Rx refill & insurance issues and a snow storm

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PAlady
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Date Joined Nov 2007
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   Posted 1/9/2009 12:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello, Friends,
I really need to vent. Fighting tears as a write this, but I know in the end I'll be as ok as I can be (as any of us can be). But I've got about a half a foot of snow to shovel to get my car out and get to my mailbox and see if my percocet script is in there today. The doc that sends them to me is 3 hrs. away; they're great and not the problem - at least not at the moment.

Some of you know at the end of 2007 the hospital I worked part time for laid me off while I was out on medical leave after lumbar fusion surgery. So I've only got another few months left of COBRA coverage, but the hospital runs the policy and a month ago changed to make all of us get all our script through them. They're 45 minuts away from me in good weather, and we're having snowstorms now. Plus they're only open 7am-4pm, M-F. If you have to get an Rx filled after hours or on weekends, you can only get a 15 day supply, and pay a higher co-pay ($35 as opposed to $5 in this case for me).

I'm just so frustrated. My mail doesn't come until sometime in the afternoon (not here yet - probably slow due to weather) and I'm not driving into the hospital in this lousy weather. Thankfully, I've had a few extra percocet - and I mean a few - from the days I didn't take the full 6 pills. Not sure I can make it through the weekend. The Rx will either come today or tomorrow but either way it's too late to get it filled at the hospital until Monday. So I've got to decide whether to fill it and get only half the pills, try to call my doctor's office and explain why I need another script in 15 days, or hold off until Monday. I'll figure this out - I'm really not asking for advice on this.

But I DO need to vent. I feel so angry and frustrated and I think it's all about one more thing where I'm losing control over my life. And you all know what that's about. I can't even take a prescription to my pharmacy that's five minutes away anymore. They were always so nice to me. But it's this on top of everything else. Alll the frustrations and loss of control and the weather is lousy here and we're supposed to get up to another foot of snow tomorrow! (If you're in a warm climate, consider yourself lucky right now!)

I just needed to vent, scream really.....I want my life back. Hey, I'll settle for a part of it. But I'm in my late 50's, unemployed, and dealing with chronic pain. Not much chance of getting back what I had. And right now I'm angry about that.

Thanks for letting me vent!

PaLady

kara487
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Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 637
   Posted 1/9/2009 12:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Palady, I am sorry your having a rough time. I hope your  prescription for percocet comes soon.


Lortab,ambien,elavil,reglan , neurontin,zyrtec and soma.
 
spinal conditions: Scolosis,herniated discs,spinal blockage,Spinal stenosis,bursitis ,Fibro,and arthritis

Post Edited (kara487) : 1/9/2009 2:07:48 PM (GMT-7)


skeye
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   Posted 1/9/2009 1:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Aww, Palady, I'm so sorry that you are having such a horrible day!

That is awful that the hospital pharmacy is so inflexible! Reducing your prescription to only 15 days worth of you come after hours is just ridiculous! I can understand them charging more, since it is an inconvenience to them, but it probably would only take them an extra 5 min tops to count out the rest of the pills! Clearly, whoever made that policy could care less about the wellbeing of their clients! shakehead
I know what a pain snow can be. We are supposed to get that same storm tomorrow & Sunday, and we just got half an inch of ice plus a little snow on Tuesday (took my 45 min to clean off my car yesterday, and walking on the driveway was like walking on a frozen pond, it was just awful!). It stinks, so say the least, when bad weather holds up something that you really need! I know the feeling. The snow we got the other week held up the delivery of an audiobook that I need to read asap (granted its not the same as meds, but it is still something that is very important with my condition). I'm glad that you at least have a few pills left, but as you said, none of your options are really great. Is there another hospital closer to you, so that you could go to the ER if you really need to (if you decide to try to ride out the weekend)?

Just know that we are here for you! Vent all you want! I certainly do smilewinkgrin! Sending you lots of big hugs! Be careful when you are out in the snow!! I hope your mail arrives soon & the prescription is in it, and you can figure out a way to get it filled! I'll keep you in my thoughts & prayers! I hope everything works out!

Skeye

PAlady
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Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 1/9/2009 2:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Kara & Skeye.

Well, the prescription came in the mail but too late to drive to the hospital. It's all about money, Skeye. The hospital has what they call a "host hospital" policy which means if you use their system you get a break on co-pays and such (this is mainly for employees, but I'm no longer one thanks to them). They just started the pharmacy thing so they can get the $$ from everyone's meds, but to have such inflexible hours is ridiculous. I'll see how I do but at worst I can go to my local CVS and pay the $35 instead of $5 for half of the percs. If I can stretch until Monday I'll take the Rx to the hospital. I'm using a lot of tylenol to replace some of the percs, but of course they don't cover the pain or that's what I'd be taking! Fortunately, the nurse that writes me the scripts is still from my neurosurgeon's office. She is great, and I think (hope) she'll understand if I have to call her and ask for another script in 15 days. She can always call the pharmacy to verify what was filled. But everyone here knows how eyebrows start getting raised once this stuff starts.

