Freaking Out Squares

Thursday, August 17, 2006

What A Bitch!

I just realized that the story I'm about to tell involves my admitting I take Paxil. Amazing how old habits die hard, because I'm sitting here thinking, Should I admit that? No one will ever talk to me again! even though something like, oh, I don't know, ten million people in the world probably take it. In East Jesus, you don't talk about that sort of thing if you want folks to speak to you.

Anyway. A few days ago, I had to refill my Paxil prescription. The pharmacy on the corner is notoriously incompetent. Oftentimes, I'll go in there around 4 in the afternoon and they're closed already, even though they're supposed to be open till 9. You'd think I'd have learned my lesson by now, but no. So I go in there, check to see if the gate is down, and when I see it isn't, I plop my prescription down on the counter. The young pharmacy intern comes back. "We have to call your doctor," he tells me. They've pulled this shit before for no fathomable reason, so I tell him, not very nicely, "No, you don't." I myself work a job at which I have to swallow all kinds of rudeness, and so I try to be polite to those who are in similar straits, but when the pharmacist gives me shit about my prescription, s/he stops being human and becomes a vicious cyborg standing between me and my sanity. As my neighbor Mrs. Rosewater (the lovely wife of Feline Bill) pointed out, "It's not fuckin' Demerol, for god's sake!" Seriously, this isn't a buyer's club. Do you really need to call my doctor to verify that I'm dying of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and I'm feeling the need for weed? Well, yes, apparently. "Your doctor wrote that you're supposed to take a minimum of 80 milligrams per day," says the youth. No shit, I tell him, that's what I'm supposed to take. "Well, we need to verify that with her, because she's never done that before," he says. As I'm about to rip this young turk a new one (that's turk as in "punk," not as in "from Turkey," lest anyone start accusing me of bigotry), a regular pharmacist butts in and says, "Besides, we don't have any Paxil. We need to order it." What the fuck? Again, this is not Thorazine, for god's sake. It's Paxil, a very common SSRI that,again, probably ten million people take. Is it too much to ask to have that shit on hand?

So I yank the prescription out of the dude's hand and stomp six blocks down to the other pharmacy, and it's the same story. Oh, they have it, but they ain't gonna give it to me. "Because your psychiatrist blah blah blah and we have to verify that because yak yak yakkity blah." At least they had the decency to call my psychopharm (who, I neglected to mention, is not in the office on Mondays), but the receptionist there wouldn't talk to her. So they put me on the phone and she says give her fifteen minutes, she'll give my doc a call. Okay, fine. Well, not fine fine, but I'm freaking out and I'll take what I can get. During this whole battle, I run into a girl I knew in college. She's the complete opposite of me--quiet, pretty, and responsible. I tend to freak her out anyway, because I'm such a lunatic even when my seratonin levels are where they should be, and I'm standing there buggin' out with this demon grin on my face, trying to get my crazy pills out of these people, just one little dose, pleasepleaseplease, and I'm thinking, looking at her poised, married, pregnant self, I am gonna cause this chica to have a miscarriage. Anyway, she wishes me luck and leaves with her stash. God, I wish I could be normal. I wonder what she told her husband, who was briefly my housemate back in the day. He probably had a good laugh.

After a few false starts and another conversation with the pharmacist, in which she tells me my best bet is probably...you know, I don't even remember what my "best bet" was supposed to be, because all I could think was my "best bet" was for them to give me my damn meds tout de suite, I get my pills, pop them, and wait for them to take effect. By this time, I'm so frazzled that I end up having a minor freakout at work (fortunately, everyone at NYCO is a frustrated artist, and they don't snap at you for "being unprofessional" if you happen to start crying because some prick pharmacist won't give you your pills). I think I should take the advice of this lady and bake my pharmacist some cookies. Anything to wake these cyborgs from their bureaucratic stupor.

I feel like a right rotten bitch about the whole thing, because I really don't like being nasty to folks like pharmacists and waitresses and others in the service industry, because I know what a difficult job it is. On the other hand, I don't see why they couldn't have given me one dose. Paxil is not a controlled substance. And it wasn't even Paxil CR, it was regular old generic Paxil. I'm not going to smash it up like Oxycontin and sell it to teenagers.

Amy Sedaris once said she "cringe[d] when [she] heard people use the expression 'meds,'" because "when you hear someone say that, you know they have to be takin' a whole lot of medication." Listen, Amy, don't make me hate you. I am a huge fan of yours. Strangers With Candy is among the many DVDs on my birthday wish list. But you should know that I am on a whole lot of medication. I'm sure many of your fans are taking a whole lot of medication. I would like not to be taking a whole lot of medication, but my brain is all fucked up. I wish I didn't have to worry about falling for some fellow and have him ditch me when he finds out I take pills for my "mood disorder" (I ask you, how can a mood be disordered? Fuck the DSM-IV for deciding this shit!) and/or that my mommy hurt my head when I was a kid, because nice people simply can't associate with crazies like me. But that's not the way it worked out. So Amy, cut that shit out, and take a look at your brother, of whom I am also a huge fan but who clearly could have benefitted from some kind of obsessive-compulsive drug back in the day, if that one essay in Naked is any indication.

And finally, if anyone reading this wishes to tell me something like I don't need those pills, I just need Jesus, or something equally brainiacal, please keep it to yourself.

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