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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Hay Fever Isn't a Crime

Recently, when all I wanted was to purchase a blister pack of legal decongestant, I ran up against the roadblocks the state of Georgia placed in my path. Perhaps you have found that you can take one of the many medications left on the shelves that don’t require interrogation, but I am not so lucky. Moreover, I’m not sure why I, a model citizen, must be treated like a criminal in order to gain access to a medicine I’d bought for colds and allergies for years with no hassle.

Yes, I understand that certain legislators are concerned that some people use these pills to create other illegal drugs, namely methamphetamine. But I am not procuring a hundred boxes. All I want is a twenty pack, so I, too, like the rest of my fellow Georgians, can breathe through my nose during hay fever season. Ask anyone who suffers from seasonal allergies, and they’ll tell you that the pursuit of our happiness is tied directly to our sinuses.

Oddly enough, other over-the-counter drugs which cause an equal or worse amount of harm remain easily accessible and are prominently displayed from grocery to convenience store shelf. People can even throw them in their cart and buy them with the rest of their groceries. I wonder if what I’m facing isn’t just overreaction to some people abusing my favored decongestant, but perhaps discrimination against those of us with over-stimulated nasal passages. The only thing worse than throbbing, plugged sinuses during hay fever season is being made to feel like a criminal.

In order to get unplugged, I must now schlep my grocery cart and the little card with a picture of the medicine I want over to the pharmacy drop off desk. This card, by the way, sits next to the wide variety of pills that either don’t work for me or that have cough suppressants or some other ingredient I don’t need added to them. I could blithely toss a pack of these “good” pills into the cart with my milk, eggs, and a three-pack of economy-sized tissue, and, believe me, I would if they worked. Once I gain the pharmacist assistant’s attention, she glances at my card and tries to pawn another medication off on me. I then have to explain that I am certain I want the twelve hour Sudafed. I know it works. She claims XYZ will work just as well for some people. But I am not some people. I want to ask her why I should be coerced into spending money on something that probably won’t work for me when I’ve done nothing wrong. I am tempted to rant about the last decongestant they took away from me, twelve hour Tavist D, may it rest in peace, which was pulled from the market because a handful of people had strokes. But all I say in a firm tone is that I prefer the Sudafed. It doesn’t end there.

Next, she asks me if I am sure I want twenty and not ten caplets. Like I want to come back any sooner to go through this again? I want to scream, “Don’t you see the pollen outside? Don’t you know I’ve got another month of this crap to get through?” I merely say, “I need the twenty pack.” The assistant then asks for my driver’s license, which I hand her. She takes it to a desk, looks at some list which indicates perhaps who is allowed to buy this medicine and who isn’t. When she returns with my license and the clipboard I have to sign in order to receive my perfectly legal decongestant (People, we aren’t talking oxycotin here), I am compliant. I walk around to the pick-up desk about twenty feet away where I must now write a separate check for the medication. I’m not sure why but suspect our legislators are afraid that some drug addict posing as an allergy sufferer might steal the Sudafed from my grocery cart before I get to the main checkout registers; these decongestant bandits will then, perhaps, turn my twenty pills into an illegal drug. Even though I’m admittedly irritated and embarrassed, I don’t cause a fuss. After all, it’s not the pharmacist assistant’s fault that our lawmakers are forcing us into this silly dance.

What’s next I wonder? Will crafters have to show their drivers’ licenses and sign on the dotted lines to buy glue because some people sniff it to get high? Will we place cans of spray paint behind counters at the hardware store and create a spray paint registry database of known spray paint purchasers? Will this ridiculousness end soon, or will I be standing in some room of hayfever and cold sufferers saying, “Hi, I’m Maureen, and I like to breathe through my nose”?


At 12:32 PM, Blogger Marianne Arkins said...

The WalMart in my town keeps the baby formula locked up with the cigarettes... I had no idea, but you can apparently make something from formula, too.

Who knew?

I get carded when I buy children's cough syrup at Target. Um... it's for kids, people. Why do you need to be over 21 to buy it?

Simple fact: if someone wants to do something illegal - THEY WILL FIND A WAY. And, meanwhile, everything is a pain for those of us who just want to use as directed.

At 4:44 PM, Blogger Mo H said...

Wow, baby formula, too? This is more prevalent than I originally thought.

At 6:02 PM, Blogger MaryF said...

Wow, baby formula?

I know we have the same restrictions on Sudafed, too - what a PITA.

At 11:07 AM, Anonymous Tori Lennox said...

This is a hot button for me, too! Yes, let's punish the masses because a handful of criminals make illegal drugs. Why don't they ban ammonia and all the other crap that goes into meth???

I don't know if it actually passed, but over in Missouri they wanted to make people have to get a prescription for some microscopic amount of Sudafed that would last me about 2 days. Idiots.

At 5:59 PM, Blogger Jill James said...

Actually, our spray paint is locked away behind padlocked gates, you need a worker to get it for you. LOL

At 6:49 PM, Blogger Tori Scott said...

I've run into this too, and it's really aggravating. My teenagers have really bad allergies and they take meds that are kept behind the pharmacy counter. I go through the grilling every month. And because I buy them the 30 count packages, I get the real "criminal" treatment. But Walmart isn't exactly close by for us, and I hate making the trip more often than once a month.

Now they're asking grocery stores to put Tylenol PM behind the counter because drug dealers are mixing it with heroin to sell to school kids. No, I don't want it to be easily accessible to kids, but how about putting narcs on campus like they used to do when we were kids and take out the dealers, not the legal medications?

At 8:38 AM, Blogger Alex Richards said...

Don't even get me started!!!!! My allergies have been so bad lately, and if one day I'm not able to buy over-the-counter meds because of some crazy meth head, I'm going to go postal! Argh!
Great post, btw.

At 1:23 PM, Blogger Kiki, aka Esri said...

Un-frickin-believable. I WISH I could take Sudafed, but it makes me all twitchy, so I've been snorting like a Pug dog for a month now.

Honestly. This is so over the top. I'm sure the people who are buying Sudafed as a raw ingredient are getting it over the Internet, from Mexico.

Oh, and the last line of your post gave me a big laugh. :D

At 5:46 PM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

I feel your pain. I'm actually glad that I take a prescription med for my allergies now.

At 8:54 AM, Blogger Karen said...

Thank goodness I can still get my beloved Claritin without jumping through hoops. Especially since they say this year's allergy season will be the worst ever!


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