Friday, October 21, 2005

The sinus police

Last week, after two days of having a headache that wouldn't go away, except for maybe an hour after I downed several Advil, I came to the realization that my sinuses were on attack. It's hard to identify it sometimes, especially when it's not accompanied by any stuffiness in the nose. When I woke up on Saturday morning, though, the headache felt like it was centered behind my left eye, so that was the big clue that it was my sinuses that needed relieving.

So I decided to include a jaunt to K-Mart in my Saturday errands, and headed over there after I'd dropped off my timecard and deposited my paycheck at the bank. I needed some other things, too...some more lotion, and some paper towels, so it wouldn't be a complete waste of time anyway. I headed straight for the pain killer aisle, since I planned on breaking into those suckers as soon as I possibly could. But I couldn't find any Advil Cold & Sinus (which happens to be my drug o' choice when it comes to my sinus pain)...they had plenty of Tylenol and Excedrin migraine meds, and they had Sudafed and Benadryl on the other side of the aisle, and they also had Tylenol Cold medicines, but I didn't want my pain killer in acetaminophen form. I wanted it to be in ibuprophen form. It just works better for me. I couldn't just buy Sudafed by itself...I needed the painkiller more than I needed the drying agent, but really I needed the two to be mixed together. (I'd tried taking a Benadryl at 5 a.m., and while it helped me sleep through the pain a bit, it certainly didn't do anything to mellow the pain out...)

I wound up buying my paper towels and lotion, and made mention to the check out girl that I found it surprising that they didn’t have any sinus medication on their shelves in the pharmacy area. She either didn’t care, or didn’t really hear me, because she didn’t acknowledge the lack of product and apologize for it or anything. No biggy…I paid for my shit, and headed out to the nearest Walgreens. They had to have the sinus meds.

I walked to the back of the store after seeing the beautiful sign announcing the location of their pain killers, and found a wall of cardboard cards where the sinus meds should have been. I found the one for the Advil Cold & Sinus product I wanted, and it said to take it to the pharmacist during regular pharmacy hours to obtain the product. Hm. Weird, I thought. But as it’s a 24-hour pharmacy, and it was the middle of the day anyway, this wasn’t a problem. I went to the counter, and the pharmacist went to the back to grab my painkillers. I said, “This is new, eh?” And he said that yeah, it was kind of a pain, but it was a new requirement now. I said, “Well, if the kids are getting high off the stuff, I guess it makes sense to try to stop them somehow, right?” You know, as though I’m 80 years old, and I’m talking about those darned youngens ruining the ease of life for the rest of us normal people. But dammit, they sort of are, I think! Because guess what happened next? The pharmacist pulls out this huge binder, flips to a page with an empty line on it, and then starts to fill it out. “Name and address, please?” I couldn’t believe it. It was a pseudoephedrine log!! It said so at the top. Absolutely amazing. And then I had to sign my name!!! Apparently, you can’t buy a pseudoephed product more than once a week, or something? One of my friends thinks it might even be limited to once per month, but I’m not sure. I don’t care, really…I only needed one dose of the stuff to make the headache go away, and it hasn’t come back all week. But what the fuck is up with that, anyway? A pseudoephedrine log?? What is this world coming to when we need to give our address and sign our names in order to make a fucking sinus headache go ‘way??

I don’t know if this is a law in every state, but it’s definitely the case in Kansas. I just don’t remember hearing much about it, is all. I mean, I remember hearing that there was a problem with kids getting high off of the stuff, as they would take 4 or 5 of the pills at a time, or whatever, but why isn’t Sudafed off the shelves, if that’s the case? Can they only get high if the painkiller is mixed in as well? I don’t know. Also, apparently, it somehow can be used as an ingredient in meth? Again, I haven’t the first clue, as I don’t manufacture meth, and haven’t ever looked into the specific process myself.

