Guest Blogs

Ritalin Roundup

Some days, it feels like Natalie’s ADHD is rubbing off on me.

Now remember, I don’t have ADHD.

My child does. I don’t.

Really! But I sure do act like it sometimes.

The last time Natalie saw her pediatrician, Dr. Halbur, for a re-check, she told us that laws about controlled substances had changed, and that she could write out three prescriptions for Ritalin at a time, rather than only one. Wow! That’s a lot easier, right?

I took the prescriptions to Walgreen’s, and asked them to fill the first one, and keep the other two on file. Here’s what I remembered them saying: We can only keep one on file, you’ll have to keep the third one.

Okay, I thought. I’ll keep it in my car, in the compartment where I keep my supply of Advil! It’ll be safe there.

The next month, I called the pharmacy. Could they fill the prescription that they have on file? We don’t keep prescriptions for Ritalin on file, they said. Well, you did, I said. I was told you could keep one! We don’t have it, they said.

Sure enough, I found it in my car. I must have remembered wrong. I had the prescription, everything was okay.

The next day, I got a phone message from the pediatrician’s office, “Your prescription is ready to be picked up.” Oh, no. The pharmacy must have called them! I don’t need another prescription. I just won’t pick it up.

Several weeks later, we’ve been on the road for 30 minutes when I realize we’ve left town for the day and I didn’t bring any Ritalin! What am I going to do? I look in my special hiding place… ta dah! I have a prescription with me! All is well.

We stop at Walgreen’s in Iowa City. They have Nat’s info on their computer, and it’s time to fill the prescription anyway. Unfortunately, they only have 14 tablets. Our prescription if for 180! If they do a partial fill, they cannot give us the rest later. We’ll need a new prescription. Okay, I have to have it — an hour ago!! Give me what you have.

Back in Ames. On Monday morning I go to the doctor’s office. The replacement prescription is still waiting for me to pick it up. But if I try to fill it, it’s going to look suspicious. I wait to talk to Dr. Halbur’s nurse, to explain the whole mess. She writes me a nice note to take to Walgreen’s, telling them the prescription is valid, and to call their office if there is any problem. There’s not. Nat and I pick up the filled prescription the next morning after O.T. Just in time — we’re down to two doses!

This morning Nat wakes up, I go to the kitchen to get her meds. The new bottle is not there. Is it still in the car? I rummage through all the trash in the car. I find an empty Walgreens bag. Yep, the receipt says Ritalin was in this bag.

The bag is empty.

Did someone steal it out of my car? Did it fall out of the bag while we were still in the store?

I think about calling Walgreen’s to see if someone turned it in. Surely, they would of called me! If I call Dr. Halbur’s nurse, and try to explain this, she’ll never believe me. “I heard a new one today,” she’ll tell the other nurses. “This mom claimed her kid’s Ritalin fell out of the bag before she ever left the drugstore! She filled a prescription yesterday, and she wants a new one today.”

I look at the empty bag again. Oh my gosh, this is the bag from Iowa City! Not the new bag!

I finally find the new bag, with the new bottle, filled with 180 beautiful yellow tablets, on the counter in the bathroom. Now I remember. I’d rushed Natalie to the bathroom the minute we got home from the pharmacy. I put the stuff I was carrying down on the counter, and forgot about it.

Whew! Now I can calm down. I have nothing to worry about, except… which neighbors saw me frantically tearing my car apart this morning wearing nothing but a ratty t-shirt?

No matter — it was worth it!