Before leaving the Dominican Republic Anna and I thought it wise to resupply our medicine cabinet with prescription drugs. In the DR you do not need a prescription to buy drugs from a pharmacy, you simply need the name of the medications and the pesos to pay for them (which in the DR isn't very much). So we compiled a list of medications, the brand name and their generic equivalent in Espanol and went shopping. Our list was as follows:
Immitrex-for Anna's migraines
Adderall-for fun and staying awake long nights on the boats
Oxycontin-for fun and to balance out the Adderall and the Concerta
Tramadol-for rainy days and injuries
Antibiotics-for anything we might do to ourselves while under the influence of any of the above
In two days we visited every Farmacia in Samana able to acquire everything except the stimulants we adore. At each Farmacia I'd pull out a wrinkled, stained sheet of paper and say, "Tiene los estimulantes? Necesito la anfetamina, la dextroanfetamina." The pharmacist would study my list, squeeze their lips together say, "la dextroanfetamina?" Occasionally they'd go to the back and return with random medicines, one tried to offer us a cream for Eczema. I'd say, "i un problema para pagar la atención" Out of desperation I tried miming symptoms of ADHD trying to look distracted I'd look at the wall, then at deodorant, look at the newspaper, sniff Anna's head, then rifle through my pockets. This only made me look crazy and the pharmacist cocked his head to the side, confused, the way a dog does as if to say, "I'm not sure what you're telling me." I was startled by how focused I became looking for medication for people who cannot focus. After returning to most of the Farmacias a second time with new names for the drugs like "metilfenidato" the pharmacist would simply shake their head.
Walking in between Farmacias complaining to Anna, "They must have people with attention problems here, what do they do with them?" Anna's ADD responded with "Do you ever wish you had a tail?"