We see you standing there with your antiseptic smile.
We smile back and hand you our prescriptions.
We watch as your face distorts in front of us. The stigma of the prescribed medication takes over. Your face no longer has that fake smile, it is instead replaced with judgement.
Before you decide who we are and why we have to take medications you deem wrong, we want you to know a few things.
We are not just numbers in your system.
We are more than a voice on the other end of the phone, or the next person in line at the counter.
We are people, people that deserve respect, the same as you do.
With your glancing look and judgmental eyes. You have no idea what it’s like to live in our shoes.
How we suffer in silence and wish to ourselves daily that we didn’t have to take medications to function.
You have no idea what it’s like to be us. To have an invisible illness.
To seem fine to everyone, but inside the pain is so much, it almost hurts to breathe.
We don’t want to depend on these harsh medications to make it through the day. We have to.
Yet, you still look down on us, like we are all addicts or criminals, enjoying the roll we have been given in life.
Should we be sorry that we look too healthy to be sick? That we can paint ourselves up as normal on the outside to try and blend in, while we continue to suffer internally?
Dear pharmacists those medications you think we look too healthy to take are what allows us to walk up to that damn counter and turn in those prescriptions. Those same prescriptions you then “advise us” on how you don’t feel comfortable filling … just because you can.
And it’s legal. We may see specialists with years of training for our illnesses, but the law says that you, the pharmacist, can choose not to fill our prescriptions if you so decide.
Life is hard enough dealing with a chronic illness, now we have to worry if our medications might be denied?
It also makes us feel less than.
Less than a person, because now every time we go to our local pharmacies, we worry. Worry that our much needed medications are going to be denied on a whim. Whether for religious reasons or maybe you just “don’t feel comfortable” filling them.
How would you feel, oh dear pharmacists, if this was happening to you or someone in your family? Would you fight for your rights? Or would you walk away like a disciplined dog with your tail between your legs?
You see we are no different than you.
We have families, lives, careers, and people that depend on us. We deserve to be treated not as a prescription number, not as a drug, not as a condition, not as anything but the people we are … no less than you.
So next time you decide to look down upon someone or pass judgment on them because of the medications they take.
Maybe you should stop a moment and think about what it might be like to walk in our shoes, in our crutches, in our wheelchairs and in our lives.
You are not to judge who we are, you are to help us.
No one deserves to feel less than.
Maybe, just maybe think of that next time and show compassion instead of judgement.
You have the ability to help people … instead of hindering them. Use it!
Words for thought,
-We The People