Thursday, January 19, 2012

Extra Strength

I had the opportunity to shop for Peptol-Bismol the other day, as Allison had a stomach thing going on on Monday Morning. I realized that the last time I had purchased Peptol Bismol was sometime when Allison was in kindergarten.  It has, in her world, lasted a lifetime.  We didn't give Peptol before Kindergarten (if I remember correctly), and so she has been working off the same bottle for 12 years.  I imagine that the expiration date was passed long before we finished it, but who checks these things?  Once I've purchased something, unless it is in the refrigerator, it lasts till it's gone. At any rate, we were out of the pink stuff and I wanted to be a better mother than I had been at 6 AM, when I just said "NO, we don't have any", and went back to sleep.  At some point during the day, I remembered that she had asked me a question, but for the life of me I couldn't remember what it was. I asked her after she arrived home from school, and after I got the answer, I vowed to remember to pick some up at the store, even though her stomach ache was gone. At least in the future I'd be more prepared. I stopped off at the dollar general store, which is different from a dollar store. We have a number of dollar stores here in Fulton County, and it does require some translation for the uninitiated.  A YANKEE dollar store, is a dollar store that actually charges a dollar for everything in the store. Yes, everything is $1.  No exceptions unless they are for lesser amounts (such as 2 for $1). It gets tricky for those who don't know the lingo. A DOLLAR GENERAL store means that everything is GENERALLY a dollar.  Sometimes items can be many dollars, but GENERALLY they are less than $10.  If an item's value is more than $10, it doesn't really belong in any kind of dollar store, does it? But I digress. 

The Good Old Days-No Strength choices!
I  made a quick trip around the Dollar General store because I was also looking for Bachman's Sweet Potato Chips (anyone know where to get these?  They're unbelievably delicious!)  but I wasn't having any luck there, so this also happened to be my third stop on the quest for these. After the sweet potato chip disappointment I immediately went to the medicine aisle, which is the world's biggest bargain. You can usually find whatever medicine you are looking for in the store brand.  It is a big value for your dollar and doesn't have any difference that I have ever found, and I am quite knowledgeable about medications, believe me.  This I know to be true-I have checked the labels ingredient for ingredient.  But I was stopped in my tracks when I saw the store brand of Peptol Bismol in REGULAR and EXTRA STRENGTH.  What is this?  I was confused.  I ask you, if you are experiencing stomach pains, do you classify them as regular or extra strength?  I do not. When I am experiencing stomach pain, I want the national guard called out to relieve my pain. I'm not taking anything less than the most to relieve that particular ailment.  And if you are buying medication for TODAY'S stomach ache, who's to say that TOMORROW'S stomach ache will not be extra strength?  This seems like the cruelist form of marketing. Are they saying we need two strengths of PB in our medicine closet?  That is ridiculous.  That is like taking only regular strength ibuprofin because your pain is less than raging?  I think not.  When I go in with pain meds, I want the biggest strength on my side.  I don't want to find that midway through the dosage time it was the wrong strength, and I am now in raging pain.  What do you do then?  You wish you had taken Extra Strength and suck it up? This is why you should take that in the first place.  Then you have no regrets.  And so, I headed off to the register only to be told upon ringing me up that the store brand of extra strength peptol bismol had been recalled.  I walked back to the section on stomach remedies and picked up the regular strength peptol bismol which was, upon registering it with the cashier, perfectly fine and under no recall.  I left the store with my pink bottle and headed home, wondering if I would have buyers remorse in the middle of a raging stomach flu.  Oh well, live dangerous I always say.  Isn't that the point of dollar store medications anyway? I now have a raging headache.  I wonder why?

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