I woke up yesterday morning full of the joys of, well, January. Until I remembered it was that dreaded day. It comes once a month, regular as clockwork. Yes, the day I have to shuffle off to the chemist to pick up my prescription.
I made the fatal error of popping to the supermarket first, so I went to the chemist with two bottles of wine rattling in my shopping bag (they were presents for people, honest).
Setting down the incriminating bag at my feet, oh-so-casually draping my newspaper over the top, I queued up. I was third in line and there were a couple of people waiting around for their prescriptions, staring at us with bored disinterest.
An aggressive-looking woman, arms folded in a threatening manner, was called. The chemist handed over a carrier bag full of boxes of medicine and she smiled triumphantly before leaving. Yes, and? It’s not a competition, love, jog on.
I quickly grabbed a bottle of shower gel on offer so it didn’t actually look like I was waiting for medicine and finally it was my turn. I whispered my name to the chemist. ‘Didn’t catch that, sorry’. I said it a bit louder, cheeks burning. ‘Prescription you say?’ He wandered off, rifled through a huge drawer and held it up. ‘Address?’ I gave it. ‘Repeat the prescription?’ ‘Yes, please’. I signed my name and fled, the wine bottles rattling even louder as they banged against the glass door.
Why do I feel so furtive? Maybe it’s because I’ve never really been on any medication until MS came along. Maybe it’s because I’m on the younger side of people who pick up three different medicines each month. But mostly I think it’s because the medicines I take are not specifically for MS, they can treat several generic conditions and the three of them together could sum up a pretty tragic picture.
I always want to drop into conversation, ‘Oh, no, I’m not x,y or z, I’ve actually got MS.’ Not that I want to show off, I’d just prefer not to be taken for a malingerer. Anyway, I went back home, relieved it’s all over for another month, tripped over the cat and burst out laughing. Definitely the best medicine.