20 Years of Standing, Mostly 12 Hours a Day, 5 Days in a Row, Takes Its Toll

By H.P., Pharmacist

I don’t feel like my MIND is getting old, in fact, all the contrary.

I don’t think I LOOK as old as my parents did when they were in their early 40s… but I suppose that is relative.

My hips and lower back, on the other hand, well, let’s just say that being a pharmacist has taken it’s toll on my joints, primarily my hips which throb at night, and creak and pop along with my knees.

2015 was my 20th year, “on the bench!”

I blame the 12 hour days, 5 in a row, for the first 15 years of my career, standing put, on my feet for this current state.  Over the last 2 years, I have had a variety of workups, from Lyme (I was + and had the doxy), stopped a statin as an experiment, discovered L4 through S1 lower back stenosis evidenced in an MRI, XRay, bulging disc and 3 months of Physical Therapy, and epidural injection, all which didn’t help. That is an old issue.  The hip pain is new.

The hip (joint) doctor  sent me to a back doctor for those back injections. Then I went to a back doctor who said it is my hip, and she (the back doctor) did hip injections.  Sounds bass ackwards.  But, finally, I had some relief, not for long, maybe 2 weeks of relief.  In fact, the back doctor ordered more tests, and determined I have labral tears.

Answers.  That took a while.

Kids: beware of retail pharmacy health related issues that will come along inevitably, unless you can find a way to get off your feet.

The retail pharmacy industry has been improving with scheduling, as I see less stores doing the 12 hour shift.   Heck, we get a lunch break now for 30 min… and take it!  Unfortunately for me during my early years, we didn’t have that lunch either.  We just continued to stand and slouched and crouched for a bite if we started to feel faint from hypoglycemia.

So, labral tears… at some point, I’ll be looking at surgery, when this problem progresses to an unbearable state.  For now, I try to sit on a stool when possible, lucky if an 8 hour shift will afford 30 min of that.  Also, thankfully, I have my hospital gig, where I get to sit and enter orders and take calls from the nurses for probably 4 of the 8 hours on duty.

Reprinted with permission from The Happy Pharmacist’s Blog.

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