Wednesday, October 17, 2012
The Chronic Illness Runaround
I had another one of those "this disease is a part-time job" moments today.
Now, I have to confess that it was sort of my fault. See, my health insurance requires me to use a mail order prescription service. I really hate the way the process makes me feel out of control (I like to bring the prescription to the pharmacy myself, talk to the pharmacist myself, check to make sure the medication's right myself . . . you can already see a pattern here). But this is the system I have to use, so I try not to worry too much about it, and usually things work out fine.
But with my life being so busy lately, it's not entirely surprising that something slipped off my radar. When I filled my pill box for this week, I realized that I was just about out of my thyroid meds. I checked my online account, and sure enough, the prescription had run out and needed to be resubmitted.
I called my doctor, and left a message explaining that I needed him to resubmit the script to the mail order company and to call in a 30 day supply to my local pharmacy to tide me over until the mail order came in.
I adore my GP, but his staff often leaves something to be desired so I wasn't sure how well they'd handle a request with two separate steps. I was pleasantly surprised when someone actually called me back. The woman explained that my doctor had called in the prescription but wanted me to get my TSH checked and to come in for a visit. No problem!
Until I went to pick up the prescription today and the pharmacist said that my doctor hadn't called.
OK. Back on the phone to my doctor's office. Of course, I got a different person from the one I'd spoken to yesterday and had to go through the whole story again from the beginning. She was cool, though, and said she'd call the 30-day supply in right away.
Like so many things, this really wasn't a big deal. Everyone at every step of the way was nice to me. My pharmacist looks like Dr. Chase from House, so seeing him twice in one day is kind of a treat. In the end, I'll have the medication I need (fingers crossed!). But it's these little things--keeping up with prescriptions, following up with refills, chasing down my doctors, making multiple trips to the pharmacy or where ever, going to doctor's appointment after doctor's appointment--that can be really frustrating, especially on top of the many ways that my illnesses already impact my daily life.
Staying organized helps (thank goodness for the calendar app on my phone), as does herbal tea (or sometimes a glass of wine). Beyond that, it's just a matter of keeping my head down and getting things done and of staying focused on the big picture--as annoying as these things are, I'm do know that I'm fortunate to live in a world with medications, good doctors, and the resources to advocate for myself. But you'll have to forgive me if every once in a while, I give in to my frustration and let out a crabby little growl.