I have to write this down in the hopes that it might help someone.
So I’m going through some fun mystery health issues. Yee ha. When they’re not too bad, I can get out and about and lead a normal life. But when they rear their ugly heads and start beating on me, I’m pretty miserable. The fun is it changes from moment to moment. I’m seeing docs, docs are scratching their heads and tapping their fingers in puzzlement. I really do feel for them, none of my symptoms make sense. I think it has to do with a long-term condition I have, but then the question is how and exactly how do we fix it?
Anyway, one of the fun new wrinkles in my life is a few days ago, I noticed my pulse rate was sky friggin high. I mean, I’m sitting on the couch waiting for the 11:00 news, and jeebers I’m sweating and my whole body’s going baboom baboom and fast! I broke out the stopwatch on my iThing to confirm, and wouldya look at that? That’s one fast heart I’ve got there. Since counting beats and manipulating a stopwatch was a giant pain in the hoop, I decided it would be good to invest in a talking blood pressure monitor, and this is the reason for this post.
I was going to search out one on the internet, but of course, if I had any questions about it, I would have to wait until Monday to talk to a person. And then I would have to wait for it to ship…bla bla bla. If I could avoid it, I didn’t want to suffer through another night/day of babooms wondering if I was overreacting or really, was my heart about to jump out of my chest and I should be hooked up to things that go boop. So a buddy said I should call some local pharmacies because they do carry some specialty stuff. And this was where the fun began. She had found two that would bring the product in, but again I would be waiting a few days. If I wanted one *now* I should try some of the big chains that stay open late and have stuff like wheelchairs and walkers. What a brilliant idea! I was so brain fogged by all this stuff that calling locally hadn’t even crossed my mind.
I called Zellers, Walmart and Shoppers. I asked about whether they carried a talking blood pressure monitor, an their first response that whipped out of their mouth was “I don’t think such a thing exists.” It wasn’t “hmmm I’ve never heard of that.” or “We don’t carry that.” Nope, it was that item has not been invented, ha ha ha you silly person, why must you have such pipe dreams? This is ridiculous because things like this have existed for years. Luckily, I knew better, and pushed them to *try* and do some digging. They said they didn’t carry them, and one of them did manage to recommend another pharmacy that I found out can order them in, but that was only one out of the 3.
This scares the bejeebers out of me, and here’s why. We are living in a society with an aging population. Old people a. tend to get bad eyes, b. tend to need to monitor blood pressure, and c. tend to take their pharmacist’s word as gospel. To be told by some assistant that such a thing doesn’t exist could end that person’s search for such a device when it’s out there.
That’s another thing. Even when I pressed them to look harder, I never actually got transferred up the chain. They put me on hold and came back and said nope. I have no idea whether they did more than take a closer look down the monitoring stuff aisle.
Luckily, I found links to some on the internet, and eventually found one at Radio Shack aka the source. The dude even let me test it in the store and make sure it would read enough. Funnily enough, some monitors talk, but only enough to tell you to put your arm in the cuff, sit down and cram it. They don’t actually read the readings. But this one did, and did pulse and compared my reading to WHO standards. It even says it wishes you all the best and stay healthy. That always makes me chuckle after it’s given a high reading. It’s comforting to know I can monitor my own blood pressure and pulse at home whenever I feel like it.
But people who work in pharmacies, please, make an effort when someone asks you for a specialty product. Even if you’ve never heard of it, please look. You guys have access to company reps and distributors that we don’t have. Please, get educated! And if you can’t do it because you’re not a pharmacist, please connect the person to someone who can devote the time to doing proper research. You could actually stand between someone and the device they need.