Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Here's Your Medicine... Psych!

So, the warmer weather is here and my last steroid burst treatment did nothing for my anhidrosis (For info on anhidrosis, please see my entries "No Sweat, No Problem", and "Stubborn or Stupid"). I did call from Colorado last week and set up a series of new appointments along with a prescription for the steroids I will need for the treatment. They should have been available for pick-up at my local CVS (a New England pharmacy chain) by last Friday, but I was out of town so I couldn't stop by for them until Monday night. Since I was scheduled to start my 3 day treatment on Tuesday, this seemed to be perfect.
Monday rolled around. I was going to stop by CVS on my way home from visiting with my son. I wanted to make sure they were ready, so, like the commercial says, I called.
They had no record of a prescription for me being filed from anywhere in the world.
I hung up with the nice lady and looked at my watch. 5:10 pm. Too late to call the doctor's office and try to get the prescription straightened out. No worries. I would simply call the doc in the morning and have them file the prescription at the CVS near their office and I could pick it up there on the way to get my treatment after work. Easy.
In the morning I did just that. The woman at the doctor's office with whom I spoke said that CVS, the one near their office now, claimed that my prescription would be ready by that afternoon. That afternoon rolled around and I stopped at CVS to pick up my medication.
They had no record of a prescription for me being filed from anywhere in the world.
They had no record of me in the entire CVS system, nation-wide. By either name or birth-date.
I began to get annoyed.
I informed them that I was in the system. That I have a CVS card in my name, and that I get prescriptions filled at CVS all the time. That my wife has been getting all the medications associated with Multiple Sclerosis and it's symptoms from CVS, using my last name and insurance card, for the last 17 years. That prescriptions for my son have been filled at CVS for the last 8 years, also using my last name and insurance. That if prescriptions gave frequent flyer miles I could zip off to Russia on their dime. That I was pretty sure that if I filled just a few more prescriptions at CVS I would get my name on a parking spot in front of the CVS of my choice.
Right about this time, my name popped up in the system. Hurrah! It popped up because the CVS near my house, the one that the prescription was originally sent to, days ago, was just acknowledging receipt of the prescription and was filling it. I was 3 minutes away from the doctor's office where I was to get the treatment, and my appointment was in 20 minutes. My medication, however, was now 40 minutes away. One-way.
I took a deep breath.
I took another.
What the hell, they're free; I took a third.
I was on the phone with the doc, trying to clear this up. She was on the phone with me and the pharmacy I was currently breathing in, trying to clear this up. The pharmacy I was breathing  in was on the phone with the doctor, the pharmacy near my house, and two other pharmacies, trying to clear this up.
A pain began to throb behind my right eye.
The doctor hung up with me to try some other calls to try to clear this up. I believe I sounded calm when I said goodbye to her. I had lost count of my breaths a while back, and they didn't seem to be doing squat for the pain behind my eye, which, I was pretty sure, was my brain getting ready to explode.
The woman behind the counter was watching me breathe and explaining that they could stop the prescription near my house and try to transfer it to them here, and it would be ready by tomorrow, or, since I wasn't going to make it to my appointment in 15 minutes I could just pick it up near my house, or was it possible that I could get a later appointment with my doctor to get the infusion done, or...
I wasn't listening anymore. I was breathing. And doing one hell of a job at it.
My phone rang. I answered it.
It was another woman at another CVS. The CVS near my house, in fact. The place that had, ostensibly, gotten this horribly screwed up prescription faxed to them almost a week ago. She was pleasant, I was pleasant. She appeared to be completely unaware of the giant screw-up that was happening, telephonically, in two different cities at the same time. She was calling to inform me that my prescription, which was for a three huge doses of intravenous steroids followed by a prednisone weaning off program so that I wouldn't go into steroid shock or something, could only be half-filled. They did not have the prednisone. Would I care to stop by later in the day and pick up my half-prescription?
I took one more breath.
I said "I quit." into the phone and snapped it shut.
The woman behind the counter, who had continued talking to me while I was on the phone with the other woman, started a little and said "Excuse me?"
"I quit." I repeated. I then began to use... language. I questioned their work ethic. I questioned their competence. I cast aspersions on their apparent intelligence. There was a man behind the counter who just kept staring at me. I questioned the legitimacy of his birth. Interspersed in amongst all the questioning were words that everyone knows, but polite people do not use.
I was not being polite.
I stormed from the building, continuing to hurl 'words of low character' back over my shoulder at the pharmacy counter. If there is such a thing as a 'ban-list' at your local pharmacy, I'm pretty sure I'm on it.
I went to the doctor's office, just three minutes away and tried to cancel my appointment. Right when it was scheduled to start.
They allowed it.
They went so far as to work on CVS on the phone, and got their assurance that the prescription would be filled, in whole, by 2:00 the next afternoon. This afternoon. 2:00 should have given me plenty of time to get to my 3:30 appointment. Today was my day off, so I called at 1:00, just to be sure, and warn them that I was going to be there in a hour.
My prescription, I was informed, could be 1/3 filled. I could have one of the three doses I need. I was advised to start the treatment today, with the dose they did have, and they promised they would have the other two doses in by tomorrow. 3:00 pm. Latest.
Yeah. Sure.
I called my doctor and cancelled my appointment for today, and the ones I had in place for Thursday and Friday. When asked why, I replied that I had absolutely zero confidence in CVS's ability to get me my medication when they said they could, and that I would wait until I actually had the medicine in my hands before making more appointments to have the intravenous infusions. She said that 'might be for the best'.

Gee, ya think?

Talk to you later...

No comments:

Post a Comment