The broken bits

This past week, I went back to work at my pharmacy for the weekend. It’s something that felt so familiar, like muscle memory, riding a bike, nothing had changed. I clocked in, put my coffee on the counter and went to print my credentials.

The day started like always, chaotic at best. From the moment you walk in to the moment you leave, you’re running. Not like a marathon, where the pace is steady and constant, but more like 500m dash, sprinting from one task to another with no time for breaks. While your mind goes rampant thinking about all returns, cash loss reports, the 200 prescriptions that have yet to be inputted, Carol’s antibiotic reconstitute at pickup, the transfer that needs to be sent in from 3219, the 300 prescriptions that need to be processed, and the 28 totes full of medication that need to be sorted and organized, the phone rings for the 4th time in 8 minutes.

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Beauty at its finest.

It took me a long time to truly be happy with this face of mine.

It’s not like I ever thought it needed to be hidden away from the world in a tall tower or in a paper bag or anything but it was just this lingering uneasiness about it. I felt it randomly but especially in the moments I’d catch a glimpse of my reflection. My personality always had to outshine my looks and my mind always had to outshine my strength.

At a young age I was frumpy, awkward, and hairy and at the time, I was embarrassed. I realized later in life that it shouldn’t have even mattered because honestly so was everyone else.

It wasn’t until couple years ago, where I started to fit into my looks more that some of my friends would call me an “ethnic goddess” when we’d get ready to go out and I could not understand where that came from. I didn’t know if they were just being super nice or just batsh*t crazy or both.

“I quickly realized that started with strengthening my longest relationship. The one with myself. If I couldn’t enjoy my own presence then how could I expect anyone else to?”

Then after a bad breakup I started living on my own. I was determined to do everything I could to be happy and I quickly realized that started with strengthening my longest relationship. The one with myself. If I couldn’t enjoy my own presence then how could I expect anyone else to?

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You can call me Captain for now,

Yup. You heard it right. CAPTAIN. It’s kind of funny how things work out in this life. Moments are brought to you in the oddest of ways sometimes. But until I get that next title in my life along with a squeaky clean new white coat, a white captain’s hat will just have to suffice. It all started with planning out my beloved’s birthday. He’s very uh… what’s the word? Particular, you could say, in what he likes to do and who he likes to share his time with. Except for me of course.

So I got the idea from a friend who had spent her friend’s birthday on a boat. I thought that would be an amazing idea, a whole day under the sun and right on the water. What could be better? I started doing my research looking through google, yelp, groupon. Anywhere that would not only keep my pocketbook happy but also be an amazing experience. After countless searching and skimming reviews, I found a company on the west coast in St.Pete that would allow us that chance. Everything was coming together great, except for one small hiccup. The driver had to either have a boating license or be over 30. Now the only one who fit that bill was unfortunately the birthday boy, so I could not let that happen. SO I figured there was only one thing left to do.

I would volunteer as tribute. I would drive the boat.

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But why a Pharmacy tech?

It´s weird thinking that six years ago, I´d been in your same shoes. Not assuming you want to work in pharmacy or anything, I mean c´mon I dont even know you. What I mean is that I didn´t know anything from anything dealing with medications. I also had a far off idea of how pharmacy works and all the intricacies before that z-pak finally makes it into your hands.

SO before I go into it all, I have to talk about my life before the pharm life. It’s a bit of a whirlwind so if your short on time, you can skip to the bottom!

It was right before my 20th birthday and at that time all I knew was working. I had always maintained 2-3 side jobs at all times. Yeah I know-I´m nuts. Moving on. So at the time I worked for a Cuban/Puerto Rican restaurant called Rice and Beans. So as you could´ve guessed our specialty was rice and beans. The staff was great, the food was even better, but after months of being underpaid, under appreciated by customers, and unfulfilled by the direction I felt I was slowly being pushed towards I had to put my foot down, At the time I was in college, full time (Go knights!) and I was pursuing a degree in Health Sciences, My dream was as real as it was even then but at that time my goals and choices were not aligning the way I had hoped. And while I loved volunteering in the hospitals and playing with the children in the dialysis department, I felt I could do much more. I felt I have enough brains and determination that I should expand the possibilities towards healthcare. That’s way easier said than done especially in this day and age where you´re practically expected to have earned at least 1 PhD degree prior to an entry level position. But that´s another conversation.

