Those who know me can attest that I can be like a mother bear when I feel as if someone has been taken advantage of. Yesterday was one of those days, and a local store might just be glad I was not running errands with Papa.
The neurologist changed a couple of Papa’s medications. I have explained to Papa that the majority of his medications are long term meds and will be received through his retirement pharmacy benefits mail ordering system, but if he needs a short term or new prescription we will pick it up at a local pharmacy. We previously went into our local large chain pharmacy, verified they will accept his insurance, registered into their system and dropped off a prescription. One of my intentions for choosing this pharmacy is that this retailer is very close to our house and a large enough department store that Papa can walk through the aisles shopping while his prescription is being filled; he never has to leave the store. He can also use this same chain pharmacy while he is visiting family in other areas if he needs something. He knows this is his pharmacy and today was no different; he dropped off his new script and had 20 minutes to wait for it to be filled.
While waiting, Papa left Doug for a few minutes and decided to walk next door to the grocery store to pick up milk, eggs, and bananas. Our family goes through a lot of bananas and while I could make a dozen jokes about how we like them a bunch or perhaps we often feel like we are going bananas, or maybe we just have appeal, I won’t get off track… We just all appreciate the fact that we like bananas and if you go to the grocery store to get anything you pick up a bunch or two. Papa might forget why we run out on other errands, but he always remembers to get bananas at the market whether they are on his list or not.
Doug walked next door several minutes after Papa and after looking through the entire grocery store he finally found Papa standing in the pharmacy department wearing his t-shirt getting a Shingles vaccine. WHAT!?! Out of curiosity, Papa had finished his shopping and walked over to the pharmacy counter and said he was filling a prescription next door and just wondered if this store also took his insurance card. Although we have explained we will be using just one local pharmacy to keep things simple he figured it would not hurt to just ask if they took his card. Maybe he still had his insurance card in his hand and he was thinking that back home he had prescriptions filled at the local grocery pharmacy and he should have brought it here; or perhaps he thought the stores were combined and he could pick it up at this location; or possibly he felt comfortable knowing there was a backup pharmacy very close; or more than likely he was just curious to see if all pharmacies accept his insurance card. Papa will talk to anyone and I believe the pharmacy tech was an active listener. They looked at his card and registered it in their system and asked Papa if he needed anything else. During their brief conversation Papa was asked if he had already had the Zoster Vaccine to prevent shingles. His I don’t think so answer resulted in them providing the vaccine, after all he was already in their system and would get a store shopping voucher if he utilized their pharmacy services.
I have a problem with this. Papa is 80, he said he was already getting a prescription filled next door, and he replied that he did not know if he had the immunization or not. While the Shingles vaccine is a one-time dose and I am not sure if a second booster could possibly have any unnecessary side effects, I feel the pharmacy should have been more accountable to their customer. They probably should have told him to check his medical records before they provided the vaccine, and definitely should not have swayed a friendly 80 year old with limited memory by giving him a free shot and promising him a $10 gift card for a first time pharmacy use. Papa used the card to pay for his bananas.