My Pharmacy Is Stalking Me
I wish it wasn’t so, but my pharmacy is stalking me.
All the time I get these calls from their robots reminding me to refill medications, pick up medications—over and over. I’ve asked them to not call. I’ve asked them not to refill my medications without my express permission. I’ve even shouted at the robot as it reads its creepy, repetitive messages. And yet it keeps happening.
I can’t go to another pharmacy—there are pretty much no others nearby. But I absolutely hate that my pharmacy thinks it should control and know my medications better than I do, which could not be farther from the truth.
I can’t speak for others with chronic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, but I’ve been managing my health and medications for more than 35 years and pretty much know what I’m doing. I track my medications and sometimes they are altered slightly because of verbal directions from my doctor or I get sick and have to pause them temporarily.
In any case, I really know what I’m doing with my medications. I don’t lose track. I don’t run out in a panic. I know when I need refills and when I don’t. I’m the person responsible. If I don’t take my medications I know there will be consequences and I will feel worse. Plus, I have a backup reminder in the form of a husband who also keeps track of my medications.
The bottom line, is that I know my body and medication needs better than a pharmacy robot.
I know there are reasons—the pharmacy thinks it is making my life easier by telling me what to do, calling me with early reminders and so forth. But I suspect the real reason is that the more I refill my medications, the more money they make (why is it always the most expensive ones that are pushed for auto refill?). If they were really looking out for me, when I tell them to stop, that it is actually wrong and unnecessary because I know my medication schedule better than they—wouldn’t they stop? If my medications are about me and my personal health, don’t I have a say?
In the modern world there can be conveniences in automated reminders and mobile apps that help us keep track and manage our health management. However, it seems that some organizations are trying to write the people out of the equation.
A robot from the pharmacy is supposed to be a helpful tool, not a thing that calls me four times a day and annoys me to the point of screaming at the phone. If health care is about the people, than this person is revolting against the machines.
I’m not giving up my autonomy to the pharmacy or any other robot. I’m at the center of my health and I choose when to refill my medications and how my treatment should be managed on a daily basis. Robots and computers are tools that I will use at my convenience to manage my health and not the other way around.
Who’s with me? Who’s ready to march against the robots and tell them to get out of our business and stand back to wait for our commands?
It’s not reasonable. In fact, it’s impossible to cut people out of their health care management. Just because the robot calls, does not mean I’m going to take the medication. I have to be the one who decides, who takes control of my own health.
I’m going to figure it out. The pharmacy robot will not defeat me. In the meantime, I’m no longer taking his calls and I’m taking charge of my own medications.
On a scale of 1(low) to 5(high), how difficult is it for you to talk about having RA?