I was in Florida with my mom and looking into going to the local community college and I had fallen and did something horrible to my knee. Because I am canadian I didn't have normal health insurance, but I had travel insurance that was still good. I went to the doctor my grandparents used to go to when they were alive and he looked me over and said all I would need is some tylenol and that it would be a nasty bruise. Fine. I go to the pharmacy at a Walgreens near my Mom's condo. I have a nasty and serious allergy to salicylates so I make sure to ask the pharmacist every time if it's something I can take. That's the ingredient in aspirin and a whole range of other pain relievers. Also in Florida they've banned the sale of Tylenol and as it is the only pain reliever I know I may take in Canada I was trying to get some guidance. This was really foolish on my part for expecting any kind of service. The dialouge goes like this...
P: Pharmacist.. I can't be bothered to type it multiple times. hehe
Me: Hi, I would love some advice on what I should take for some pain. I have a salicylate allergy so is there anything other than tylenol that I may take?
P: You can take this.. * Hands me Motrin which I haven't heard of before.
Me: Does this have any salicylates in it? I am really allergic.
P: Motrin doesn't have salicylates in it. Are you really allergic? * I kind of stop for a second after that question. No I am lying about it just to take up your time!
Me: I show him my medic alert bracelet and I take out a list of all the medications that have salicylate in it that my doctor gave to me because she knows how common it is.
P: He doesn't even look at the paper and tells me to follow him and takes me to where Aleve is. * I used to be able to take it but now it gives me hives and my doctor told me to avoid it as it has the same binder that salicylates are used and I could develop a strong allergy to it if I am not careful as well.
Me: It's on the do not touch list. Is there any acetaminophen products you can recommend?
P: I don't know what your talking about but I gave you suggestions.
At this point I am ready to get my sister to fed ex me some tylenol from Toronto and just leave but I feel like I'm importing stolen drugs and feel bad about it.
Me: Look, I am not trying to be difficult. At home I only take tylenol products so is there anything in that family of drugs I can take. My knee is killing me.
P: Motrin or Aleve is my suggestion. Motrin definitely doesn't contain any salicylates in it. So it's safe for you to take.
I believe him because I feel I was clear that I wasn't fooling around. The time before this when I inadvertently took something that contained salicylates I had horrific hives all over my body including my esphogus and wind pipe. I had to go to the hospital and thats when I realized how serious this allergy is. I can't even have tomatoes because it's part of the nightshade family and so is salicylates.
So I get back to the condo and before I take a pill I just peruse the instructions that come with it and I look at the ingredients and what should be on the package and the instructions. Ingredients: Salicylates!!!!! If I took that I would have had to go to the hospital. Thank god I can walk to it from where my Mom's condo is in Florida. It's seriously a two minute walk. I immediately call the pharmacy and demand to talk to the manager. I explain that the pharmacist had recommended a drug that I am extremely allergic to. That I had repeated MULTIPLE times that I was allergic to it and I made sure to question him and he assured me it was safe for me to take. The manager was horrified and offered to make it right but by that point I was at my wits end and just decided to call the doctor I had seen and request a prescription and go to another pharmacy and tell my Mom to avoid it because obviously they don't seem to listen or care about their customers feelings or real concerns about allergies!
When I came back to Toronto after deciding that the fees for the college were too high for what I wanted to take I went to my doctor and I told her the story and she was horrified! Thank God for me loving to read the little pieces of paper that come with medication!