am reminding myself how truly fortunate we are with Newt, for so many
reasons. His liver shunt was diagnosed early; we found protocols that
worked to stabilize him; we have an amazing team of caregivers and
service providers on Team Newt; we are in a position to be able to
afford his care; his care is not nearly as expensive and invasive as
that of other cats with more serious conditions; we live in an area
where products and services are readily available … the list goes on,
So why do these minor annoyances tend to send my blood
pressure skyrocketing, and my language far, far out of bounds from any
sort of propriety?
I arrived at 6:20 PM – well after the 4PM time
I was given as ready for pick up. My mood was only heightened by the
freezing rain pouring down, dampening my spirits, as well as my
I was greeted warmly, by friendly staff. My optimism rose a couple of notches, but it was short-lived.
No, they did NOT have a prescription on file for Newt. When was it
called it? I’m pretty sure I managed to NOT let my voice drip as icily as
the rain outside when I replied “last THURSDAY – four and a half days ago.”
chipper little pharmacist quickly stepped in to take over, and rummaged
thru paperwork, then politely informed me that it had just arrived, and they would prepare it right then, if I wanted to wait.
Great! How long could it possibly take? I was the only person in the shop.
Let’s just say that during the ensuing 40 minutes, I was really wishing
I’d brought a knitting project with me. Ah well. At least I did
remember to ask if they could put it in a dropper dispensing bottle. “No
problem!” they cheerfully replied.
When I was given the bag, I looked inside, and … no dropper dispensing bottle. Granted, it wasn’t a normal bottle; it had some sort of special lid, designed to fit the accompanying 1 ml syringe.
“I’m so sorry.” I apologized. “Is it not possible to obtain a dropper dispensing bottle?”
“Oh this is a dropper!” I was told.
no. “That is what I had in mind. You know, small? Like an EYE dropper? A bottle
with a built-in dropper for dispensing the medication?”
“Ah. That’s okay. You can use the syringe!”
(If I had WANTED a syringe, I would have ASKED FOR a syringe!)
I tiredly replied that actually, no, the syringe was not as suitable as the eye dropper type of dispenser.
“No problem! I’ll get you one.”
“Great!” I think.
pharmacist goes over to a display and happily hands me a bigass dropper
– one that I already have in healthy quantities, thanks to it coming
with every bottle of Lactulose.
“You can use this one!”
“Uhm, no. No, I can’t, but thank you anyway.”
“No, really, I don’t need it, but thank you.”
“Why not? It’s a dropper.”
Yes, it is a dropper, but it’s HUGE. It won’t fit in his mouth! Besides, I already have several of those, but thank you.”
I just wanted to get home, see if Newt would take the new med, and then curl up on a heating pad and have some NewtSnuggles.
“OH! You want a smaller one? Like an eye dropper?”
“YES! I practically sobbed. “Yes! That would be great!”
“Okay, if you have one of his old bottles, bring it in, and I’ll see what we can do.”
this time, I really wanted to simply escape before either bursting into
tears, or bursting forth with a string of colorful invectives – neither
of which would have helped solve anything.
Upon arrival at home, I
must have spilled half the bottle – on me, on Newt, on the counter, on
The Dog – trying to figure out how to use the fancy cap to draw the
correct dose into the syringe. Luckily, it smelled … okay, and tasted not unpleasant. Certainly not as bad as some of the prior efforts of years’ past.
Newt did not try to run away, and tolerated my awkward manipulation of
“Maybe this is going to be okay,” I thought.
Not seeing a “refrigerate” warning on the label as with his past version, I called to verify.
pharmacist first cheerfully asked if Newt had liked the taste, then
said he would check the paperwork. “No, not refrigerated. Just store in a
cool, dry place.”
Heating pad, here I come!
phone rang. It was the chirpy pharmacist, calling to trill at me that I
needed to adjust Newt’s dose, as they had made an error in mixing the
“Excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, WHAT did you just say?!?!?!”
(Count to ten, count to ten, count to ten …. breeeeeeeeeeeaathe breeeeeeeeeeathe …)
just read the original instructions, and you need to adjust his dose.
It’s supposed to be mixed 100g/ml, and I mixed 50 g/ml. Just double his
dose and it will be fine. It’s no problem, just give him one ml instead of one-half ml. “
At this point, I resorted to banging my head on the counter.
With a sore head, and smelling of some sort of powdery, flowery,
candy-coated chicken, I whimpered my way onto the couch, and mentally began to
count our blessings, to counter the frustration.
Newt is stable. Newt has protocols and medicine that work to KEEP him
stable. The new pharmacy has friendly, happy, cheerful staff, and is
conveniently located. They are inundated with unexpected new patients,
in the same boat as us. They promised that they would make things
right, if we weren’t happy.
Well. I’m NOT happy. Nothing horrible is wrong – this time. The error
was discovered after only one dose, and it wasn’t an egregious error –
THIS time. Do I trust that this mistake will help ensure extra attention
to prevent future mistakes, or do I start the dance over again, with
another new partner, and hope that things go better?