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My 'pharmacy free month'

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Long time no blog! I’ve been busy both living it up on holiday in Greece and getting down with spiders under canvas helping out at a young people’s camp in Dorset. Having spent a few weeks previously darting about the midlands going to preregistration open days at various hospitals and an interview, this was to be my ‘pharmacy free month’.

But it seems there’s no switching off the future pharmacist button in my brain. Here’s a more light-hearted than usual lowdown on my hottest pharmaceutical holiday conundrums..  

First off, mosquitoes! They were eating my Dad and I alive for the whole two weeks we spent loving the sun in Niisaki, a small village in the North East of Corfu. But why were they so interested in us when other family members escaped completely untouched? And why did the local supermarket sell multiple shelves full of completely ineffective products, of which my family were willing to sample all and establish their inefficacy one my one? Where is the DEET when you need it, and what on earth is this? http://www.boots.com/en/Boots-Bite-Sting-relief-Click-it_8212/  Can that really work?

On further inspection, the idea is that small electrical discharges fired from a ‘click’ increase the warmth of the area surrounding the insect bite or sting, reducing the amount of histamine released, therefore reducing the itching sensation experienced by the user.

It’s an interesting concept and not one that I’m naturally drawn to embrace, so I’ll have a look at the evidence when I get a chance. Despite my scepticism, I gave it a go, because ‘don’t knock it til you’ve tried it!’. On testing it out for myself, I remain unconvinced. A glorious holiday nevertheless. What more could you ask for: sun, sand, sea...

Sun cream! Having just underestimating the sheer volume required, we make an emergency dash to a pharmacy in Corfu town on our penultimate day to restock. But I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw what the healthcare assistant was recommending me. ‘This one is the most natural...grape extracts...no chemicals...hasn’t been tested on animals...only 25euros’.

I had not the will to explain that in Greece, the mere ‘factor 15’ sun cream offered to me was probably quite dangerous to a person as ‘pigmentally challenged’ (an old flatmate’s affectionate term for my super pasty skin) as me.

Neither did I mention my partiality for animal tested pharmaceuticals containing loads of chemicals! A week later back in sunny England whilst visiting the seaside town Swanage whilst on a camp excursion, I undertook a similar emergency sun protection purchase. In contrast the experience was entirely satisfactory, and I exited with a smile and a sweet smelling, spray on, sale price bottle of Soltan 50+.  

Thus ends my pharmacy free month. I’ve also been offered a preregistration place! Happy days for stumbling into an awesome profession which also guarantees me a job at the end of my degree! I’m looking forward to returning to learning and casually revising three years worth of pharmacy know-how over the next week or so whilst also helping run a children’s holiday club.

Then I’ll be heading down to London (a new experience for me!) to do four weeks work experience with The Pharmaceutical Journal. I’m sure all this will provide me with plenty to think and blog about!

 

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