Thursday, July 04, 2019

It's That Day Again + Medical Update.

Happy Indi Day - for me also - kind of. I have no radiation or medical appointments until Monday! Also, I'm happy because the course of radiation related to lesions on my hip and leg is done - for now anyway. The treatments on my chest wall will continue for a few more weeks - as a precaution - making the sessions shorter.

Pain pills are still necessary, but not working especially well. Dr K. kindly provided a refill prescription yesterday. Such prescriptions, for medications which include any kind of opioids, have recently come under a spate of New Rules, to safeguard those who would use opioids for purposes other than pain relief, sometimes accidentally killing themselves. That is all fine and good, but the complications involved in obtaining these medications now mean that even cancer patients cannot obtain refills without the requisite prescription, on paper (no fax or e-mail) signed in ink, by the ordering physician, and handed to the pharmacy. These rules were followed by us yesterday afternoon - to the letter. What did the pharmacy say? "Sorry these are not due until tomorrow (4th July) and we are closed for Independence Day so we'll have the refill ready on Friday". My response: "What am I supposed to do tomorrow, when I run out?" She: "Do you want to pay for a day's worth, the insurance will not pay until tomorrow and we are closed." Me: "So, as you are closed, should you not compensate for that by filling the prescription today?" Nope! If I had agreed to pay for one day's tablets it would have cost me $60+ for the generic. Ridiculous! I guess the fact that I'm English, and that Independence Day is the fly in the ointment, didn't help ;-)

Dang! I was cross and getting hotter under the collar! I'll manage, but some people in the same position might not. This is so unfair to those who need opioids for all the right reasons.

I do suspect that the generic of my pain medication, stocked by our pharmacy, doesn't work well, possibly due to certain cheaper "fillers" used. Comments online by those who have been taking the pills for years have indicated that this is the case - do I believe online commentary? Hmmm? I had, earlier, asked what the charge would be for the branded version of the same medication, not covered by insurance. One would, I was told, have to buy a full 100 tablet bottle of the original branded version, its cost, with discount, would be $500. Sigh. The generic, to be collected Friday, will have to suffice!


Wisewebwoman said...

I am so sorry to read this. The challenges are immense for you Ann without the added stress of begging for medications that are rightfully yours and the cost!!!

I am never complacent living here where all this is free for me. It can be taken away in a heartbeat if the Trumpalikes win the next federal election in the fall.

I hate to think what my meds cost, there are so many. Several thousand a month. Human rights violated by every turn of the pharmaceutical stock prices for those of you without universal health care. I just came up with that and I like it.

Big hug.


Twilight said...

Wisewebwoman ~ It's frustrating, WWW! I've not had to pay anything for the many treatments I've undergone so far though - and there have been many! I try not to feel too badly done to.
I'm really curious to find out whether the branded pain pills I take would be more effective than the particular generic supplied to me, but $500 is a bit much just to find out! I'd pay for 30 tablets, but that's "not allowed" - at our pharmacy I'd have to buy 100 tablets.

I shall have another talk to the doc about pain relief next week.

Kaleymorris said...

"I guess the fact that I'm English, and that Independence Day is the fly in the ointment, didn't help."
Made me laugh inappropriately.
I am sorry that you got caught in the incompassionate red tape of laws and bureaucracy. I recall something similar happening to our Chris after one of his shoulder surgeries. Surgeon was out on vacation and back up doctor could not prescribe refill. Made for a difficult weekend.
I hope all is better today.

Twilight said...

Kaleymorris~ Thanks, K. Red tape is, and has always been, quite unmerciful. :)

I now have the refill, but the pills, at maximum dose, just are not working as might be expected. I'm not in constant pain, which is a blessing - when sitting or standing still I'm 95% fine - but walking has become really painful recently, much more so than before recent treatments I've undergone. I suppose it'll take time - bones are not quick healers. I intend to have a chat with the doc next time I get a chance, to ask whether a different type might suit me better, or whether it's going to end up with me in a wheelchair (hope not!)

R J Adams said...

I haven't commented much recently, Ann, but I have been following your progress and thoughts have been with you. I well remember the problems of healthcare in the US, and I dread to think how much Mrs RJ's treatments would have cost us over there. Not a penny piece in France. I feel almost guilty about not paying anything. All prescriptions, treatments, operations, and hospital stays (though a little for private rooms), are totally free of charge for "Affection de Longue Durée" (Long term illnesses like cancer).
It's a disgrace that US pharmacies don't keep themselves well stocked. To run out of medicines right before a national holiday is unforgivable. Keep smiling!

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~ Thanks RJ! My warmest wishes to you and to Mrs RJ.

Well...the problem was not that the pharmacy was out of stock of the medications, but the the New Rules don't allow for prescriptions for meds containing opioids to be filled before the due date - not even 24 hours before, even when the pharmacy will be closed on the due date. That is disgraceful too!