If you are a new to RMCS, you may not have met my beautiful stepdaughter, Josie. She is 25 years old, with a contagious smile, and she suffers from severe cerebral palsy. She cannot speak and she cannot walk, but she can make you fall in love with one sweet look. I am blessed to be able to be home with her every day, caring for her and sharing adventures and enjoying every simple pleasure. Unfortunately, caring for her also involves a lot of lifting and carrying and maneuvering, which often causes strained muscles and back pain. I’m not complaining. I am well aware that the blessings she brings far exceed the challenges. But I’ve been using more and more Tylenol recently. I’ve heard that excessive Tylenol use can cause health problems, so I turned to Walgreens for answers about pain relief alternatives.
Just getting Josie up and dressed in the morning is a major physical effort. It means dressing an 85 pound adult, but in so many ways still a child, who cannot help in any way, whose joints do not bend or straighten easily and whose body is permanently curved to one side by scoliosis. We live in a very small house, too small to use any type of hoyer lift or other device to help move her from place to place, so our only alternative is to carry her.
If we need to go out, I have to lift her into her wheelchair to go to the truck, lift her from her wheelchair into the seat of the truck, and then lift her wheelchair into the back of the truck. At every destination we play that in reverse to unload, and then reload again when we are done. It’s a lot of wear and tear on a back.
Walgreens is my family’s pharmacy. Josie has several prescriptions that we fill monthly, so the pharmacists recognize us. They have been very helpful in the past when we have had problems with her insurance coverage or questions about side effects or drug interactions, so I knew that I could get answers at Walgreens about my pain relief needs. I’ve learned that I can make our trips to town go much quicker and smoother if I’ll do some research online first, so I decided to try Walgreens 24/7 Pharmacy chat. It was so nice to be able to get some answers right there on my laptop while it was still far too early to get Josie out of the house. I made decisions about which products I would use, and even printed internet coupons, since my shopping trip could be planned out in advance.
The pharmacist acknowledged the problems with taking too much Tylenol, and recommended that I try alternating with Motrin or Aleve. She also suggested a heat wrap, and since I’d tried Thermacare wraps in the past for other issues, I was excited to try them for my back. I knew that my heating pad had been helpful sometimes at night, but I hadn’t considered how helpful it could be to use heat in the daytime, while still being able to care for Josie and manage my other household duties.
The Walgreens brand All Day Pain Relief, which has the same active ingredient and dosage as Aleve, was a great deal. But I decided to go with the Motrin and Thermacare brands for those products, since they were on sale and I had coupons. I even earned Bonus Rewards points with them, which will save me some money on future visits.
While we were at the store I also found this helpful pamphlet on pain management. It included a section of recommendations just for backache, which gave many of the same suggestions that the pharmacist had made earlier. In addition it recommended maintaining a healthy weight and getting adequate exercise, which I know are things that would help me. It also mentioned posture, which is a real issue since I spend hours at a time on my couch with my laptop. I can tell that my back feels worse after that. Maybe it’s time to find a small desk to work at instead. The best part was the coupon section in the back which included several products my family already uses.
You can see more about my experiences with Walgreens 24/7 Pharmacy chat and my shopping trip on Google+.
As soon as I got back home I was ready for one of those Motrin and a Thermacare Heat Wrap. It’s nice not to worry anymore about taking too much Tylenol. I’m so glad I got my Answers at Walgreens.