Overcoming Bloglessness

Susceptible State


Maybe I shouldn’t pick up my own prescriptions anymore. By the time I got away from the pharmacy window yesterday, I was on the verge of tears.

I saw my husband approaching, with a grocery cart and an amused smile on his face.

“What?”  I may or may not have sounded defensive.

“That looked like quite an ordeal,” he said.

“Why? What did you see?”

“Just that old lady, hugging you. And the pharmacist looked kinda stressed.”

The white haired, blue sweater lady  was ahead of us now, in the main aisle chatting with another little old lady.  All the old ladies know each other around here.  She was probably relating what just happened, Praise the Lord.  I steered my husband down the greeting card aisle so she wouldn’t see me.

“What’s going on?” he asked.

“I paid for her meds.”  That’s all I could get out, before the tears came.  I rummaged through my purse for a hankie and found tissue.  I was glad there was no one else in the card aisle as I dabbed my eyes.   My husband looked like a puzzled emoticon.

“How much was it?”

“Fifty bucks.”  His eyebrows went up.  “I can’t talk now.  Let’s just go.”   I needed a minute to compose myself.  He couldn’t focus on the grocery list now, wondering what the hell?    I didn’t know why it was hitting me so hard.  We walked it off in silence, down unoccupied aisles until our brains could focus on grocery shopping again.

On the way home I got the story out. The blue sweater lady and the rickety old man were at the window when I arrived; half a dozen prescriptions laid out on the counter. They had their wallets out, looking for The Right Card, but the pharmacist rejected every card they produced and tried to explain what they needed.

“Well then, how much is it going to be?” asked Rickety. The pharmacist gave them the price of each prescription. “Well, Praise the Lord, I guess,” he said. “What else can I say?” Rickety stuffed his plump wallet back into the pocket of his belted, suspendered jeans.

“Do you  want to get some of it?,” Pharma asked, separating the pills from the $75.00 inhaler.

“How much for that?”  asked Blue Sweater Lady.

“Fifty dollars.”  Pharma looked up to see how long her line was getting.  Just me and a man who was made impatient noises behind me.  I was getting impatient too.  This was taking so long.

“Well then, I guess I can’t get any of it.”  Rickety had given up.  Blue sweater lady shuffled the bottles around and made suggestions, but Rickety couldn’t deal with it anymore.   Neither of them knew what to do next.   Pharma was showing some stress now.

That’s when I got that lump in the throat feeling, just thinking about folks that age, unable to pay for meds.   What kind of society treats its elders that way?   To my way of thinking, their medications should be free.

I went off. I couldn’t take it any more.  I stepped in between Rickety and Blue and told the pharmacist I’d pay for their meds.   I paid for the fifty dollar pile of pills.

Blue thanked me and hugged me, all lit up and asked my name and do I shop here often and do I live in town?  She said she’d pay me back someday.

“That’s okay,”  I told her, patting her blue sweater.   Rickety wasn’t sure what had just happened when old couple tottered away.

“That’s so nice,” said the pharmacy lady, misty eyed.

“Well, we can’t have folks going without their meds,” said I, anxious to get away.

I got my three dollar anti-depressant and finally, I was done at the pharmacy counter.   I think the pills are helping; no bad side effects anyway. Still, I’m very susceptible to emotional stimuli. Anybody’s emotions.

Lest you think I’m being braggadocious, I’ll admit it wasn’t all brotherly love.  It was an impatient, impetuous, reaction to an inefficient system and fear for the aged.

Plus, it was worth fifty bucks just to be done! I hate waiting in lines.

Daily Prompt via State of Your Year.


Author: Susan B Raven

For many years I have suffered from debilitating bloglessness, only writing in my head, while everyone else posted and shared with ease. Previous attempts at recovery have failed, my secret journals edited to death, pages torn out, crumpled and trashed. I will not succumb to this embarassing condition. I will continue to struggle against the rampant backspacing and endless blank staring. I refuse to relapse into the void that is bloglessness. I can do it. I am doing it. I am Overcoming Bloglessness.

39 thoughts on “Susceptible State

  1. Beautifully written. I did this once. Two old guys (apparently homeless) had a credit card (stolen?) and were trying to buy two bags of food with it. The card didn’t work. “It worked yesterday.” I looked at their groceries; no booze (because of my brother, I care about that). I told the clerk I’d buy their groceries — $40. The guy behind me handed me $20 and said, “I’ll split it with you.” I think everyone should have food and everyone should have the medication they need. I pay taxes and I’m happy if it goes for that, but it doesn’t. That doesn’t mean I’m not still happy to pay for it, if that makes any sense. I just think, you know, like my grandfather used to say, “There but for the grace of God go I.” We’re always closer than we know to needing help from someone kind who just happens to be nearby.

  2. Impatient or not it was a kind gesture. It shouldn’t be necessary but sadly it is and it is wonderful that people are prepared to take responsibility even if it is partly for selfish reasons although I suspect you are being a bit modest here.

