Why the Pharmacy You Use Matters.

Why the Pharmacy You Use Matters.

Do you love your pharmacy? 

I know it might seem like a silly question, but we have found that using a great pharmacy makes life easier. 

With the chronic conditions, we manage we are at the pharmacy often.

At the moment, Shaun sees a pediatrician and three specialists. He is diagnosed with multiple food allergies, asthma, eczema, environmental allergies, and eosinophilic esophagitis. Each allergic condition requires treatment plans with several medications; Maintenance medications, medications for sick plans, and emergency medications are all needed to keep Shaun safe and healthy. 

All these medications are why having a good relationship with your pharmacy matters. 

Your pharmacy oversees ALL the medications from ALL the different doctors on your care team. 

On the most basic level, your pharmacy should:

  • Make sure all prescribed medications will not cause drug interactions. 
  • Verifying instructions and information about medication.

But 5 years ago, when we started this allergy journey, we learned that a pharmacy could be so much more than this! 

Until that time, we sent prescriptions to whatever pharmacy was physically closest to home. I think most people take this approach and then make a change if they have a horrible experience. 

In our case, we made a change because Shaun needed a special compounded antibiotic to take care of his severely infected eczema. After a lot of phone calls, we finally found one pharmacy that could fill it for us. It was about 25 minutes away from home and not central in any way to Shaun’s doctors. The plan was to fill this one antibiotic and go back to using the regular local pharmacy. 

Yet, our experience with the pharmacy’s customer service changed everything! 

I was tired, scared, and stressed. We were having trouble obtaining the medication my 6-month-old needed. (Medication that I was not thrilled to put Shaun on in the first place.)

The pharmacy staff was kind, offering to call the original pharmacy to get the prescription in an effort to fill it as soon as possible. We went later that day to pick it up, and they seemed to know who we were when we walked in the door. They got Shaun’s medications and talked to us about what to expect and let us know to call if we have any questions or concerns. Not to mention, the packaging of the medication allowed us to dose the medication into an infant syringe quickly.    

Although these might seem like small gestures, they were not insignificant, especially as John and I struggled to get a grip on Shaun’s health! The small yet extra effort in service and product was enough for us to move all our prescriptions.

We still use this same pharmacy! We drive the extra distance because it is worth it. 

Just recently, as John changed jobs, although we considered the change to our insurance, we didn’t think about if the change would affect the ability to use the pharmacy (First world problems I know, but we were distraught by the possibility.)

Here is why we love our pharmacy!

  1.  The staff knows who we are. On the phone or in person, they always have our information ready to go. 
  2. A person always answers the phone! No menu of choices or leaving a message on a machine to wait for a callback. 
  3. They are always well staffed. Well staffed, meaning enough people are working to meet the needs of the customers as well as staffed with people who are knowledgeable and helpful. 
  4. They work with us to make sure medications get proper labels for school. And in some cases, split the medication into two containers so we can have it at home and school. 
  5. They offer to do the leg work when they can. Call a doctor to ask about a generic? Find out about medical supplies that they would need to order? Getting a copay coupon card to reduce the cost of medication? 
  6. They set expectations and follow up. I have never had to call them because I didn’t hear back about a question or concern they were looking into.  
  7. If they can get us a better price, they will! 

There are so many things that we are continually trying to manage with Shaun’s allergic conditions. Having a pharmacy that will go the extra mile to work with us is a huge blessing. 

We often spend a lot of time making sure we are seeing the right doctor. Why don’t we consider if we are using the best pharmacy option, we have access to?

 

 

4 Ways to Love Someone with Food Allergies

4 Ways to Love Someone with Food Allergies

My niece/nephew/cousin/friend etc. now has food allergies, and I have no experience with them. How do I help?

I’m so glad you asked.

A lot of people (not all, but some) will take the stance of “well it doesn’t directly affect me, so it’s not my problem” mentality.

While it is certainly within your right to look out for yourself and your interests, this does not help the broader allergy community. I would also hope that you care enough about the newly-diagnosed person in your life to at least want to learn a bit more about it.

So, to the initial question, here are a few things you can do.

 

Be Understanding

A new allergy diagnosis is scary. 

Everyone reacts to it differently and will have their own emotions to sort out. Often it is overwhelming, and your brain will start buzzing with questions.

How will it affect your daily life?

Will people treat me differently?

Will I still/ever be able to eat out at a restaurant?

Will I have to change or cancel plans/events?

How will it affect my work/school?

The best thing you can do (and YAY it’s also the easiest!) is be understanding. Listen. Be patient. The person/child who is affected by the allergy is figuring it all out. They will likely need you at some point for support. But don’t rush them. Let them come to you if and when they’re ready to.

 

Include Them

People with food allergies want to live as ordinary a life as possible. Especially with children, people affected by allergies don’t want to feel singled out or different because they can’t eat or certain foods.

Keep inviting them anyway!

It’s simple and requires almost no additional effort on your part. Of course, the person with food allergies may not always be willing or able to say ‘yes’ and attend whatever event/outing/meal you’ve invited them to, but the important thing is that you asked them.

This can be a particularly challenging aspect of living with food allergies for adults that have lived for years with few or none, and then suddenly developed them later in their lives.

 

Support

Be there!

Ask Questions. If you genuinely want to know how you can help, ASK! Showing you care is that simple. Taking an interest in what someone is going through can be powerful. You may not be able to do much, but sometimes your presence is all that is required. Perhaps the person with a food allergy wants to vent. Be that outlet for them.

Sometimes they may need you to back them up. We all know some timid people, and they may not be able to express their concerns or discomfort at times. Offering them a “Hey, do you want to get out of here?” could mean the world.

 

Share this blog!This one should be obvious, but if you know someone who can benefit from this information, share it!

 

Empowerment

This one is more for those who care for young kids with food allergies. The benefit is learning early what their food allergies are, and food allergy living ends up becoming just another part of life.

The hard part is managing when, and how much control over those allergies do you give to that child. Practicing good habits and educating them is a great foundation to build upon (we’ll cover exactly how you can do this in a later post).

There are also tons of resources available. FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education) is a huge one, and they have lots of valuable information and ‘cheat sheets’ you can view and download for free.

May 12th – 18th this year is Food Allergy Awareness Week! We will be working on new content to highlight Food Allergy Awareness especially.


Some more information can be found here.

 

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure for more info.

 

 

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