My dad once introduced me to someone as the biggest cynic he knew. I’m not sure that description really fits me, but I’ll take it. The title of this piece, “Expect the Worst & Hope for the Best,” is how I’ve often said I look at the world. I’m not sure that’s really an apt description either, but I think it comes closer. I guess I try to see people as they really are and expect them to act as themselves. I don’t “loan” any more than I can afford to never see again. And if I’m not repaid, then my relationship with that person won’t be harmed because I didn’t really expect to be repaid in the first place.

So what does that have to do with anything? Today, it’s just a reminder that we can take nothing for granted. People make mistakes. We need to be prepared for that eventuality.

Today, the pharmacist made a mistake with my medications. It wouldn’t have killed me. The difference was in dosage: 20 mg atorvastatin (aka Lipitor) when I have been prescribed 40 mg pills. I noticed the pills were smaller than I have been taking daily for nearly nine months now. They were still oblong and white, but when I did a comparison to the last of the pills left from my previous refill, the difference became clear. The size was not the only difference; there was also a number printed on one side: 123 vs. 122.

I called. I returned them. I came home with the right meds this time.

I’m concerned. I know mistakes happen, but if this happened to me, how many other people are getting the wrong medications and, not knowing what to look for, are taking something they shouldn’t be?

I don’t want anyone to be fired. I do hope the pharmacist takes the chance to review quality control procedures with the staff to prevent another, possibly more disastrous, mixup.

And I will remain vigilant, expecting the worst and double-checking everything.

Top, a 20 mg pill that came in my bottle labeled as 40 mg pills.

Top, a 20 mg tablet that came in my bottle labeled as 40 mg tablets. Bottom, my usual 40 mg tablet.