Wednesday, 24 April 2013

The Meds

I don't think, even in my blogging heyday, I ever published two pieces on the same day.

Blogging heyday. What the fuck? By this I mean the halcyon age when I had....oh.....10 regular readers I could name and a new, interesting and challenging subject to barf on about every day.

Regardless I feel the need to give it a go for a second time today. All of which conjures up dull analogies about waiting for buses for hours before 26 turn up at once. Only these buses are all going to Dullsville, via a stupid story about medication and whatever else springs forth into my distorted, tortured mind this Wednesday night along the way.

So the medication. To cut an agonisingly long story short I need to take a type of medication which protects my kidneys. We could go over old ground about how I went to the doctor one day to ask about a problem with my bladder and ended up in what looked and sounded like a tumble dryer. I was having an MRI, and there followed the interesting hypothesis that my kidneys may not last until tea-time that same day, followed by several weeks of depression as I contemplated the end of the life which, at that time and at various points even now, depresses me in any case. There is no point trying to understand the mind of someone who has bouts of depression but who at the same time finds the thought of ending his depression via the outlet of death to be...wait for it.... depressing. We're a different breed. Actually, I'm not sure there are any others like me.

All of that was six years ago. By now, the realisation that my kidneys are going to last somewhat longer than predicted has kicked in. Death is off the table. Just get on with it, and go and get your meds every month. I collect these from the same branch of Boots on the retail park once a month, and had had several discussions with Emma about the need to do this before last weekend. Her parents were coming to stay (which is a blog that nobody dare write) so there would be no opportunity over the weekend itself. And we could have sworn I was running out.

Now probably because Emma was off sick last Monday and Tuesday it slipped my mind on those days. And then on Thursday she had ordered an online shopping delivery from Tesco. We've long since given up the pretence that we actually intend to physically go shopping. Except for French loaves. Emma says she doesn't trust the online system to come up with fresh enough French loaves. It seems to me that if a system is sophisticated enough to arrange for two men to drive to your home in a large van containing everything you ordered (or close to it) at the touch of a few buttons, then fresh French loaves should be do-able. But not so. Since Emma's parents were coming up on the Friday that just left the Wednesday. But we must have forgotten to do it then also.

Only I didn't know this until today. On Monday night I noticed that my current supply of meds was running a bit low. Normally I just leave the opened box on the kitchen worktop but, with guests due, there had been much tidying of such items and general spring cleaning going on. The meds were not on the kitchen worktop and, when I asked Emma she said that the only box she had thrown away had been empty. At this point I will accept culpability for failing to conduct a more thorough search. It is a terribly male problem, that of seemingly being unable to search for and therefore find anything that is not placed directly under the nose. If it was not where I thought I left it, and in the only other place which I considered logically possible, then we had either not picked them up or Emma had thrown them away.

The story was much the same on Tuesday, so today after work I gave them a call that went a little something like this;

'Hello Boots Pharmacy!", voice going up as if they were asking me if they were indeed Boots Pharmacy. Surely they should know? But I do this myself, to be fair. Hello PLSU? Well, yes it is, obviously. Anyway.....

'Yeah, I just wanted to check something. This is going to sound a bit stupid but can you tell me if my prescription has been collected?'

There isn't a pause but I imagine one nonetheless. One which begins with supressed giggles and turns into a full blown conversation between the entire United Kingdom Boots staff about how some mad old bloke has rung up because he can't remember whether he has picked up his prescription, or even what his name is or where he lives. Maybe he doesn't know because he can't get here himself and he can't find out from the person who is supposed to go on his behalf. Either way I am being pitied in my mind about now, and anyone in my situation treats pity with the kind of disdain with which Elvis Costello regards Margaret Thatcher. Finally, the response comes....

"OK, what's your name please?"

I'm certain she's still giggling.

"Stephen Orford."

There I said it. Stephen Orford is someone who can't remember whether he went to the chemist to pick up his potentially life-saving meds (though even the specialist must be starting to question his original forecast after all these years) less than a week ago.

"I'll just check for you, Mr Orford."

Long, drawn out, awkward pause, last experienced when I naively phoned a girl who had given me her phone number in 1996. That didn't end well....

"Oh yes, Mr Orford, that's here for you to collect."

I end the call sharply and with as much dignity as I can muster, and when I arrive at the pharmacy an hour later nobody makes mention of it except me. Why don't I just stop with the self-mockery at this point? It's like I'm doing it to make conversation because otherwise we'll be talking about the weather or, God forbid, my all-time most hated topic of dullard conversation, that one about how fucking close we are to Friday. Or worse than that, how it actually is Friday when it is Friday. Friday's a fucking working day!

I can't remember whether or not I picked up my meds less than a week ago, but I know that Friday is no different to any other fucking day of the week.

I'll leave you to it now. I think the pulsating rush of being able to blog twice in a day after such a long drought has got to me a little.

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