Thursday, February 10, 2011

a trip to the drugstore.....

hi, i'm back.

i've told you the story of husband's cold, the week before christmas, and how he handles it so differently than i do, and how i most likely wouldn't catch it from him.

well, you have to promise not to laugh at me, (and i have very good hearing from my old bartending days, so i'll know if you're sniggling). ready?

i caught my very own cold. Didn’t need to steal his at all.

oh, i know, i said i wouldn't get sick. It couldn't happen to mois. best laid plans.....yada yada.

oh, it started out innocently enough. i felt a kind of tickle in the back of my throat for a night or two. then, one morning, it was full-fledged sore. battle stations. let the airborne begin. every four hours the fizzy was in the glass. i doubled up on vitamin c, i took aspirin several times a day, anemia be damned, but by day three, my nose was running and i had a drip, in the back of my throat to rival the tapped maple trees of vermont. this annoying dripping stuff, causing me to cough, which meant, bring on the cough drops, lozenges, and alka-seltzer plus. that all afforded some relief, but i needed more. so off to walgreen's i went.

now, i might have mentioned in husband's illness blog that i never get sick. well, now i have to amend that to i almost never get sick, so it's literally been years and years since i've had a cold, flu, or any general malaise, if you don't count congestive heart failure, catheter procedures, being defibrillated with people placing paddles on your chest and yelling clear, and ablations. i guess i never get runny nose sick, is really what i mean, so i have no idea what products are available these days and which are contra-indicated with other meds that i already take. so as i said, i was off to walgreen's for an adventure.

right off the bat, there's some funny stuff going on in walgreen's and i'm surprised they get away with it. first of all i head for decongestants, and it's as if i've stepped into a puzzle. there's claritin sitting on a shelf right next to wal-tin. i read the ingredients and they're identical, but walgreen's version is generic and half the price, which leads me to two questions:

1) why would anyone in his/her right mind, buy the brand name when the identical drug next to it half the price? and
2) why does claritin put up with those kinds of shenanigans, being undercut right in your face, as if to say, hey claritin, your crap's expensive?

as i look around i see robitussin next to wal-tussin, benadryl next to wal-dryl, and my beloved alka-seltzer cold plus, next to walgreen's effervescent cold-plus, the identical plop-plop, fizz-fizz. suddenly, my eyes espy my sacred airborne, and, what's this?... wal-borne on the shelf right next to it? all these years i've been paying retail, like the gentiles, when there was a generic? clutch the pearls! i am cut to my quick. i quickly scoop up a couple of boxes and try to act nonchalant as i put them in my cart. i'd be mortified if anyone knew the truth. oh, and there's one more i must add, at this point, my favorite which is yrtec, sitting next to wal-zyr. what genius dreamed up that alternative name?

hey ma, i'm sick. dyin' in here.
shut up and take some wal-zyr and go back to bed.

in addition, there are some drugs that aren't even on the shelf anymore. just their pictures, particularly sudafed, or wal-fed. if you want to purchase those, you take the picture to the druggist, he pulls the actual drug from behind the counter, you sign forms indicating that you can prove who you are and are not drug shopping, so as to take this stuff home, go down in your basement, and turn it into crack cocaine and smoke it, which is precisely my very first thought every time i catch cold in the first place. now if i could only get my hands on some crack cocaine, and smoke it, and fill my lungs with deadly acid smoke and accelerate my heartbeat to 180 and rot my teeth, i'd feel better. duh!!! i need to get sick more often, just to stay in touch with what's out there.

so, i'm not sure what i really need, standing in front of the wall of commercialism that makes this great nation what it is, a giant morass of consumerism, so i look at the worker-bee next to me in the aisle. the $10/hr worker, who's stacking shelves with boxes of depends, with one hand and texting her bff with the other, and opt not to ask her advice. i mosey over to the pharmacist, who's supposed to know a thing or two about a thing or two, and ask him,

me: which of these products might be good for a cold?
him: claritin, he answers. or sudafed.
me: for coughing?
him: oh, you didn't mention coughing, that would the robitussin.
me: will the wal-tussin do?
him: yeah, same thing.
me: how about the post nasal drip thing?
him: oh, ya got that too?
me: yeah, that's what's causing the cough.
him: oh. ok. try the mucinex.
me: will the wal-mucus do?
him: yeah, same thing.
me: will i be overdoing it taking all of these at once?
him: do you have high blood pressure? (now he asks me? after suggesting all that crap?)
me: no, fortunately for me (and you, asshole), i don't.
him: then you should be ok.
me: thanks. i'll need you to give me the sudafed, or wal-fed.
him: no problem, i'll just need you to sign a few things and show me some id.

so, about twenty bucks later i exit the store, satchel in tow, knowing i'll be better in a day or two.

later that week.....

so, i'm better. the wal-mucus stopped the drip, the walgreen's effervescent cold relief stopped the runny nose, the wal-tussin stopped the cough, and the wal-fed gave me a wicked buzz. (no wonder that stuff's regulated. if i'd felt better, that might have been fun. mixed maybe with a quaalude and a vodka chaser?.....but i digress). i'm better now, and this whole episode reminds me of what my grandmother (the kosher one) once said to me.....

bubele, a cold is 10 days. it's 3 days coming on, 3 bad days with you, and 3 days leaving you, and one last achy day finally beginning to feel good again. not much you can do.
just roll with it.
(funny, she learned that in a shtetl in russia and there wasn't even a walgreen's. just some chicken soup. or perhaps, wal-soup.

feel better.

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