Tuesday, November 30, 2010
The Doctor - Pharmacy Battle of 2010
The last day of November. I wish I could say I'm sad to see it go, but honestly I'm ready for 2011. Bring it on. The universe has been beating me to a pulp lately, but what else can you do but hang on and ride it out? I've been dealing with an avalanche of setbacks, sickness, financial pains, school BS, work snafus, and just a bunch of other nit picky shit that has drifted my way recently. When all that stews in the pot for a while, it turns into a big steaming pile of self-doubt.
Except for today! I think maybe today I reached my tolerance threshold. It's not like me to be this "um, no, we're handling this right now" about things, but yeah, it was like that. I have been seeing a rather pricey doctor for the past year. She likes to bring me in every three months to run these expensive blood tests, which are supposed to be related to my high blood pressure and thyroid issues - lipid tests, thyroid numbers, etc. Anyway, at $400.00 a test, I haven't been able to swing the cost since April - which was the last test I paid for.
I told my doctor the situation back in July and canceled my appointment. They assured me this wasn't a problem, so I didn't think anything of it. This is not a ritzy area by any means. I figured I can't be the only one who can't pay for that kind of thing right now. Well, my prescription for my blood pressure pills was running out, so I called my doctor bright and early on Monday morning and asked them to call the pills in to the pharmacy for me. This is fairly standard. I have never had a problem with this before. Not just at this doctor, but at any other doctor. She was a bit snippish with me on the phone about it, since I haven't had these blood tests in a while, but said she'd call them in. Cool beans. Thanks. See you after the first of the year.
By that afternoon it was pouring rain, and freezing cold. I had to pick up Mini before I could head out to the pharmacy, but by the time I walked across the school parking lot to pick him up I was soaked through two layers of clothes. I covered him with my jacket and got him to the car, which was good since I kept him dry, but by then it looked like I had stepped into the shower with my clothes on. Since I just came off being sick, I decided I better go home instead of trying to go to the pharmacy. I still had 1 blood pressure pill left in the case, which would be enough to get me through the morning before running to pick up my prescription tomorrow morning. Plans recalculated and set.
This morning, I got Mini off to school, talked to the family on the phone, then headed on up to the pharmacy. At 10 am, I went to pick up my prescription. No dice. It hadn't been called in. Remembering how snippy the woman had been with me on the phone the day before, I realized even then she had no intention of calling in my prescription all because of those fucking blood tests. So here I am, no prescription, and I'm out of pills. I went out to my car, and sat there a minute, wondering what I was going to do. Go to her office and beg? Agree to overpriced blood tests I can't afford just to get my pills?
Actually, I didn't do either of those things. Instead, I got angry. Angry enough that I drove across town to a rival doctor, walked into his office, and said to the receptionist I was switching doctors, I was out of pills, and I wanted an appointment for today.
I have never in my life done this, but I must have looked pretty serious because she totally hooked me up. Not only that, when I paid in advance of my walk-in appointment, the office visit was $40.00. My other doctor charges more than double that, and I've been a patient for a little over a year. That did not help my opinion of Dr. Bloodtest at all. I filled out seven pages of forms, and forty minutes later, I'm sitting down with my new doctor. I told him exactly what I was going through. The man actually blushed. He knew the other doctor, and said, she is a good doctor just "excessively thorough". He also told me that unless I am hyperthyroid, or have Grave's Disease, which I don't, there is no need for me to go in for blood tests every three months. Say that again?
There is no need for me to go in for blood tests every three months.
In the past year, I have paid roughly sixteen hundred dollars just in blood tests. That is not including office visits, prescriptions, etc. Talk about pissed. And relieved. I will not be going back to Dr. Bloodtest, and have asked that my new doctor contact her for my medical records. New Doctor told me unless my thyroid results from Dr. Bloodtest are frightening, or I come down sick with something during the year, I should only have to come in once every twelve months for a thorough check up. He also said they would call in my prescription for me so I could go pick it up. Amazing.
It took two more trips to the pharmacy to get my pills. I waited for a short eternity, left for lunch,went and picked up Mini, then went back to the pharmacy for round three. There was a snafu with it all again before the deal was done, but I dug my toes in. I think the nurse from New Doctor's Office was waiting for my thyroid results from Rip Off Doctor before calling in my medicines, but by three o'clock, my patience was pretty much non-existent. I told the pharmacist I wasn't going anywhere until I had my prescription in my hand - call the doctor's office. Thankfully, she did...after asking my name and birth date no less than six times.
Mini and I ended up waiting on the metal bench for 2 whole agonizing hours before it was all straightened out with the pharmacy. I was near tears by the time the woman handed me that beautiful little white bag with my pill case in it. By the time Mini and I got home, it was 5:15. My husband was already there and cooking supper. So, it was a day long battle from 10 am onward. I came out victorious, this time, but I tell you what...this is something I hope I never, ever, ever have to go through again.