So just beware if you go out in search of sinus meds. Some of them are kept behind the pharmacy desk now. And had I known that when I went into K-Mart, I might not’ve needed to head all the way to Walgreens, dammit. Good job for handling it properly, Walgreens. I mean, K-Mart didn’t even have a sign up that said to go to the pharmacist in order to obtain the meds, or anything! Which can piss a girl off when she has to drive all about town with a probing pain behind her left eye.

Oh my…I looked it up, and the Sudafed company has kindly explained a little bit of what’s going on here. Check out the link for more info. Crazy ass shit, man.

20 comments:

FaithsTwin said...

Ummm, can't the 'kids' (you know, it's not all kids...it's disturbed people all over who are addicted, d'oh!) just drive from one place to another day after day and sign their name, you know, strategically?

In any case, I think the world is whacked and this is testament to how screwed up things can get.

Anonymous said...

I think the pharmacists call it the pseudoephedrine "log" because it's a shitty restriction law. That's my theory.
Also, slightly ironically I think, one of the kinds of meth you make with pseudoeph is called "Nazi meth." Riiiight. The WWII Nazis, not the legislators at the state capitols who are passing these Sudafed restriction laws ...just to be completely clear ...

http://www.ag.state.il.us/methnet/subpages/#Anchor-Ho-43198

-Toast

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Anonymous said...

Faith, I truly dream of a world wherein SOME fuckin' day, you AUTOMATICALLY get on the damned phone and call your stupidass big sister (the one with the doctorate in pharmacy? Lives on the west coast? Gave birth to 1 of your nephews & 2 of your nieces?? Wishes like hell she hadn't been relegated to "paint-chipped mop handle" status in your life, but accepts that it is what it is, apparently??) when confronted with one of these sorts of pharmaceutical conundrums, knowing full-well that said sister is likely to be able to explain what the deal is... [she emits a genuinely sad sigh, but whatever...]
Incidentally, it's allllllll about crank & crank production, and I believe that Kansas may well have been one of the forerunners in establishing such hyper-regulatory shit in regard to this stuff. Hope you're feeling better soon (and contrive some sorta pseudonym/pseudoaddress if you don't care for all this invasion-of-snot-privacy -- while being specious & pointless, it ain't goin' nowhere nohow soon -- they're just trying to do SOMETHING/anything to limit the amount of life-obliterating crystalmeth available to the average mid-West pre-teen)... [she says with a semi-sorrowful shake of her head]

With much love & a surprising amount of concern for a mop-handle,
Forgotten Eldest Sister

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Faith said...

Um, I had a headache for two days, finally figured out it wasn't hormone/food/caffeine related, went to find the sinus meds I needed in order to get rid of it, took ONE dose of the stuff and it was gone.

I'm confused...why do I need to call my older sister (that, yes, happens to be a pharmacist, and has helped me greatly in the past when I still didn't know how to deal with such things like having a full-blown sinus infection while living in Paris, and had no idea what to do about it while in a foreign country, but NOW that I'm all growed up, I kind of have figured out what to do after several years of (a) living on my own, (b) not having a mom to answer such questions for me any more, and (c) living on my fucking own) to answer a question I didn't even know was a question until I went out looking for the fucking meds in FIRST place, and oh yeah, I found them after looking for them at 2 places in the span of 15 muinutes? Yeah, forgive me if I don't just see this as another thing for said older sister to use as a reason to be pissed off at me for.

I LIVE IN KANSAS FOR A FUCKING REASON, PEOPLE!!! When are y'all gonna figure out that just because we don't talk/see each other/get involved in every fucking aspect of each other's lives, that it doesn't mean that I don't think about you, pray for you to be happy and healthy, and LOVE you anyway?? FUCK! But that's ok. Go be mad at me and feel sad because you just don't get me at. all. God, it sucks that you all don't get me at this point. Haven't I been like this for long enough that you've at least started to figure me out at this point? I've been living this way (i.e. far away from family...) for over 6 years now. Please, please, PLEASE start to understand me at some point! Please.

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San Diego is so CLOSE to Kansas City, after all!

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