Running in the shadows of a scary supply chain

I got a little pit in my stomach when I ran to the store for children’s pain medication this week.

One of our little fellows had spiked a fever of 103.5 in the middle of the night and I used the last of our children’s pain medication to treat it.

The next day I ran out to get more in case it spiked again.

I could not believe the rows of empty shelves that greeted me. The store was entirely sold out of children’s pain medication. Not one option.

How crazy is that?

Three weeks ago, I waited in a long pharmacy line to fill a prescription for amoxicillin. I finally got to the window and learned that it too was in short supply. I had to come back later, wait in the line again and rely on the good will of the pharmacy clerk.

“We have this in stock but I will need you to come back to get it,” he said.

“I did come back to get it,” I said. “That’s why I’m here.”

“You came back?”

“I did. I already came through that line twice.”

“Hang on,” he said. “I’ll see what I can do.”

I felt bad about the people waiting behind me, but I felt a little worse for the poor kid with the painful ear infection waiting for me at home. 

I scored the meds and experienced a weird combination of guilt and triumph as I drove away. 

Did you know we are experiencing an alarming shortage of amoxicillin, and children’s acetaminophen and ibuprofen in this country?

I’m not even all that big on pain medication for low grade fevers. I think those mild fevers do a good job encouraging kids to lay low until they genuinely feel better. But, the high fevers can be so dangerous and I would not want to have to deal with one without medication. 

And what are people doing to treat bacterial infections without amoxicillin?

I ended up finding children’s ibuprofen at another pharmacy and, thankfully, our little guy is feeling better.

But, yikes, what an eye-opening experience! 

It’s kind of a scary world out there. I hope you all stay safe!

This is what I saw Monday evening when I stopped for some children’s ibuprofen. I couldn’t believe they had no options for children’s pain relief/fever reduction at all. I did find some at a another pharmacy, but even that drug store had a sign noting that how limited their supply was.

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