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Nosy chemists - Jill Stitson

Blog | By Jill Stitson | Nov 04, 2022

Jill Stitson recently survived interrogation by a 12-year-old Saturday girl at her local pharmacy

It started when my husband and I made the mistake of arriving at the checkout together, each clutching a packet of 32 paracetamol.

‘Who are they for?’ said the 12-year-old, eyeing us both suspiciously.

‘Us,’ we said in unison.

‘Do you live together?’

I was very tempted to say, ‘Yes, we’re living in sin and the sex is wonderful,’ which she probably wouldn’t have believed; we’ve been married for over 50 years and it shows. We both just said, ‘Yes,’ and gritted our teeth.

‘In that case, you can have only 32 tablets,’ she said, very po-faced.

Our joint blood pressure was now at stroke level, but we didn’t give in. We demanded to see the supervisor, much to the chagrin of those in the queue building up behind us.

After much huffing and puffing, we were allowed our drug haul of 64 paracetamol.

It doesn’t end there. When your headache/backache is at its worst, then you have to extract the pills, each individually encased in unopenable ‘childproof’ foil.

My pills usually emerge in tiny fragments – except when my six-year-old grandson does it for me.

God forbid that you ask for anything stronger. You are then looked up and down and asked three questions. ‘Are they for you?’ ‘Have you taken them before?’ ‘Are you on any other medication?’

You look them straight in the eye and say, ‘No,’ ignoring the five lots of medication on your repeat prescription form. Finally, there’s question four: ‘You do know they are not for long-term use, don’t you?’

Yes, I am aware of all ‘health and safety’ issues, but I have had my rock ’n’ roll years and survived.

For God’s sake, allow me to be the judge of what I think is best for me now.