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I had hosp last Tues.  At the weigh-in, I’ve lost a coupla kilo’s, so I’m a fluctuating lightweight.  My bp is 159 / 99 which is awful.

I got to watch a load of telly, including the 7 July celebrations which were marred by them singing the wrong words to Blaenwern.  Dunno why they had to use an American edition, guess they hope that’s who we’ll be soon.

Then I saw the Head Honcha.  It’s been 6 mths since we last met and she was looking the better for it.  She was in a jolly mood.
“Don’t worry abt the blood pressure”, she said.  “Probably due to the excitement of seeing us.  I’ll write to your GP to check how it’s going sometime.  If we put you back on bp tabs you’ll probably start falling down in the street all over the place again.”

“Okey dokey.”   It was nice of her to remember that I was falling down in the street.  I would rather keep off the tabs, which was why I declined them from dr Little Zhang at my last visit.  This falling down is not pleasant.


Then she put on her serious face and clicked up a screen.  I’d been taking tacrolimus long enough  for my kidneys to show regular function for a sustained period.  It is protocol to offer the option to  stop taking them now.
“Of course ” she said, “I must tell you that 60% of people who stop at this stage relapse.”  Which is well into Hobson’s Choice country for me.
“So if I relapse, I’ll have to restart the diuretics .....”
“Yes, you had an extreme reaction to them before, didn’t you.”    I wouldn’t put it that mildly.

So, no change for the foreseeable in that respect.  I continue a drug dependent.


Thence, with her prescripton in my hand, to Lloyds Pharmacy which, being on the hosp premises, can dispense the restricted medication I require.
I’m prescribed four tabs a day for 3 mths.  4 x 91 = 364.  (though I will settle for 368)

When my number comes up I go to the counter to collect.  The pharmacist hands me a smallish bag and I glance inside, there are four boxes of 50 in there. 
I say “you haven’t given me enough.  I require 91 days worth and there are 50 days worth here.”

He looks disbelievingly at me then takes out his calculator.  A bit of fiddling with it and he says “wait a minute” and goes back someplace.  He returns with a big bag and, now, seven boxes.
I say “that isn’t enough”.

“Yes it is” he says, “there’s four weeks in a month, three fours are twelve, you’ve got enough for three months there.”  Facepalm

“There are thirteen weeks in three months” I say to him, speaking in riddles.   He picks up my agitation.

His manner has become that he’s dealing with a difficult customer who has an unnerving facility with meaningless numbers.  He begins fiddling with his calculator again but it doesn’t think and it’s not offering any advice.  Fearing a scene, he withdraws.

“I’ll just go back and check up about this” he says, implying he’ll take counsel.


A few minutes later he returns with a bag of eight boxes.  “It’s alright” he says, “there you are”.

My needs are fulfilled but I’m not convinced he understands how.
I ask him “are you married or do you have a girlfriend ??”

“Why do you ask ??”  he replies, answering a question with a question, which is a definite minus in customer relations.

“Ask her how many weeks in nine months gestation.”




Much as I enjoy sounding like a grumpy old man,  time was you had to have Physics ‘A’ Level to become  a pharmacist. 
Now, it seems, you don’t have to know your four times table  ......  or v.basic general knowledge.

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