Friday, September 19, 2014

Stuck in Zero Refills Hell

I was soooooo close!  After at least ten years of working on my novel, I was so close to finally publishing it, and then I noticed that one of my prescriptions was getting low and it had zero refills.  I ran around the house checking medicine cabinets, and all of prescriptions either had zero refills or had expired.  Then I checked Midge's medications, and they also had zero refills.  You're thinking, "What's the big deal?  Just go see the doctor and the vet.  It's only a couple of hours out of your week."

You think?

First I tried getting the pharmacy to call the doctor and vet for refills, but they didn't bite.  The doctor offices called me and said I had to bring myself and the dog in for check ups and tests before I could receive fresh prescriptions.  So, I set up the appointments, but in the case of Midge's insulin, I needed a refill sooner than her appointment.  Boy, what a rigmarole of phone calls I had to go through just to get that.  Apparently, the vet's office doesn't trust me to actually bring her in for her blood tests.  I explained that I'm simply booked up for the next week with other appointments and can't come in right away.  I mean, I could stop taking my blood pressure medication when it runs out and see if I die of a heart attack by sacrificing my own doctor's appointment in order to get the dog in sooner, but something tells me that is not a good idea.

So, today I had my annual physical.  The first thing that happened was that my doctor said, "You need to schedule this as a physical.  It's not scheduled that way."

I said, "I told the scheduler that I was coming in for an annual physical, and I even asked when my last one was so that I didn't come in too soon."

The doctor said, "I'll find out who booked your appointment and make sure this never happens again."

One of the weird things about my doctor's office in Arizona is that they never make me strip down and put on a gown.  They give me these really brief check ups with my clothes on.  It's weird.  They don't even do a fraction of the tests I used to get during a physical in Nevada.  And Nevada was considered to be one of the worst states for medical care at the time.  I would say that compared to my experiences Arizona, Nevada's healthcare was exceptionally good.

Anyway, I mentioned a couple of health problems and next thing I knew, I had six more appointments, three were for special tests, one was for lab work, and two were with the pharmacy.  I went to the lab first to see if I could get the blood work out of the way, but it turned out I needed to fast for 18 hours and have a full bladder.  Oh well, some other day.

Then I went to the pharmacy, and they said the soonest they could get my prescription ready was in several hours.  I picked up a different prescription and ordered a flu shot.  They told me that my insurance would not cover the cost of the flu shot if I got it from them, so I had to go to the clinic.

The clinic was just a few feet away, so I signed in on a computer.  A woman who was sitting there before me was throwing a fit because she'd been waiting a long time and had to get back to work.  Turned out that her job was giving vaccinations to people, and here she was having to wait for someone to give a vaccination to her.  They told her she could set up for an appointment tomorrow, and she said she couldn't because she was moving.  They said they'd give her the first appointment of the day.  She waffled back and forth on whether to wait and be late for work, or whether to make the appointment.  When she finally decided to leave and come back the next day, the lady in front of her came out and they called me in.  I felt bad.  I wanted to chase the other woman down in the parking lot and tell her they are ready for her, but she was gone.

In addition to all of my healthcare hell appointments, Rock developed another hoof abscess, so I've been giving him Epsom salt soaks.  It truly amazes me how quickly I can go from having an empty calendar and lots for free time to work on my novel to suddenly being overwhelmed with appointments and unexpected issues.  I've kind of surrendered myself to all of this and am trying to be patient with the process.  By now I have figured out that nothing I ever simple in Arizona.  Once you get into the medical system, you are batted around like a pinball, and no one values your time.

I have a new doctor, and I have this weird condition that I've had my whole life, but no doctor I've ever spoken to has had any idea what it is.  So, every time I get a new doctor I run it by him or her for ideas.  It's not going to kill me, but it definitely limits the activities I can do, especially social activities.  She's going to run a few tests no one has considered before, and if nothing comes of those, she'll probably send me to an endocrine specialist.  I've been living with this my whole life, and I don't really want to go on a wild goose chase in search of the cause and cure, but I suppose if I don't give up some of my time and money to try, nothing will ever change.  I've got pretty low expectations that we will come out knowing anything more than when we went in.  That's usually the case in today's medical care.

Even though the timing of this postponed the release of my novel, at least I'm getting it all done before the influx of winter visitors.  They are already arriving.  I found two of them up on the bluff on bicycles watching me do my barn chores at 6:00 AM the past couple of mornings.  I hope they don't make a habit out of it, because I don't take kindly to nosy, bored people who spy on me when I'm in my back yard, especially when I've just rolled out of bed and am not presentable to the public.  I may need to erect a sign at the back of my property that reads, "Not a wildlife viewing area.  Please move along."

Well, I've got to go soak a horse hoof and clean up more poop now...


Laura Lee said...

Talk about creepy having people watch you in your yard. Good luck on the novel coming out!

achieve1dream said...

Ugh! I hate dealing with doctors, pharmacies and prescriptions.... The doctors in my old town sucked but the ones here haven't been too bad. They did want me to come in every six months for my thyroid blood work and I told them absolutely not!! I have been on the same dose for six years and I was not paying to have it done twice when I have a three thousand dollar deductible! I can't afford to go to the doctor when I need it much less for stupid things like that. Luckily they got the point and filled it for me. I hope the tests helped you figure some things out so you can feel better. It sucks dealing with chronic problems, especially autoimmune stuff and undiagnosed stuff.