90 Seconds

I read recently on one of the blogs I follow* that you have a 90 second window to stop your adrenal system going into overdrive and flooding your brain/body with cortisol and all the other ‘great’ things which make for a mood plummet.

Today had been a good day: I’d been scheduling tasks, mixing things up, ticking items off the “To Do” list one by one.

The next item on my list was to call the pharmacy and check the price on a new medication my psychiatrist has prescribed me. He told me it would be “very expensive” which sort of stressed me out, because money’s so tight. In fact, he was so certain that I might not be able to afford it that he wrote it on a separate script, so I could choose not to take it if the price was too high. (Shades of American healthcare, right?! I’ve never had a doctor suggest I not fill a prescription on financial grounds in Australia before.)

I called my pharmacy, the one I still drive 26km to use because the pharmacist is so great and knows me and all my medications really well. Unfortunately she didn’t answer the phone: one of the pharmacy assistants did. She is a lady I’ve dealt with once before, and has a really strong accent which makes her very difficult for me to understand her.

I spelled the name of the drug out for her; she said they didn’t have it in their database. She asked me what it was being prescribed for. I told her, and she said “Oh, that’s called such-and-such” giving a completely different name, starting with a different letter.

Goddammit – I started to cry! My body started to do the whole teared-up, pumped-up thing. Then (and this is the point of the post, this is why I’m inflicting this otherwise boring story on you) I stopped.

I chose to stop. I didn’t let the crazy/anxious/depressed rat race take over and drag me along with it. I rationalized the situation: can’t make yourself understood? No probs; it happens every day. Someone’s trying to give you the price of a different medication? No probs; thank them and call back a few minutes later, hoping your pharmacist is back from lunch. I thanked her and hung up.

I called back some time later, heard a different voice on the line, thought “YAY” – then was put on hold, for ages, before hearing that distinctive accent again. But this time I held on to ‘wise me’. I explained that we may have got our lines crossed last time, that I didn’t think she had given me the correct information. I breathed and relaxed and YES got the medication price (nowhere near as prohibitively expensive as my doctor had told me, goodness only knows what he was thinking) and was lovely to the unintelligible woman and got off the phone.

And I was so proud of stopping my system from taking a nosedive that I thought I’d share this story with you.

Hey, small triumphs, right? Still, although it’s a fairly trivial thing, I am proud of myself. Yesterday, I don’t think I could have done this little thing, and today I managed it; and tomorrow, I’ll drive those 26km, potentially look Heavily Accented Woman in the eyes and smile, and get this wonderdrug which is apparently going to make everything OK.


*  If it was you, please let me know so I can credit you!


1 Comment

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One response to “90 Seconds

  1. That’s wonderful. A big triumph, really, as it can be so easy to get caught up in high emotions. I hope this new wonder drug works out! 🙂


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