Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Slice of Life

Slice of Life Index


In South Bend Kroger, I work with Roxi, a delightful and hard working woman in her fifties. She came to work hobbling. It was her first day back to work after her foot surgery. I tried to keep her sitting down and do paper work or computer work. Soon I realized that she was the familiar face and I was the stranger for the day. Everyone knew Roxi. She knew their name as well as their loved ones. When they called her name she would hobble to the window. Soon they would ask “What happened to your foot?” She would tell her full story to each one of our patients. Every time she told her story, she was just as animated as last time and kept our customers keenly interested. Each one of our patients went away thinking that he or she got the special inside story from Roxi.

Helping an Elderly man

One day a elderly man, oh in his eighties, came to my pharmacy window and asked me to help him get some OTC medicine for his bed bound wife; she had stomach problems. He told me that she had all the ailments you could possibly think of and was paranoid of so many things. He cooked, cleaned, and took care of her. He said, “You know I am a man. I don’t know how to do many things. So I hired a housekeeper to help me. My wife fired her. You can’t have two women under one roof.”

He got married to this woman in 1944. She was so beautiful; more beautiful than a famous actress at that time. He was warned by friends and family that she will bring with her large medical bills due to her paranoia. He said, “Well I loved her. She was so beautiful. What could I do? I married her. They were right. Her medical bills never ceased. I am so tired of her nagging and all her illness and it may all be in her head.” He looked at me with his sad eyes. “I guess that is my lot in life.”

Wabash Store

A pharmacist drove 60 miles to relieve me. Next shift pharmacist had called in sick. This is Kathy’s first day at this store. She eagerly accepted overtime for Christmas expenses. She said she had six children. I looked at her in dismay.

“You work not only fulltime but overtime? How do you do that?”
“Oh I have a friend that takes care of them while I work”

This friend lives with her so that her children have a caretaker. She said each of these children started out as a foster child. She loved them and after some time she could no longer give them back. So she started to adopt one at a time. They range from age twelve down to age four. They are all very smart and wonderful kids. They also have syndromes from their natural mother’s abuse of alcohol or drugs during pregnancy. She just stopped taking in foster children. She said six kids keep you hopping. She is planning a trip to Disney World this coming summer for her family.

My Dog Ate My Pills

A woman walks into my pharmacy. She was in desperate need for the pills that was filled just 3 days ago. She explained to my technician that her dog ate them. Indeed when I saw the bottle, it was all chewed up and cracked. She pleaded that I call her doctor for replacement prescription. I did not even ask her if her dog was dead or alive after eating all those pills, eighty of them. Upon calling, the doctor said, “No refills.” He had just received an anonymous call saying that she is selling drugs on the street. My technician told me that there are many such customers. They will wait for a pharmacist like me who do not know them or their history and try to plead. I learned that both her and her brother had been in jail for selling drugs.

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