Thursday, June 24, 2010

Prescriptions: Fuck Off

Do you ever forget if you’ve given/taken your medications? I do. I just did. I’m sitting here, holding my long-acting insulin (Lantus), wondering if I’ve given my insulin already. If I haven’t, and I don’t give it, I’m screwed. I’ll wake up tomorrow (I hope) with a bloodsugar of 24.7 or something, when my sugar is supposed to be between 4 and 7. If I have given it already and I give it again, I’m screwed. My bloodsugar tomorrow will be an unceasing parade of 1.3s and 2.1s. And quite possibly a seizure. I have the worst memory and it has the potential to lead to many medical complications.

Anyway, the original reason I started this blog post was to complain about prescriptions. Recently, my family and I have switched to a new pharmacy. Since we switched, I haven’t reordered my birth control. Today, I woke up in a panic, remembering that last night, I took my very last birth control pill, meaning I had to reorder. Also meaning that I had not reordered the day before. So I ran (literally) up the stairs and asked my mom, “Is the pharmacy open today?”

Mom: “Yes. Why wouldn’t they be?”

Me: “I dunno? Will they be able to get my birth control today? I need it by tonight.”

Mom: “Well, yes, but first you have to call them.”

Me: “Fuck.”

So I sucked it up, picked up the phone, and dialed. Aaaaaaaand then they answered. And since I hadn’t really thought of what to say, and my mom was sitting there, judging my lack of conversational skills, I made an ass of myself.

Me: “Uh, hi? We just switched pharmacies and I need to reorder my birth control.”

Pharmacist: “Okay, well first I need your name.”

Me: “Oh! Um, okay. Sarah? Vikken? V-I-K-K-E-N?”

Pharmacist: “Okay. That’s your Yasmin?”

Me: “Yeah! Um, yeah. That’s it.”

Pharmacist: “Okay, when are you coming down?”

Me: “What? Coming what?”

Pharmacist: “When are you going to pick up your prescription? We close at 5.”

Me: “Oh! Oh…” *Looking frantically at my mom* “Yes. Yeah, I’ll come down today. Pick it up today. Yes. Yeah.”

Pharmacist: “Okay, have a good day.”

Me: “Uh, okay! Um, bye?”

End scene. As you can imagine, I was feeling like a moron after that suave exchange. I decided to just get some food and disappear back into the basement. While I was upstairs, I remembered that I needed a new cartridge of insulin (short-acting — Humalog). Upon opening the fridge and the box of insulin, do you know what I discovered? That I am a moron? Yes. Yes, indeed. As it turns out, I also needed to refill my prescription for my insulin. I didn’t want to call them back and say, “Hi. Remember me? I called a minute ago and was too incompetent to check all of my prescriptions to see if any needed refilling so I’m calling you back to get more drugs.” In retrospect, I probably could have called the auto-refiller thing and gotten them to refill my insulin without actually talking to anyone, but instead I decided to procrastinate and wait until tomorrow to reorder.

So this is my problem with prescriptions: when you have more than three, refilling them becomes a real pain in your ass. I have six prescriptions that I have to refill regularly. Two of them are monthly, but sadly they do not correspond with each other. The rest vary. But one thing is for certain: it’s very rare that I ever end up refilling more than two at once. I have to order two types of insulin, an antidepressant, birth control, needles with which to give insulin, and test strips, which allow me to check my bloodsugar.

Every time I have to refill my prescriptions, I have to call the pharmacy. It’s true that they have an automated system which handles refills, but it’s also true that even going through that process is a huge deal for me. I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder, so I have a strong aversion to using the phone. I’m okay with texting, but talking or being in a position where there is even the slightest possibility that there will be human interaction freaks me out. It took me more than a year to be able to order my prescriptions on my own. I had my mom order everything for me. She also picked everything up, so it was like the Drug Fairy took care of all my medical needs.

Since we’ve switched pharmacies, every time we need to refill something for the first time with them, we have to call and put in the order ourselves. I have done that once. I made my mom do the rest. Why? Because I’m a pussy. Pretty much, anyway. I also get my mom to call and make my appointments. And keep my appointments. If it weren’t for my mom, I wouldn’t make a single appointment because I just cannot remember that I have them. I have missed more than 80% of all my appointments in the last two years because I am incredibly scattered.

Speaking of scattered, this post is a lot less put-together than I had intended. I’ll stop now. Who knows where this may end up?

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