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My son and I on his wedding day.

My son and I on his wedding day.

I live with ongoing neck and back pain and have since I was hit in my subcompact car by a distracted driver in 1988. I’ve had physical therapy and they’ve been monitoring my bulging disks – one in my neck and one in my lower back since the crash – but the pain will likely be with me for life.

I generally use ibuprofen when the pain gets to be too much, but I’ve started to worry about how much I’m taking. An accidental overdose while on a trip last year made me very ill and I don’t want to repeat that. So when I twisted my knee earlier this week, I was hesitant to add more ibuprofen to my pain regimen to cover the discomfort from my new injury without consulting someone, but I didn’t think it required a visit to my physician. I needed to get this pain under control so I could enjoy my son’s wedding and I needed sleep to get everything done in time for it.

AnswersatWalgreens.com – 24/7 Pharmacy Chat

By the second day the pain was too intense to sleep so I went online to Walgreen.com and signed into my Balance Rewards account and then selected the 24/7 Pharmacy Chat to find out if there was a better way to treat my twisted knee.

The online chat was easy (once I disabled my pop-up blocker) and although it was 1:30am, my chat was replied to within 7 minutes. I felt the pharmacist did a good job, though I would have like him/her to have asked me what I’d done up to that point (ie., had I iced it, used heat, etc) and lead the conversation a bit more. It was up to me to ask questions like if there was an alternative or something organic/natural I could use.

Still, I felt comfortable with the suggestion to add a topical cream in addition to continuing the ibuprofen and I appreciated that I was given a timeframe in which  I should find some relief and if not, to consult a doctor.

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After getting my suggestions I took some ibuprofen and went to sleep. The next morning I headed to a local Walgreens to find the pain cream (see my shop here). It took no time at all to find the “pain” aisle because all of the aisles near the pharmacy are marked by what they can help with like cold, flu, etc. I found the ointment recommended (though I chose a stick-on compress application) and more ibuprofen to help with the inflammation and pain.

Walgreens’ also carry braces, crutches, and tons of other medical aids and devices should this turn out to be more serious than a slight sprain; but for now I just picked up the meds as suggested by the Pharmacist. While I was there I noticed shelf talkers for other types of pain and remedies – I especially appreciated the migraine info.

I applied the pain patch before I left the parking lot and although my husband doesn’t believe in them, I found relief from it. It helped me reduce my ibuprofen intake by half, so I’m stuck with the pain patch.

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I followed the pharmacist’s’ recommendations I was able to attend my son’s wedding nearly pain free and I had a fabulous time. Unfortunately I stepped in a hole so I wrenched my knee again, but this time I have everything I need to care for it.

Answers at Walgreens

If you’re not comfortable with online chatting, you can talk to any Walgreen Pharmacist in person. There are also brochures available in store and more information online. It’s nice to know there’s someone I can talk to 24/7 that can help me decide how to treat minor aches and pains.

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