Trusting your pharmacist can help achieve health goals
Trust. For many, it is something that is earned by establishing and maintaining a solid relationship.
Susan Dechant trusts her pharmacist.
For almost 20 years, the Manning resident has depended on her pharmacist, Erin Albrecht, for medication and advice. Erin has helped Susan through migraines, menopause, anxiety, arthritis, and other health issues. Recently, Susan received a cortisone injection for hip and back pain. The injection didn’t help the pain, which triggered her anxiety. The result was a snowball effect that worsened her other conditions.
Susan was taking several medications, began feeling overwhelmed, and was experiencing terrible side effects. She sought Erin’s advice. Erin looked at previous care plans she had done with Susan and collaborated with her doctor to find a solution.
“It was important to be there for Susan and listen to what she was saying,” said Erin. “When setting goals with patients, I ask them about the quality of life are they aiming for.”
Complicating things further, Susan was hoping to travel to Australia for six weeks to be with her daughter, who was expecting her second child. Susan was still struggling with pain and anxiety.
“It would have been devastating for Susan and her daughter if she was unable to go,” said Erin. “As we got closer to her trip, Susan was getting more anxious and did not want to take the medications her doctor had prescribed.”
Erin noticed that the combination of medications Susan was taking could be contributing to serotonin syndrome (undesired symptoms experienced resulting from drugs like Susan was taking). She shared her observations with Susan’s doctor, and they collaborated to find a better alternative. Erin worked closely with Susan to help her understand why the alternative might work better for her.
“It was a tough process because I don’t like to take too many pills,” said Susan. “At that time, it was a necessity. My nerves were still bothering me, but we got our routine down pat. Once I was down there and a week or two went by, the meds started to kick in and I started to feel a lot better.”
For Susan, it meant everything to be there for the birth of her grandchild.
“It made a big difference,” Susan said. “I didn’t want to miss it. I missed the first baby, so it was crucial I was there for the second one and be there with my daughter and her little family.”
And for Erin, it meant the world to help her longtime patient reach a goal and improve her quality of life.
“I was so happy for her,” said Erin. “She did a great job to hang in there. She had to do the work. She had to take the medicine and take care of herself and deal with things while she was gone. I just have so much respect for her. I know she has the strength to tackle more hurdles that may come.”