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Guest Blog: The Pharmacy Hoedown.

Nick has a the most adorable little girl I have ever seen, and both he and his little one have type 1 diabetes.  He has offered to guest blog here today about some of the challenges he faces at the pharmacy, and I'm happy to host his words here on SUM today.  :)

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There are a lot of things that are not funny about being diabetic, but there are some that are. Thrush is not Nick provided this image.  I sort of love this.  :)funny, but pretending to use your pump as a phaser on everyone that asks if you’re “brittle” is. Lows in the middle of the night are not funny. Looking incredulously at strangers and yelling “WHAT DID YOU DO” when your kid’s CGMS alarms is funny. Well, it’s funny to me anyway.

I never in my life thought that a trip to the pharmacy would be fun, let alone funny. However the perspective of a type 1 diabetic is nothing if not unique. The pharmacy is not a foreign land for us. Most of the non-pancreatically challenged among us wander in for the occasional anti-depressant and a pink “Snuggie.” We, however, are the business-travelers of the pharmacy world. I can pick up a bag of dog food and a 12-pack of juice boxes in no time flat, and I can do it in any pharmacy at any time. Mom is so proud.

Being in the pharmacy so often means we are keenly aware of when a pharmacy is well-run, and when one appears as though it is run by drunken space-monkeys. I had the supreme pleasure of visiting a well-run pharmacy in my hometown. The pharmacists and staff knew us by name, and they were partners in our health care. That’s really how it should be shouldn’t it? Frankly, I didn’t know any differently. And then we moved away…

I witnessed my first pharmacy hoedown within a month of moving to this fair city. My first thought was “so THIS is what a drunken space monkey looks like!” Since that time I have re-considered my position and decided I wasn’t really being fair to the pharmacy or to drunken space monkeys. What I was actually witnessing was a pharmacy hoedown.

In all likelihood, you have all seen a pharmacy hoedown; you just didn’t know the name for it. Luckily for you all, most of Kerri’s brain cells are being consumed by BSparl and mysterious writings found in jars of peanut butter, so I am here to enlighten you.

First, the pharmacy hoedown begins with you, the customer, walking up to the counter and automatically regurgitating your last name. This is where the dance begins. The pharmacy tech leans over toward you and says “Holmes you say?” And I say yes, and then I spell it. At the conclusion of this opening set, the fiddle launches in the background and the tech walks first over to the dizzying array of white bags arranged like a child’s playroom. Unable to spot the name, they spin in a circle and look through the bin of recently completed bags. Typically this stage of the dance is highlighted by a deep sigh followed by a customary deep bow to search under the counter, just in case my prescription magically ended up with her warm can of Amp. Is this dance sounding familiar yet?

At this point the tech joins their partner, the pharmacist, where a brief bow and conversation takes place along with them both tracing the same route, only in reverse. What a treat! Pairs! Following the crowd-pleasing synchronized 720 degree spin, the pairs portion of the dance ends…the fiddle slows to a deep and haunting rhythm…and the crowd behind you takes in a deep breath in anticipation of the move you’ve all been anticipating…

“What was your name again?”

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Nick offers up his "Obligatory Blogger Info" ... in his own words:

"I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes about 2 months after my first endo tried to kill me by diagnosing me with type 2. My daughter, Emma, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 9 months old; she is now a beautiful and happy 5 year old. My only randomly-updated blog can be found at Diabetes 360."


I much prefer the "home town" version myself... one of the reasons for us switching from a mega-pharmacy (other than horrible waits in lines and incompetience) was our first refill post-dx; the pharmacist dispensing medical advice telling us to make sure that our child got plenty of excercise and watched her weight... all he saw was the rx and not the (at that point) under weight child standing before him.

Hilarious :)

Also at the pharmacy, we know automatically to say "It's insulin- it's in the fridge." before they get all confused.

I know this dance all too well. I also tell them that it is in the fridge or if it's test strips that it is in a bag below since it does not fit i the normal tray.

I'm with Kermit. I let them look in the bins for a little while before I offer up "It's insulin. It might be in the fridge". Who am I to stop them from dancing first though, right?

I love this!

I have definitely seen the pharmacy hoedown way too many times!!

"Pancreatically challenged" is my new favorite phrase. Thanks for that :)


Sometimes I also enjoy mentally adding the Benny Hill theme, "Yakety Sax", as I watch them wander to and fro, though usually I also need to mentally speed them up, as if the video was placed on fast-forward.

Hilarious!!! :) This is exactly what happens! I also know to say "I also have insulin in the fridge."

My old pharmacy knew me so well that they would go ahead and find my Rx's before I even got to the counter. They would see me walk up and immediately grab all my stuff and put it up there for me.

I recently moved, across town, but a move nonetheless. I changed pharmacies and the first day I went there I said, "Hey, you're gonna be seeing a lot of me." LOL! =)

Next time I'll watch them dance a lil' bit longer and think of this blog before I say 'it's in the fridge!' Great post!! Thanks for the laugh!

Thanks for the guest post Nick - I very much enjoyed it. I could totally picture the pharmacy hoedown happening - seen it myself all too often. :-)

This was great!

So funny....

I will think of it on my next pharmacy trip!!!

Thanks for posting...

oh gawsh...i'm tired of goin' to that hoedown!! (nice fiddle-playin' armadillo!)

The pharmacist is my biggest nemesis. I have 3 diabetic sons and it is a miracle if I can stop the hoedown long enough to get ONE bottle of insulin. This week I threw in the white flag and sent my husband. He came home with 13. What the heck!! Consequently, I'm giving up the pharmacy all together...looks like my husband has better rhythm, it's his turn to dance along!

Oh my - this was hilarious! I live in Ontario and we have the same sort of dance at our pharmacies! Typically the one that gets them is the 2 extra large bags of pump supplies - they can never find it be/c it's too big for the trays!
Thanks for the post.

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