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I need my meds, and I need them NOW!

Listen lady, this isn’t Chik-Fi-Le. I can’t just throw some potatoes in the deep fryer and make them magical within the next two seconds to make you and little Timmy happy. The pharmacy, just like a clinic, or a doctor’s office has many, many working parts and all parts need to accounted for before you can be released or discharged or medications are dispensed.

Now in the case of waffle fries, if I don’t cook them all the way then the worst thing that can happen is passing bad gas and you become temporarily attached to the toilet. If your medications aren’t taken through the necessary steps before they are rung out, then I promise you, dislodging your tush from that porcelain seat would be the least of your worries.

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Read between the lines

We’ve all been there, at one point another. You’ve been sick for what feels like a lifetime, you got snot coming out of the wazoo, your head feels like it’s been stuck in a blender for the past week, you can’t seem to breathe like a normal person and everything and everyone sucks. Then to make matters worse, your alone in the most confusing place in the world.. the cold/flu aisle.

Well let me let you in a little secret, I’ve been there too. A long time ago..

Back when I knew nothing about the pharmacy world.

I can’t tell you how many people get swept away in what they think is right in front of them just to find out, you probably have everything you just bought already at home, with a different name, a different costume, a different label.

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This is a topic I feel, ironically, gets a lot of negative feedback. We all have that friend or family member or even co-worker that sees the glass half-full. The dreamer that always seems to have a smile glued to their face and trying to find that silver lining if it’s not already hitting them like a pound of bricks. And if you don’t, well you do now (surprise! it’s me)

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Damn allergies,

As someone whose lived in Florida their whole lives, if there’s one thing I can’t stand more than slow drivers and people who chomp straight into ice creams like some barbarian, it’s allergies. And if you’ve been here even a couple weeks or months, then you’ve had to face the bipolar weather, the extreme shifts in temperature and all the “fun” that comes along with it. 

 I can’t tell you how many patients come in everyday suffering from allergies, mistaking it for a cold many times or even the flu and usually in most cases, spending their entire mornings –if they’re lucky; to over pay for some antibiotics that probably won’t help you and come to find out that most of your prescriptions are over the counter. And yes, that means 99% of the time, unless you have a Medicaid plan, they don’t cover it. So before you go and spend all that time, effort, and tears, let’s go over a few things.

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Doctor gives you a prescription… now what?

I see this day in, day out. You’ve made this appointment with your physician days, weeks, usually months in advanced. Your butt has become one with the plastic chair in the waiting room as your 1130 AM appointment manifests into a 130 PM. You wait patiently. You’ve skimmed through all your emails, scrolled through endless Instagram feeds, read every news outlet out there, taken every quiz online and now that you’ve discovered you are a fierce pineapple ready to spread your wings and conquer the world, they call your name in.

Alright, crunch time. This is the big leagues, you’ve got exactly 12 minutes, 4 nods, 3 “and how long has that been going on?” before your questions go unanswered and the physician hands you the prescription. Now after all that, whats next?

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In the beginning

I had a lot of hope for this blog. Not to say that now its 2030 and I’m sprawled out with a missing sock in the middle of street or something, but more that I had a lot of ideas and thoughts and aspirations that went into this when I first started. When I first felt that sense of being when I switched from the Word press free version to the $4.99/month Baller’s club. Oh Yeah

This page, at first, was supposed to be a connection or more say, a door from my Instagram feed. An extension of the house I was going to sell on the market for my entire audience – whoever that may be. It was going to unlock all the things starting bloggers like myself dream of acknowledgement, expression of opinion, creative reflection, and even impact.

It took me weeks to watch the free videos, listen to courses, pay for the books on automation and followers, listen to the podcasts on these amazing women that were reaching their dreams day in and day out and I wondered how would I get there? I didn’t want to be a fitness guru, I can’t take a photograph to save my life, arts and crafts making me antsy, and that keen eye for style and ‘je se pas’ will never be found in my attire. I tried everything I could, followed every step I heard these inspirational women suggest and nothing. I felt that maybe my strong suit was academia and I needed to give up on this dream of writing and providing insight into this insane realm of medicine and health, at least until I was a full fledged doctor. One where I had the authority to speak, one where people would listen to all my thoughts and suggestions because then, in that moment, I’d be worthy.


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