After a year of letting my local Walmart Pharmacy treat me like crap, I finally left them. It took a lot to get me to that point, but I finally got there. My husband had been trying to order my pain medication through them for a week and a half. At first they said it would be there Wednesday, so he called on Wednesday and was told that it would be there on Friday. So, he called again on Friday and was told that it would be the next Wednesday. Each time they would say that they are ordering it, then they would never put in the order! I was almost completely out of my medication waiting for them to get it together.
It took a lot of work, but I was able to find another pharmacy in the same little town that takes my insurance. Then I had to have them transfer all of my medication from Walmart. Unfortunately, narcotic pain medication can not be transferred, so I had to get my primary care physician to send a new prescription over to my new pharmacy. Luckily, my doctor, Cassandra, is an amazing human being and jumped right on the task at hand. I had my medication in my hand in less than an hour.
As I was walking into the new pharmacy, I found myself having a lot of anxiety about it because I was anticipating the same bad treatment that I came to know and expect from Walmart. Every time that I would go pick up my pain meds at Walmart, the pharmacist would have something negative to say about it. At one point he recommended I try marijuana instead of narcotic pain relievers. Little did he know that my doctor already has me on marijuana and that was not helping much at all. He made sure to give me the packet with powder meant to dissolve the pills and he highly recommended that I dissolve them before taking them at all. I dealt with these types of issues for a solid year before I walked away from the mental abuse of Walmart Pharmacy.
The worst part about this story is that I’m not the only one that this is happening to. Walmart has has a reputation for failing customer service across all aspects of their store, and their pharmacy is no stranger to this issue. On a larger scale, this represents a huge problem that we have in our health care system in America. What kind of a world are we living in where the pharmacist can discriminate you on the basis of what medications your doctor prescribes you? At what point did the pharmacist become a diagnostician? Their job is simply to dispense the medications that are recommended by our doctors and ensure that there are no unsafe drug interactions. That’s it! That’s all we need them to do! I don’t need to be harassed about each and every drug my doctors want me to be on. I am dealing with some major medical issues and do not have the time, energy or patience to be harassed at the pharmacy. Something has got to change in this system!
The hardest part of this whole situation was advocating for myself. I had to stand up, speak up and make a change to let them know that I would no longer tolerate such abuses from Walmart Pharmacy. Then, I had to advocate for myself at the new pharmacy, explaining my unique medical issues, allergies and past experiences with my former pharmacy. Advocacy has always been a huge struggle for me since I don’t like to make waves. I like everything to be very peaceful and I avoid conflict at all costs. I hate fighting and I especially hate feeling like I have to fight with staff in the medical profession. Their job is to take care of the sick, and I am the sick that definitely needs to be taken care of, so why am I having to fight for my rights each and every day? Luckily, my new pharmacy did not make me feel like I had to fight at all. They were kind, compassionate and seemed to genuinely care. I didn’t know how to receive such kindness after a year of being discriminated at Walmart. The moral of this story: “What you allow is what will continue.”