Psycho-Babble Medication | about biological treatments | Framed
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Re: Noa--How's the lithium going?

Posted by Noa on December 20, 1999, at 8:48:35

In reply to Re: Noa--How's the lithium going?, posted by Noa on December 17, 1999, at 10:48:12

"Down and Out at the Supermarket on a Saturday Night".

As expected, my weekend was hard. Couldn't motivate myself to get washed, dressed, and out. Late Saturday afternoon, I suddenly realized I was out of serzone and effexor. I had been carrying some prescriptions around since Wednesday, and had meant to fill them Thursday or Friday, but didn't get around to it. So I HAD to go out. The trip to the store was a total disaster. First, I just pulled on some dirty clothes. My hair was dirty. I covered up with a raincoat. Really looked the part. Second, I didn't have the energy to go to the store I usually go to, which has a 24 hour pharmacy and is on the way to work. So I went to the store near where I live, but one reason I don't like that pharmacy is that one of the clerks is a woman I sort of know, who knows people I know, etc. and she is kind of loud, talkative, etc. I think a lot of the customers actually like her because she is the kind of person who remembers your name and relates to each person personally. She is friendly, and I don't mind that but she is a bit abrasive, and mostly my difficulty with her is that I have difficulty feeling totally confident about her professionalism. After all, she knows an awful lot about me just from my meds.

Anyway, I decided to risk it, hoping she wouldn't be on duty, but of course she was. I managed to get a different clerk, dropped off the scrip and went to do some grocery shopping. I was a little peeved that the wait would be an hour or more, but I took my time shopping, and planned to load all the groceries first and then go back for the scrip.

After standing in a long line at the check out lane, my $56 worth of groceries turned out to be more that my bank card would manage. With a long line of shoppers behind me, I left the groceries at the register and went to the ATM machine, where I ascertained that I had $158 in my account, so I figured there must be some purchases still pending. Then I remembered I had about $500 in checks in my wallet that, like the scrips, I MEANT to deposit earlier in the week, but didn't get a round tuit. I stood in the produce section, paralyzed. I was way too embarrassed to go back to the cashier and start sorting through what I could afford and what I couldn't.

I also realized that if I was declined for a $56 bill, I would probably not be able to pay for my meds, because each brand name is $20 and each generic, $5.

So, I went and got 3 essential items, headed for the pharmacy again and asked them if I could just buy a small supply of serzone and effexor (I still had a few days' supply of the others left). That is when they told me my insurance card on file was no longer valid.

Yup, I did remember hearing that my insurance had contracted with a different company to handle the prescription benefits. And somewhere, under the blur of piles that is my unopened mail mixed with odd papers and such, is my new prescription card.

The tears started to flow. I spoke to the pharmacist about just selling me a small supply of serzone and effexor and she griped, "that would take me another 45 minutes".

As it became evident to me that I couldn't stop the tears, I walked away from the pharmacy. I just wanted to sit down in the middle of an aisle. I felt depleted. I managed to step into a corner in the back of the store, just to try to collect myself.

After a while, I went back to the pharmacy. The pharmacist did give me a few serzone and effexor pills, although because of a slight error in the way the doc wrote the scrip, she only gave me 4 effexor, when I take 5, so I had to go back again and clear that up. I would have to come back with my insurance card the next day.

The clerk I mentioned earlier now has more than my meds to associate with my name and face. Now she has my meltdown.

I was fortunate to be able to find the insurance card, and did go back, in a better mood, although still dressed in the same clothes, which I had slept in. (Gross, I know). Just to top off the whole experience, the insurance company wouldn't pay for the ritalin, which I had gotten a year's worth of prior approval for. (Something to grrrrrrrrrr about: no prior approval needed for patients under 19, but needed for those of us over 19).

Even with all of this miserable experience I couldn't help thinking how lucky I am to have prescription coverage. What would I do without it?




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