Wednesday, September 27, 2006

No Little Red Pill; Behind the Counter

Latest rules on OTC meds means that, starting Saturday, anything with a particular form of decongestant in it, is even more regulated, with a photo id required and I forget what else.   Already, these medicines are behind the counter, already there are limits to the quantity which can be sold per person per day.   Perhaps now they'll actually track it per person per day, via the id's, but I don't know that.   It hadn't really bothered me, because we hadn't run out yet.   Tis the season, still or again depending on how one looks at that, the time before the first frost which blessedly kills pollens, saving our heads from aching and noses from sneezing.  

I have a photo id, two, actually, but I am still not fond of this new regulation, even if I have zero intent (or knowledge) of turning Sudafed and Claritin-D into meth or having a meth lab.   My father doesn't even have a current photo id (I did find his expired passport, yeah).   What about those afraid of being tracked, not for illegal-drug purposes, but, oh I don't know, any other purpose?   I suppose the meth trade must be too strong, or maybe previous to an election, it looks better to impose stricter reguations.  Not clear.   I don't like that illegal drug dealers, or drug users, are affecting my life even in this manner.

Still, making the grocery list for a second time, as the first post-it must have stayed at home, I made the mental note to purchase more allergy / sinus meds today, before Saturday comes about.

Swung by M's school to drop off her dance shoes for tonight and a snack and "danceable" clothing, "Grandma's picking you up today."  "I KNOW," said with emphasis but with a big smile.   They'd just finished their community lunch of whatever they'd planned for today, cleaning up to start their afternoons lessons.   Grandma, my mother, knows to bring a water bottle because my remembering in the a.m. meant I ended up drinking what I'd brought for M and her dance class, lol, mistaking it for a drink for me.  Ah, well:)   Gorgeous day again, twas a quick stop on a beautiful day to see my beautiful girl, and head for the cheaper grocery store.

Hmmm, okay, what's out in the aisles, what is put away...... oh, Claritin Reditabs are NOT put away "behind the counter."   Nor is some of the newly reformated Sudafed, but from the Health Section in this week's The Washington Post, the new stuff is older stuff that's not as effective and doesn't last as long.  Or something like that.   If I'm going to do this, I want the good stuff; I've relied upon Sudafed and it's generic version, likely the meth-ingredient oy vey, since college when my diving instructor said it helps clear your head but won't have you fall asleep underwater.   Various forms of Claritin-D and a Miconex?? or Mucosnex?? and Sudafed, with the gasp, offending ingredient, have little signs hanging instead of the products themselves.   We're supposed to take the sign and then present it, to purchase the said item.  Okay, fine, a system is in place.   I grab the Claritin-reditabs (withOUT the decongestant / offending ingredient) M so prefers, and they work better for her than Zyrtec, too, and the tag/sign for the Sudafed, the "real" Sudafed, that I figure I should go ahead and get.

Still couldn't find Q-tips, or, as I blanked and described them some month ago, "ear sticks."   Up and down the aisles in the "pharmacy" sections.   Then got some pet food and people food and cranberry sauce as I nixed the walled-off produce area for searching for actual cranberries, and relooked for Q-tips.   I did find a little mini-weekend sampler packet that I figured would have to do, there with the travel portions of mouthwash and other toiletries.

I put the little Sudafed tag sign thingy in front of my order as I place the other items on the belt, thinking it'd hold everyong up less if she could see it and call someone to bring it early in ringing me up.   The cashier overlooked it for a bit.   I ask someone else I see if she could tell me where I'd find Q-tips.   Baby aisle?   I had to laugh, baby aisle??? doesn't everyone use them and not just for cleaning babies?, okay, quick run to and from 3 aisles away, I have some for M.    I'm near the cashier now, "You have to get this (the Sudafed) from the pharmacy..... (did she also say customer service?)."   Oh, I hadn't actually read the thing.   Typically one brings a tag of that sort to the cashier when being rung up, and the cashier calls the person from that department to bring the item over.   Okay, to the pharmacy or to customer service it says.   I asked her if she could just call for them to bring it over.  She was being nice the entire time, and yet had to tell me that, no, she couldn't do that.   I was shocked.   Obviously I'm not at (insert other store name here).   Sigh.   So I go and stand at the pharmacy for a bit, but the sole pharmacist I see is on the telephone (business purposes).   Someone else gets in line behind my main grocery line, so I go back there.  

After being run up, I park my cart and head to customer service for another small line.   When it's my turn, even though the Sudafed tag SAYS to customer service or to the pharmacy, the woman there says, no, she cannot help me, and she basically refused to.  I HAVE to go to the pharmacy, that the items are there, and that the pharmacist is there now.   No, she has rows of cancer sticks there, and disposable cameras which somehow have too high a theft rate, but no medicines.  I can understand that product placement, but then don't have the tags say to see customer service desk, or have the customer service desk employee call for them or retrieve them from the pharmacy.

I go back to the pharmacy, hopeful that the pharmacist IS available again, not helping wipe out deadly infections or other higher-level medical work.   There are two women there now, but in back, working.   They don't see me.   I check my watch, wait.   I recheck my watch -- I wish to get back to work on time.   I see all the Trojans and other contraceptives behind the counter there, and I remember an article I read once, that some people find it too embarrassing to wait in line to obtain them (albeit, I would if I had to, sure beats getting an STD or unwanted pregnancy, tho I might not have waited today at that store.)   I sigh, place the Sudafed tag on the pharmacy counter, and walk away, to my cart.   I just do not have that kind of time today.


  1. I'm embarassed to say that I hadn't thought of the trojan thing. Glad you brought it up. At least SOMEBODY'S got their mind in the right place around here. ;) Haven't needed them since '85. Gulp. I'm blushing already. Maybe mailorder would be best.


  2. Ah, Fred -- you actually help prove my side-point here.   If YOU"RE too embarrassed to stand in line and request them, and you're, in theory, a mature man, how do you think a nervous high-schooler must feel?  Thanks for the comment:)  I can do without the sinus decongestants if I need to, but I do hope anyone contemplating sexual activity, which doesn't include me at this point in time, lol, well, they should all be able to obtain adequate protection easily, IMHO.

  3. It was nice a few months ago having 2 sick kids and needing day time and night time cough medicine and 2 store workers absolutely refusing to let me buy 2 bottles.  As if, with my sick kids in tow and another baby and me with my hair standing straight up is going to have time to cook some meth. In some states, baby formula is behind the counter.  Guess you have to bring in your baby as proof.