I had minor surgery on Wednesday, and naturally there were three or four post-op prescriptions to be picked up on the way home. So I dutifully took them, assuming they were various kinds of antibiotics or something (though I made a point of knowing which one was the pain medicine). But one particular medicine seemed to run out surprisingly quickly.
I looked at the label. “Take twice daily for 10 days,” it said, and then added at the bottom, “Quantity: 10.”
I called Helen and showed her. “Do you think I was supposed to take it twice daily for five days, or do you think they were supposed to give me twenty pills? I mean, one of those two has to be wrong, am I right?”
There was, obviously, no way to resolve the question without calling the doctor’s office. Having duly gotten the doctor’s nurse on the phone, I explained the issue.
“What medicine is it?” asked the nurse.
I read the name.
“What is it again?” she asked.
I said it again, very carefully.
“Oh, wait,” she said, “I know what that must be; they’ve just misspelled it. That’s your stool softener.” Then suddenly her voice changed as the penny dropped. “Wait a minute!” she exclaimed. “Don’t tell me you’ve been taking that twice every day??”
“Well, that’s what it said to do on the bottle; so that’s what I’ve been doing?”
Her response, in a voice full of emotion:
“Have you even been able to leave the house???”