As I prepare to go under the robot on Monday, I’ve found that the process includes drugstore embarrassments. They’ve only just begun.
It starts with Viagra. As I’ve explained, a man’s plumbing doesn’t do the two things it’s supposed to do for at least some time after the prostate is taken out. In the hope of fixing one of those functions, doctors now prescribe low-dose Viagra even before the operation.
So I had to go to the drugstore and buy the little blue pills. But I don’t need them, I wanted to announce. Medical reasons. Really.
The doctor had prescribed 10 of the little blues but the pharmacy gave me only six. That’s evidently as much whoopee as my insurance company will pay for. But this isn’t for whoopee, I told the pharmacist; it’s for cancer. No matter. I could buy the extra pills for almost $20 each. Jeesh. In my day, erections were free. No more.
A few days ago, I sucked it up and dealt with the other missing function. I went to the drugstore’s incontinence aisle – yes, it’s a market niche – and took a pack of pads and another of full-size, pull-up, absorbent underwear to find out what I’ll need. Thank goodness at least that the guy behind the counter was a guy, I thought. So I asked him. He turned around to the two women pharmacists behind the counter and said to the cuter one, in front of everyone: “Does he need the underwear?” He might as well have gotten on the mic and asked for a price check for pull-ups for the guy who’s peeing in his pants. Jeesh.
But the pharmacist was nice. “You won’t need the diapers,” she said. Good news. Except why did she have to call them diapers?
Four more days.