Saturday, November 12, 2011

Pharmacy Stress...Still?

After dealing with a corn allergy for nearly 8 years, it's hard to believe that getting appropriate medication is still stressful.  Or even challenging.  After all, it's been established that I react to the premade formularies.  My allergy information is in my medical file.  I always have a list of derivatives with me, along with the contact info for my compounding pharmacy.
And yet, when I developed another UTI earlier this week, there was still very little I could do but watch drama unfold.  I started by calling the doctor's office.  Stated the problem, left sample, ascertained the correct antibiotic.  Gave them my pharmacy phone number and fax over and over.  Finally they ask what exactly I want from them.  I tell them I need the prescription faxed in or I can pick it up in person.  They ask which med I want, then.
I tell them whatever is most appropriate, of course!
And then...then the woman huffs and says "Ma'am, you're the one being unreasonable."
Apparently it's unreasonable to want to be healthy.  To be willing to pay extra and jump through hoops, and patiently try to untangle red tape in order to be healthy and function properly.  It's unreasonable to want to avoid an allergic reaction.  Unreasonable to request that a doctor use a fax machine instead of a computer, or, horror of horrors, write an old fashioned paper prescription and leave it at the front desk.
I'm unreasonable.
I'm not a dr.  I can't diagnose myself, or prescribe medication for myself.  I can't order tests.  I'm also lacking the funds to have my choice of healthcare providers.  I'm lucky to have the privilege of paying (an exorbitant fee) for health insurance, but I'm limited in those options.  I'm stuck with the providers that are covered.  (and I pay them on top of the insurance company, so I'm limited in how much time I can afford to spend face to face.)  But as an individual, I think that for the privilege of paying for healthcare, I deserve to at least be treated respectfully and given safe options in a timely manner.  I want to be included in the healthcare process, because I am the expert on my body.
In a health care provider, I want them to be aware and respectful of my unique health condition.  I need someone who actually cares about keeping me healthy, not someone who would rather stick to their checklist.
I'm not asking them to make a housecall.  I just want them to use a different pharmacy than most people do.
Is that really so much to ask?
I suppose the extra 36 hours or so it took to get a compounded prescription wasn't a lot.  But if they'd waited much longer, I'd have needed a $500 trip to the ER for an injection, and risked a multithousand dollar hospitalization.  Just a few hours makes a huge difference when you need an antibiotic compounded.  Maybe it's just stress, but I don't think I should have to work twice as hard to pay twice as much and still be called 'unreasonable'.
But then I'm an idealist.  Maybe that's where the 'unreasonable' part comes in.


Evelyn Chua said...

Oh goodness! That is terrible. Seriously, why is it that the people in the medical line make life so hard for people like us?

I hope you are better!

Lots of 'reasonably suffocating' hugs,
Evelyn :)

Violets said...

Thanks Evelyn :-)
I am slowly improving...mostly just frustrated!

Erica said...

That is very frustrating. I hope you said something to her. People can be so very ignorant sometimes, it's really pathetic. I'm glad you're feeling some relief. If you don't mind me asking, what antibiotic did they prescribe to you?

Violets said...

Erica, they prescribed Ciprofloxacin. I plan to ask how to avoid this in the future when I go in to check that the infection is gone next week.