Drive throughs are one of America’s greatest inventions. In our go-go-go society, most of the time, they make perfect sense. Think fast food fix, car wash or electronic toll booth.
I draw the line, however, at drive through liquor stores. What bozo decided that was a good idea? Maybe it’s the lawyer in me but that just screams trouble. I’d hazard a guess that 90% of drive through liquor store customers do so because they are already too trashed to park the car and stumble in to buy the booze.
Unfortunately, my latest drive through experience was not pleasant, for anyone involved. I made sure of that. I swung through the pharmacy drive through expecting a routine medication pick up. But I should have known better. Nothing has been routine about the illness that propelled me through the CVS drive through in Daytona Beach Shores last week.
My father, has been suffering with a debilitating case of shingles, for almost four months. When this disease won’t quit it gets a new name, post-herpetic neuralgia. The pain is invasive, constant and excruciating. It has severely eroded his quality of life but not my darling dad’s zest for living. The endless medications that he’s tried cloud his sharp mind so he prefers pain to brain fog. Spinal injections that help the majority of patients were unsuccessful. Special creams, heating pads, pain patches, take the edge off temporarily, but the virus refuses to leave him in peace.
Last week, my father, mother and I saw another doctor who prescribed another medication. The prescription was sent to the pharmacy electronically and I assumed we’d breeze through the drive through. When I pulled up at 7 pm, the young pharmacy technician said that it wasn’t ready. I politely said that it was sent in hours ago and to please check again. We waited, she checked, and said that the prescription could not be filled. My irritation level spiked from mild annoyance to major pissed off. Apparently, the new medication needed special approval from the insurance company.
Why weren’t we called earlier? This is the pharmacy that calls as soon as a prescription is available so they can promptly submit the bill for reimbursement. But when it takes some effort to get approval for a new medication, the sick patient is sh*t out of luck.
I asked, no I demanded, to speak to the pharmacist. She scurried away to seek cover behind his white coat. He confirmed the bad news and added that it could take several days. The thought of my father having to endure more pain gnawed away at my heart and filled me with frustration, anger and helplessness.
Instead of screaming, are you f**king kidding me?! A thought dawned on me. The insurance company may be dragging its money monitoring ass but perhaps we could pay for the medication out of pocket.
Yes, we could.
Ok, how much? Expecting an exorbitant amount.
No, for the entire prescription.
Once again, I resisted the urge to say, are you f**king kidding me, but I am certain that EVERYONE in CVS heard me yell, Just fill it and we’ll pay for it. Why didn’t you tell me that in the first place!?
The pharmacist looked extremely relieved that we were separated by a large, reinforced pane of glass and assured me the medication would be ready in 10 minutes.
We had 10 minutes to kill and I was ready to head straight to the drive though liquor store around the corner.
My father managed to turn it around with four simple words.
Let’s get ice cream!
I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I zipped down the street to The Dairy Bar, an old fashioned ice cream stand, not a drive through. As we enjoyed our cones, my exhausted mother lamented about our ordeal.
It’s OK, my Father said with his calm voice of reason and grace through his pain. It doesn’t matter.
We have ice cream.