people tamper”; “controlled drugs”; “safety”; “protection” and “GP refusal”.  By then I was very angry, I felt very embarrassed and exposed in front of other patients, and quite franky I wanted vindiction. I said I wanted to see the GP doing the ‘refusing’ and ‘suggesting’.

He did see me, he did acknowledge that it was indeed his colleagues signature and handwriting on the amended prescription. He apologised but wasn’t particularly ‘sorry’. He was quite indifferent, even when I said that I felt I’d been unnecessarily humiliated in two pharmacies, and that the refusal on the Saturday had meant I was without medication for two days – which could have been detrimental. Indeed at that point, sat in his room, my heard was hammering, and that didn’t stop until long into yesterday evening.

So, I didn’t sleep well.  I awoke early. I’m left with an odd feeling I can’t describe, it’s a bit like sadness.  I suppose I feel they attacked my integrity. There were indications, should the GP have takentime to check, on my records which would indicate I do not abuse medication, have a long history of a good relationship with my own GP’s and have always been an open and honest client.

Interestingly the pharmacists merely did their job, they were apologetic and in the case of Boots, actually very supportive. The Surgery however, I think they ‘reacted’ they made a decision that because my medication is for a mental illness the prescription had been altered by the me, the patient. I find this generalisation abhorrent and stigmatising.  They had no justification for assuming I would do that, nothing in my history would indicate I would suddenly, randomly attempt to alter a prescription. It feels as if they’ve almost said: “You are the type of person who would forge a prescription” and that’s feels horrible.

Am I wrong to feel the way I feel today?




9 thoughts on “‘Today Is Not A Good Day, Am I Wrong To Feel This Way?’ by Dawni #mhuk #ukmh #stigma @Boots_Official

    elaine4queen said:
    June 22, 2012 at 7:54 am

    bloody bastards!

    controlled or not, these drugs are not supposed to be stopped suddenly. i don’t understand why they couldn’t have given you part of the prescription so you didn’t run dry.

    to be honest, nice as the assistants seemed to be in boots, i had to change chemists because they weren’t responsive enough.

    tag said:
    June 21, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    You are not wrong to feel this way. And athough I really wish you hadn’t had this experience, it has comforted me that I am not alone in the repeated battle I have getting my prescription each month. I think it last went smoothly 3 months ago! The icing on the cake was when pharmacy assistant told me off for crying (tears of frustration).

    Your daughter has come up with a very good analogy!

    Frank said:
    June 20, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    Quite sad that this has happened to you and think it’s justifiable to feel the way you feel. Put it this way if you were from another ethnic background and they said ‘we’re not sure about you’ you would be able to sue them for racial discrimination, complain Dawn, officially, but don’t bother with Devon PALS they are useless when it comes to confronting Devon service provision.

    hedleylamarr said:
    June 20, 2012 at 11:24 am

    I can understand how you feel. I also understand how powerless it makes you feel. I also know that some surgeries behave as if they are some sort of all-knowing fucking dictatorship!!

    I went to my former surgery for an extra blood test, having had my medication, increased. I arrived a few minutes before. i was asked what time I had taken my medication the previous evening. i told them. I was a few minutes before 12 hours after taking my medication. The nurse refused to take my blood. I had to sit and wait for a time at which she thought blood could be taken. Even the duty staff officer confirmed the nurse was correct in her behaviour.

    I complained – they sent my complaint to my consultant in the ‘hope’ he would put me right!! Actually he agreed with me. I no longer go to that surgery. I’ve had no apology. I was apoplectic. It took 2 months to resolve as the PCT didn’t seem to want to deal with my complaint either.

    I wanted to kill.

    Sound familiar?

    journalartorg said:
    June 19, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    No you’re not wrong. I think under the circumstances you handled this really well. Good on you for being persistent and sticking up for yourself

    Paul Davidson said:
    June 19, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    Hi Dawn. so sorry I did not read this earlier.
    If it were me I would be sitting crying and would be etched in the word ”HURT” Forever on my mind. For one thing should the pharmasist know thesignitures of all the doctors by now it was written on by a doctor and for a specific reason surely for the pharmasist’s eyes. how incompident they have been and so uncaring. Come on England come on ”Andy Carrol” to score tho quick goals after we are one down. be my second ”Geordie Super Hero”. what a way to vent our spleens lol. ”GOAL”.


    P.S. YESTURDAY I was finally given a Doctor box. a weeks supply in one easy to use box. twice Ihad been told my chemist did not have them while regularly over dosing which could easily kill me. it was my extremely vigilent and helpful G.P. Surgery prescription worker who saved the day. so I can keep rambling on and on and on.

    judithhaire said:
    June 19, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Reblogged this on Far be it from me –.

    Dawn Willis responded:
    June 19, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Thanx. I think I am allowed to feel like this…so much indiscretion and embarrassment for a handful of 2mg diazepam and some sleepers!

    My daughter made an interesting analogy – she said that it reminded her of when as a teenager you enter a shop and staff immediately assume you are about to steal, makes you feel angry and indignant.

    helenlp (@helenlp) said:
    June 19, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    No you’re not wrong to feel that way, I was once given a prescription for a psychiatrist for a drug that was controlled but I didn’t realise it was. Remember standing in the queue at the chemists being told in front of everyone that They couldn’t fill the prescription because it was for a controlled drug and I would have to go to a different chemist that had a license to dispense it. Imagine how everyone in the queue stared while I went beetroot red with embarrassment. The prescription was for tryptophan, an anti-depressant. That experience didn’t help my depression! All it had needed was for the psychiatrist to tell me that I would have to go a specific chemist but I don’t think it occurred to him that it would cause me so much humiliation if he didn’t tell me that. Totally lack of empathy. Sounds to me that your doctors and chemists are suffering for the same problem

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