  3. Our system has several big holes in it. Medications are one of the major ones. There are a lot of drugs I don’t use because I can’t afford them. So far, I’ve been lucky that there have been generic alternatives — or I’ve just managed to get along without them. Someday, that may not be true. It bothers me I can’t afford asthma meds because it’s allergy season, but so far, so good. That was a nice thing to do, whatever your reasons.

    Medication SHOULD be free, or at least a whole lot cheaper than it is.

  4. The daily inhaler with the powder is $185. And insurance doesn’t cover it at all. I should be on it, but I’m not. I seem to be doing okay anyway, but it’s kind of scary, like being in a glider and not knowing if there’s any place to land.

  5. Well what do you know, a good thing came out of a bad thing! No matter what your reason is, still a very good thing you did.

  6. “It was an impatient, impetuous, reaction to an inefficient system and fear for the aged.

    Plus, it was worth fifty bucks just to be done! I hate waiting in lines.”

    No, what you did was kind 🙂

    AND I gave you an Award here:

    • Golly! Thank you, Mon! 🙂

      • Mon, I really appreciate the award. I’ve never had one before, so I’m honored. But it looks like it would take too much time to follow the proper protocol. I’m not even sure how to go about it. I think I’ll have to pass and make this an award free blog – if I can figure out how. Again, I thank you.

  7. You’re a good soul, a walking, talking example of the Golden Rule, and i know what you mean about being overly exposed to emotional stimuli. That comes in unforgivably merciless waves around here with the sheer number of abandoned animals we try to rescue, fix up, and find homes for.

    • That’s heartbreaking too. I’m glad you’re helping the little ones. ❤ I'd have a houseful of critters if I could.

      • We’re up to 8… have another one in with the vet right now (just came home from visiting him, actually), but heard yesterday we might have a new home for him, with, of all things, a country singer and radio DJ who, i’m told, is quite famous in our little mountain valley. News to me 🙂

        • DJ’s are cool cats, no? >”<
          I've seen strays around here, but they're so wild I can't get near them. Can't leave food out unless I want to feed skunks and raccoons too. But I have cat food, just in case. Ravens love cat food.

          • Australia is like that too. Stray cats (not many dogs) in the bush have gone completely feral. Here though, these poor things are just dumped. Brazilians can be wonderful in a thousand different ways, and terrible in a thousand and one. The extremes can be infuriating.

            Oh well, my book is a parody on 20th Century natural theology works (you know, William Paley and his Watchmaker argument, and the like), but I’m establishing the existence of the Devil… Except this is not the devil, rather something far, far worse: the omnimalevolent creator of all things, otherwise known as The Owner of All Infernal Names. Nowhere, though, in it do I let on that its a joke. However, the first page the reader sees announces that all proceeds go to animal rescue and shelter in Brazil. Now THAT is going to baffle people who don’t understand what they read next is a parody 😉

  8. That was a very nice thing to do. The lack of help for old people in this country is appalling. High prices for basic meds are why people go to Mexico for cheap prescription drugs. Inhalers are like $5 there. As two uninsured people, we live on the edge.
    You payed it forward, and good karma is a great friend to have around.

  9. I live in the UK and I’m shocked at the amount you guys have to pay for essential meds.
    With the NHS we have a flat fee for each item of £8.20 (maybe 13 dollars I think). Of course there are many very poor people who struggle to pay that – but we do have a pre- payment scheme too where you only have to pay £10 a month each month and that covers whatever you need in that time. Unfortunately, our NHS is being sold off piece by piece by the current government, so we’ll see if that system still exists in a few years time…
    It was a lovely thing to do, Susan – apart from the fact the physical need for the medication, just think how that made them feel, to have someone care enough to help out.
    A good deed indeed 🙂

    • Thank you Lynn. Yes, we’re behind the times here. Too many people afraid of “socialism”. It’s a shame.

      • Perhaps it is, but I never think of universal healthcare as a particularly socialist principal. It just feels like trying to look after your people. The population of the UK are by their nature a conservative bunch – we’ve had more right leaning governments than left. I just feel sad for the people who can’t afford a basic right like decent health care. Best wishes

  10. Too many thoughts to write. So here’s :::another hug:::

  11. That is the best story I’ve heard in a while and I also had tears in my eyes reading… Random acts of kindness… We should do it more often… Not only does it help someone, but also makes our hearts content…

  12. “fear for the aged” – yes. Bloody hell, what a world it is, Mrs Raven. Glad you were there.

  13. Wow. Not many would part with $50 in a situation like this. Rapidly approaching sixty myself, so appreciate anyone who fears for the aged. Bravo, kudos and dare I say this? love to you. Cheers —

  14. I’m an American living in the U.K., where, yes, those medications would be free for anyone over 60. (And well under cost for anyone younger.) I’m still trying to get my head around why so many Americans think the British medical system is terrible. Everyone’s covered. Nobody goes broke trying to pay medical bills. Nobody loses sleep over what will happen to their insurance if they lose their jobs or start working for themselves.

    • It baffles me too, why people argue and vote against their own best interests. People shouldn’t lose their homes and savings because of illness.
      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

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