A Small Thing that Drives Me Crazy

Maybe this should be a new ongoing feature. There are so many things that could fall under this title.

I have a cold. I had thought I was having a particularly tenacious case of fall allergies, but yesterday afternoon it dawned on me that the Zyrtec hadn’t been working for several days and that I was getting increasingly congested. Now, headcolds alone could probably qualify for a post about things that drive me nuts, but that will have to wait. It’s the method of acquiring decongestants that actually work that makes me crazy.

Once upon a time, in, say… 2006, I could go to my local pharmacy, find the aisle of cold and allergy meds and pick something out. Today, however, to acquire a legal, non-prescription decongestant, I have to ask a pharmacist, present ID (the contents of which is written down in a big book or entered into a computer), and sign for my pills.

Now, I understand why this is the case — at least partially. The active ingredient in effective cold pills is ephedra, which happens to be a key ingredient in methamphetamine, a bad, scary, illegal drug. What I don’t understand is the decision to inconvenience law-abiding citizens and (more importantly) invade their privacy by logging the purchase of legal medicine.  Everything I have heard/seen/read about people who make and distribute meth is that they steal cold pills, they don’t buy them. So it makes perfect sense to keep them behind the counter, making them harder to steal. The tracking portion adds nothing to the process, except a layer of intrusion that doesn’t need to be there. I can’t speak for everyone, but I know it makes me feel like I am suspected of something, without any evidence.

It seems to me that this is but one example of the new trend in the way that crime and criminal behavior is handled by our government — by making everyone a suspect, rather than aggressively investigating and prosecuting people who are actually doing wrong. Instead of focusing on the big picture of fighting meth addiction, they’ve focused on this tiny piece of minutiae that impacts drug dealers little while increasing what we come to see as “normal” government intrusion. And it drives. me. crazy.

(See? I told you I have an inner Libertarian. Now do you believe me?)

9 thoughts on “A Small Thing that Drives Me Crazy

  1. sprite November 18, 2008 / 10:28 am


    It drove me nuts when Sudafed Severe Cold stopped working for me. For years it had been my salvation (those non-non-drowsy meds knock me for a three-day loop just from one dose). Then I realized they’d stopped using the active ingredient after which they were named — and that I needed to be questioned for wanting to use what had heretofore been (and reputedly still was) legal medicine in legal doses.


  2. sprite November 18, 2008 / 10:29 am

    Oh, and feel better soon!

    (My inner grouch apparently had the upper hand this morning…)

  3. common loon November 18, 2008 / 12:39 pm

    Yeah, can’t buy your middle nephew the allergy drugs he desperately needs for about 6 weeks in the Spring w/o all the hassle. Plus, DH and I have to alternate drug stores and trips to the drug stores to keep that nephew medicated (1 parent can only purchase a dosage that lapses 2-3 days before he needs more medecine). We are incredibly grateful that we travel across the border regularly! Should more than 1 family member need meds under this system, we get screwed.

  4. Mom November 18, 2008 / 1:30 pm

    This makes about as much sense as practically disrobing at the airport! Let’s punish everyone for the dumb ass acts of a few!

    @Loon — can’t you coerce your pediatrician into a script? Maybe then even a portion of it would be covered by insurance.

  5. common loon November 18, 2008 / 5:39 pm

    @ Aunt Mary – nope. FSA. Once we get the perscription, then it’s a whole new ballgame (dosages, restrictions, limitations – to include potential disqualification from future aviation stuff and it just figures he’s the one kid that really really really wants to fly and such a note in his pediatric record could blow that). Bottom line: we’re putting off that decision as long as we can get something over / behind – the counter that will still work for him. And our pediatrician is a HUGE support. She slips us every pharmaceutical coupon she can – saved us $20 last year! We have every confidence that she will let us know that it’s time to upgrade, and she won’t let him suffer needlessly!!! Just more legislating stupidity, that’s all.

  6. Joanne November 18, 2008 / 11:59 pm

    Ooo, yes, do make this a regular feature. It will give us all a place to vent. That would be good.

    I don’t have any psuedophedrine related bitching to do today, though.
    I could vent about evil people who say they will call you in the morning about whether or not they have a daycare slot for your son and THEN DON’T. Grrrr.

  7. Susan November 19, 2008 / 7:00 am

    I’m laughing at myself because I’ve never jumped into the TBT…yet, I can come up with a TON of things to fit this. I’m not a nice person…:-(

  8. Sarah November 19, 2008 / 10:07 am

    @ sprite – Thanks for the well-wishes. I am not better yet, but it’s only a cold, so it can’t last forever. (Right?)

    @ Common Loon – Seriously? Childhood allergies could keep MiddleLoon from his (current) desired future career? That is even more insane than the hoops you need to jump through to keep him medicated. Thank heavens MrLoon is Canadian — I can bet the cross-border visits help.

    @ Joanne – I almost started a regular feature called “Things I Hate” a while back, but then remembered one of my goals in starting this blog was to make me think about positive things after I lost my dad, and that didn’t seem to fit. Neither does this, but maybe it’s been enough time now…

    @ Susan – You have NO idea how hard the TBT is for me, or maybe you do, given that we’re fairly similar in not exactly being “Mary Sunshine” in attitude. I could, however, probably write about something that drives me nuts every day. (Today: improper capitalization in business writing. This is not Germany. We don’t capitalize every noun.)

  9. common loon November 19, 2008 / 3:46 pm

    @ Susan & Sarah: Gee, all I hear is the whir of my computer fan and crickets chirping. Isn’t this the spot where someone should jump in and tell you both, “Hey! You are nice people! I’ve personnaly witnessed and experienced it!” Or am I being too Polyanna for you two?

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