February 23, 2023

I had to renew a prescription this week and in the process of digitally ordering it from the pharmacy I was informed by the bot that the renewal required my doctor’s approval.  I knew this not to be the case and prepared myself for a lively discussion at the pharmacy.  I got all my documents in order to take to the pharmacy and just before I left the apartment my reminder to breathe sounded.

I have set an alarm three times during the day to practice diaphragmatic breathing which helps to relax, reduces blood pressure and heart rate among other physical benefits.   I have learned of this practice through my Yoga group of teachers and friends.  I noticed after leaving the apartment and completing my breathing exercise a steadiness and calmness about the trip.  In the elevator ride to the lobby I had thoughts that I would take care of the situation as best I could and accept what may come.

I approached the counter at the pharmacy to see if my prescription was filled, it wasn’t.  The clerk, who always seems tired and cranky, was just this.  I told her in the calmest manner possible, surprising even me, what my problem was and what I think may have happened offering to show her my documentation.  She listened and confirmed what I said and placed the order.  I took care of some other business and when completed asked the clerk if I should wait or come back.  She told me to wait.

In just a few minutes my prescription was filled.  I paid, got the stuff and remarked “What a wonderful day!”  She responded, “Yes, because we are alive.”  To which I spontaneously responded, “You call this living?”  She laughed out loud as did I.

It is always a delight to make someone laugh, which is the best medicine as they say, and how perfect that it was at the pharmacy.  The strain of the pandemic has left the whole medical establishment in shreds and this does not escape me.  So it was extra special to see a glimmer of joy expressed by one so burdened.   I felt lighter and walked to the bus with a bounce in my step.

I believe my strengths here are practicing diaphragmatic breathing, preparation and a good sense of humor.