January 29th, 2012

crossed heart

stolen kaletra

Originally published at Cassie Alexander. You can comment here or there.

As one does now and again, I went through our medicine cabinet to thin things out. (Do I need 3 half-empty boxes of band-aides? No.)

And I found ancient darvocet inside.

I'll admit it, I'm a medicine hoarder. (You know you are too :P.) I got them for a really bad ankle sprain almost a decade ago, and I'd been holding onto the extra ever since, just in case. And that's how it begins, the hoarding. You think, "Hey, someone else might need this," or "Hey, zombie apocalypse!" plus the fact that you know that most medicines don't really go bad, and, yeah. You have a cluttered situation.

Now I keep up to date on things, so seeing the darvocet today, I knew to take them out and throw them away so no one could ever use them -- they've been banned now for causing heart abnormalities. For the record, I'd be smart enough to check everything else I'm keeping, if it's not something on the roster we use all the time at the hospital.

Anyhow, it reminded me that one of the medicines I've been hoarding longest is gone. My kaletra.

Kaletra's an anti-retroviral, used to treat HIV.

A long time ago, when I was on a 16 hour shift that *sucked*, I got blood sprayed in my eye from someone that'd been an IV drug user. I flushed the hell out of my eye and went down to the emergency room of my hospital and sat there in my scrubs in a room, waiting to be seen. Freaking out on the inside, of course. (At the time, we did have an HIV+ patient on our floor, and all I could think was, OMG, what if I had been three rooms over. OMG OMG OMG.) Anyhow, they did blood tests on me and blood tests on the patient to see, but in the meantime, they offered me anti-retroviral meds.

And me, medicine hoarder than i am, pharmacological enthusiast, and freaked-out-blood-in-my-eyeball chick, took the pills. They gave me a three day supply.

They were awful. They wrecked my GI system. I have given them to patients before, and I had so much sympathy for them for going through that all the time, after my one wretched night. (And subsequent wretched week of recovery.) Just one dose -- I opted not to take another -- cleared out everything that wasn't attached in my GI. It was so, so bad.

After that, I kept them in my car's glove box. I wound up being fine (so was the patient) and after I did some research I saw that my eye-ball-transmission chances were really low. So they lived in my glovebox, a reminder of not so much a me that could-have-been, but that time I got really freaked out over nothing at all. And each time I'd put something in there or take something out, I'd see the little bottle, and think,  "Bullet, dodged."

Well, the last time I took my car into the shop, I didn't look into my glovebox for about a week afterwards, but when I did they were gone. Stolen.

I don't blame whoever took them -- it's not like I needed them, though I'm bummed that they're gone, they were a good reminder/memento -- but I do wonder if he bothered to look them up online first before taking them. It would be some glooooorious irony if he didn't. And I wonder what he thought if he did.