Patsy Porco

Off My Meds and Out of My Mind

In Humor on April 15, 2016 at 1:10 pm

I once temped for a lawyer down in the Wall Street area of Manhattan. She worked out of her apartment and used one of her bedrooms as her office. There was an alcove with louvered doors across from her living room where her assistant worked. When she closed the louvered doors, the assistant’s office equipment and desk were hidden from view and her apartment became a home again. It was a very clever arrangement.

What I remember most about this assignment was how she could turn anger on and off. There were times when I’d be in her office and she’d be talking to me pleasantly about that day’s duties. Then the phone would ring. She’d pick it up and start yelling at the person on the other line as if she’d been furious for hours about whatever that person was telling her. Then she’d hang up and continue talking to me as if we hadn’t been interrupted. It was good to know that her work-related anger was manufactured, just in case she decided to yell at me someday.

I thought of this today when I called my doctor’s office to request that they respond to my pharmacy’s repeated faxes. My doctor’s office has a policy that patients aren’t to call them for prescription refills. We’re supposed to request our refills from our pharmacy. If a refill needs permission to be refilled, the pharmacy faxes the doctor’s office for approval. It’s a system that could work … if the doctor’s office ever read their faxes.

My pharmacy faxed my doctor’s office for a week to get my prescription approved, with no response. When I had gone two days without my anti-anxiety medication (yes, I realize that present and future employers will now know that I’m anxious, but that’s pretty apparent as soon as someone meets me, so I’ll take my chances), I begged the pharmacist for a few pills to hold me over until the prescription was approved, because I had already gone two days without any medicine. They gave me three pills. This was on Monday.

This morning, Friday, I went back to the store and was told that the doctor’s office still hadn’t responded and I couldn’t have any more pills until the prescription was filled. I was now on my second round of two days without medicine which was making me really anxious. To top it off, as I mentioned, it’s Friday, and the office stops answering the phones on Fridays in the early afternoon, whenever they decide that they’ve had enough, and they don’t listen to messages until Monday. I wouldn’t be able to hold myself responsible for my actions if I had to endure a weekend (plus the two days before it) with my normal anxiety, compounded by the anxiety produced by not being able to get a response from my doctor.

So, I went home and called my doctor’s office. I pressed #4, which was the button to press for medical emergencies. Otherwise, I would have gotten a voice recording telling me to leave a message, which nobody would listen to. I got a nurse who, after listening to me calmly tell her my problem, told me that this was the line for emergencies. At this point, some lunatic-switch activated in my brain and I replied in an insane, frantic voice, while she was still talking, “This IS an emergency. I am losing my MIND and I need that prescription filled NOW!” That stopped her in her tracks.

“Okay, okay,” she said nervously, over my rant. “I’ll take care of it.” I think she was afraid that I’d come over there and talk to her in person. After I hung up, I calmed down immediately, probably because I had accomplished my goal.

Within the hour, I had my medicine and was working peacefully in my home office, which disappears behind its louvered door after working hours. It turns out that I learned a lot from that lawyer, especially that, sometimes, acting crazy is the sane thing to do.




  1. Lots of experience has taught me that the only way to get treated properly by any doctor’s office is to raise your voice and make it very clear you pissed. Sad, but oh so true!

  2. This is great! I tried to reply on the blog site but it would not let me log in 😦

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. Amazing how that works. When my brother-in-law was in the hospital, the doctor had not checked on him after surgery and he was not doing well. My husband saw the doctor and cornered him. He said, “I’m pretty crazy right now because my brother might die. Maybe you should make sure he doesn’t.” BIL got exceptional care from that point.

    • We try so hard to act civilized but other people drive us to bad behavior. There should be a “His-Fault” or “Her-Fault” defense in court.

  4. I can’t believe you got that poor treatment! My doctor’s office joined a larger hospital group and incorporated an annoying policy of customer satisfaction survey followups. However, it really keeps them on their toes and I get very responsive service.

    • I always wondered if anyone ever read customer service questionnaires. It’s good to know that they’re taken seriously. I’m going to suggest this idea to my doctor the next time I see him, after I tell him how dissatisfied I am with his office staff. Thanks for the comment and I’m happy you’re getting good results now.

  5. I absolutely Love Love this!!! Lol

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