“____ pharmacy, this is Laura. How can I help you?”
“I need to speak with a pharmacist.”
“She’s on the other line with a customer, can I help you or would you like to hold?”
“Are you a pharmacist?”
“I’m a technician.”
“Honey, I have a little problem. Maybe you can help me.”
“Okay, what is it?”
Words you should never say, especially in a pharmacy.
“I swallowed my inhaler.”
At this point in life, it didn’t surprise me. I thought it would, but it didn’t.
“You swallowed your inhaler?” I repeated.
I was a mix of concerned, confused, and overall, curious as to how this customer swallowed an entire inhaler. The fact that they were still breathing alerted me that I wasn’t getting the full story.
“Did you swallow part of your inhaler or the whole thing?” I asked, resting the phone between my ear and shoulder while folding my arms across my chest. I noticed everyone working in the pharmacy look at me.
“Well, honey, I was talking to my daughter and got distracted and swallowed it.”
I felt my eyebrows furrow.
“The whole thing?” I asked again. Do I need to be calling 911?
“No, honey, just the capsule part that goes in the inhaler,” they then told me.
I inhaled slowly, closing my eyes.
Just a little pharmacy background in case you don’t already know. There are some inhalers that come with a capsule that you place inside the inhaler itself. When the patient closes the inhaler around the capsule, it punctures the capsule, releasing the medication into the device. Allowing the patient to receive the medication through the mouthpiece.
“So, you just swallowed the capsule that goes in the device and not the inhaler itself?” I clarified.
“Okay, give me just a second and I’ll get the pharmacist for you.”
I put them on hold and skipped to the back, where the pharmacist was now checking a prescription.
I poked my head in the door and yelled, “Pharmacist needed on line one. A patient just swallowed their inhaler.”
I then promptly turned and walked off, I heard the pharmacist shout in a confused tone, “What?”
I said what I said.