Saturday, December 31, 2005

New Years Eve

Absent-minded Secretary is not feeling well today. And more than that she is irritated. This is the second New Years that I have been sick. I blame it fully on the Bush Administration and all conservative thinkers out there. I am not crazy, I have not let my cold-flu-whatever-ails me get to my brain... I have reason and logic and proof to back up my claim.

First of all, Utah has been unusually hit with the flu this year. "Utah is the only state that shows "widespread" influenza activity on the map updated weekly by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention." The media is recommending that people visit their doctors early when noticing symptoms to get prescription antiviral medications which have to be given within two days of the beginning of the symptoms, in order to work.

Unfortunately, doctors and pharmacists have been advised to only prescribe this medication to those with the worst symptoms, because the medication has to be kept in reserves for the bird flu. In describing his plan to prepare for bird flu, President Bush said, "We must protect the American people by stockpiling vaccines and antiviral drugs, and improve our ability to rapidly produce new vaccines against a pandemic strain." Stockpiling. What a great progressive idea towards prevention of an epidemic.

Yesterday, when I woke up with a sore throat and a general feeling of malaise, I knew that I needed to go down to the local pharmacy to get some oscillococcinum.

Oscillococcinum is a wonderful non-drug treatment for flu. And it doesn't interact with my other medications. My primary care physician is a D.O, a D.O is the only type of physician I will see. ("DOs are more likely to promote the body's own ability to heal itself through means as safe, non-intrusive and with a few side effects as possible."- The Osteopathic Homepage) Anyway, my doctor recommended that I take this for flu symptoms. He told me that the major difference between a flu and a cold would be a fever.

By two o'clock yesterday I had a fever. I took a late lunch, and went to the grocery store next to my office. No Oscillococcinum. I went to my regular pharmacy. No Oscillicoccinum. I asked the pharmacist if he had any in back stock. No. Would he be getting any today. No, and no eye contact. Okay. So, I run down to Rite Aid, because Rite Aid will have it no matter what... Right? On the shelves there is a big empty spot where it should be. I ask the clerk who is stocking shelves next to me and she tells me they are out, and then she tells me that they have a sale on it. I find this a strange order to be telling me, but I ask her if they are expecting any orders soon. She goes to check with the pharmacist. I follow her back. The pharmacist says that they will not be stocking the order when they get it. (I don't think that he noticed me standing there.) I ask him why. He gets all defensive and starts spouting rhetoric about National Defense, and Bird Flu, and Germ Warfare, and being Prepared Against Disasters Like Katrina. And then he has the gall to tell me that Oscilloccinum doesn't work anyway, that I shouldn't waste my money on it! that the only medication that will work for flu is Tamiflu, but he then goes on to say that local doctors won't prescribe it because of President Bush's order to stockpile!!!

Now, I thought that this order was for FEMA and other governmental agencies to be stockpiling the meds and supplies, not for local physicians and pharmacists. I understand that having local stockpiles will make distribution in an emergency easier... but won't limiting these resources during regular flu season create an preventable epidemic of the regular influenza??? And if Oscilloccinum doesn't work, how come four pharmacies in Utah County don't have it on their shelves??!!??

And I have to wonder, is it just stupid local Utah Mormon pharmacists and physicians who are taking this stockpile order too seriously because they are taking the tradition of food storage a little to far? I was in Oregon a week ago, and I saw Oscilloccinum on the shelves and considered buying there for my family who isn't aware of this wonder non-drug. Oregonian pharmacists don't seem to be stockpiling Oscilloccinum. Oh Oregon, land of the free and liberal, why did I ever leave you?

Anyway, on my way home from work last night, as I could feel myself getting worse, I stopped by the local Walgreen's, and yes, there wasn't any Oscilloccinum there... just another wide empty space on the shelf, but when I asked the pharmacist there if there were any alternatives he gave me something that he said was similar. It tastes awful, and so far it isn't working as quickly as my beloved Oscilloccinum, though, I do feel a little better than I did this morning.

Sorry, all. I was going to post a nice little list of stupid things that Bush & Co. have said throughout the year as a fitting way to say good-bye to 2005, I guess I can do that tomorrow.

Have a Happy New Year Everyone!!


p. said...

So, you aren't coming to the party tonight?

Absent-minded Secretary said...

Ummm. No. It'll be a big party, with lots of people. You won't even miss me.

edgy killer bunny said...

I'm sorry you missed the party last night. I hope you're feeling better. And you better be in Tip Top shape by tomorrow because I have decided that we're going to go see Memoirs of a Geisha.

re Pharmacists. I think it's time to slap pharmacists upside the head. "We're not going to sell this medicine because we're stockpiling for some pandemic that might not happen and instead create one that will." Add that to the "Even though you have looked for a doctor who shares your values and will prescribe birth control for you, I don't have to fulfill it because it's against my moral code." Bullshit. Your job is to dish out the drugs, whether or not you think it's moral. Don't like it, find another profession.

Absent-minded Secretary said...


Tomorrow I should be all better. I guess Hylands Complete Flu Care has some merrit, I'm back to just a sore throat.

WooHoo! Memoirs!

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