Read this story to find out why you need to check the expiry date of products before using.
17th April 2016
There she was, lying helplessly in the emergency unit. All through the night she had seemed confused, disoriented and even loopy. The scene from last night was still playing in my head. Hospital staff moving up and down in a disarrayed manner carrying trays and muttering words disguised in medical terms. All I could make out of those terms was neuropathy. The doctor had reported her blood sugar to be 420s, even that didn't make sense, Maria was not one to ever forget to take her medication, at least not with the frequent resonating sound of her alarm reminding everyone that it was time for another insulin shot.
The medical examiner had requested custody of her insulin vial. That vial I remember was given to Maria by Mrs Briggs our next door neighbor who was nicknamed Mrs Pharmacy. Mrs Briggs had a collection of drugs, or let me put it this way, there is no medicine that you wouldn't find in her drug cabinet. Not that she was a pharmacist, probably she derived joy in playing the medical rescuer.
"Dr Green will see you now, his office is that way." I looked up at the voice, she was a tall thin nurse with an eerily unlined face, and pointing towards a slightly green wooden door in the far end of the corridor. I got up and walked towards the door. The door swung open the moment I turned the knob. Dr Green sat in his graceful upholstered seat, inscribing words onto a medical file on his large writing table.
"Please sit." He said, pointing to a chair in front of the table. I pulled out a seat and ducked my ass into it, not sure what to expect.
"We decided to examine the insulin vial your sister has been taking, and we noticed it was by far expired." He extended the pack to me pointing to a black inscription I never knew existed. I took it from him and brought it close to my eyes. I finally saw the inscription on it.
The vial was almost two years expired. I sat there looking lost, wondering how much more of Mrs Briggs drugs were expired, probably a century expired. The doctor's voice brought me back into reality.
"Your sister is in a pretty bad state. There has been slight damage to her peripheral nervous system. She is also experiencing severe alternating blood sugar level and mini stroke, not to mention her state of dementia. We are going to keep her here for a while to monitor her response. We have to ensure that everything is under good control before she is discharged."
"OK doctor, thank you." I got up from my seat and walked out of the office cursing the fact that we didn't bother checking the expiry date of that medication. Now the consequence was starring us in the face. This won't happen again. From now henceforth, I will check the expiry date of every damn thing I buy. I looked at my watch, it was 9:46am. I had to head home and have a shower, not forgetting that Mrs Briggs has to know of what her expired medicine has done...
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Story by: Joy Ngofaa