Why do I feel like a prisoner of pain and doctors and health insurance??? Maybe because I am?

PaLady shakehead

Boxerlover
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 274
   Posted 1/9/2009 3:49 PM (GMT -7)   

PAlady, you hit the nail on the head with the loss of control.  I've had some things happen that are directly due to being ill and on disability that absolutely frustrated the bejebe's out of me! Something that I had worked very hard on and because of my situation I can't do anything about it.  At least it seems to me with policy changes and the like and you are so right, I also feel so out of control, like I no longer have a say in the things that are happening to me.

I'm glad your script came, but sorry you have to mess with all the pharmacy stuff.

Melissa


Tirzah
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Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2283
   Posted 1/9/2009 6:08 PM (GMT -7)   
PA,

That's super lousy about not being able to get your meds for this weekend. Maybe you can just lie in bed & take it easy. I feel for you. I have had to cut down from 4 doses of meds a day to 1 dose a day for the month of January b/c I can't afford my co-insurance for my meds since my evil disability insurance company has five million and one excuses about why they won't send me my checks even though I've jumped through all their hoops & they said I have been approved for at least my October & November dates already. Between the withdrawal symptoms & the horrid pain I can't do much at all, but I know I will get through this somehow and will file a complaint with the OIR if I don't get my money soon. I found a way to lay all twisty that helps keep my pain down below the level of screaming. Hopefully you can find a comfortable position & just stay there all weekend. ;)

It is all pretty horrible that things can't be easier on you, but I think all we can do is try to make the best of things and hope for a better tomorrow. I will say a prayer that you will not be in too much pain & will be able to wait until Monday. $35 extra is a lot of money & I can see why you would need to try and wait if you can stand it. Good luck!

((hugs)),
frances

PAlady
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Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 1/9/2009 7:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Frances - Thanks for the suggestion. As a matter of fact I just got up from bed. I spread out all the heating pads I had and laid down and listened to tv (it's in another room) but it was ok. I don't feel too bad at the moment, and thankfully I have my neurontin to help. I'm so sorry to hear about your problems with disability. You're sitll struggling with October and November? That's sounds scary to me as I'll be applying for disability soon. But I guess we do have to make the best of things, especially for short time periods. It's not right or fair, it just is. Hugs to you, too!

Boxer - Reading your response brought tears to my eyes. I almost thought about starting another thread just dealing with losses that we have to continually deal with. Big ones and small. If you want to talk more about on a thread I'll chime in!

Hugs to all of you!

PaLady

kara487
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Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 637
   Posted 1/10/2009 4:32 AM (GMT -7)   
Palady,I have to wait til tuesday before I can get a refill on my pain meds . I only have prescription motrin that my family doctor gave me. I have to wait it out til I go to the pain dr on tuesday. so I understand what your going through and the waiting game. I hope your pain lessens.
Lortab,ambien,elavil,reglan , neurontin,zyrtec and soma.
 
spinal conditions: Scolosis,herniated discs,spinal blockage,Spinal stenosis,bursitis ,Fibro,and arthritis


ryand
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Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 639
   Posted 1/10/2009 6:44 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh, PaLady, I just read this for the first time, and I want to scream for you!! I have been in a similar position with prescription issues before too, and like Melissa & Frances & everyone else said you really did hit the nail on the head about the control factor. But I just can't understand how it is even legal for pharmacies to exercise these kind of arbitrary abusive and manipulative policies. It is just plain wrong.

I'm so sorry you are being forced to suffer right now my friend. I wish more than anything that I could DO something to help you right now.

Ry

PAlady
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Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 1/10/2009 1:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you to everyone! It so helps knowing I can come here. But I find I've got to get up and down a lot so can't type another longer response.

Just thank you!!

PaLady

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 1/10/2009 1:25 PM (GMT -7)   

PALady, like Ryand I want to scream for you!!  I've been there and know how frustrating it is.  Also, when you are so stressed out over whether/when you can get pain pills, it causes more pain.  You are doing just what I've done in those situations:  Heating pads, OTC pain meds, Neurontin (I don't take anymore, though), Flexeryl...whatever would help me get through.  I get my pain Rx from my primary care doc and it has taken me 10 years to "train" her.  It took her that long to realize that I don't abuse my meds and to give me 2 refills on my Lortab.  For years, she would only give me a 30-day supply (and hey!  There are 31 days in some months!) and I was getting my Rxs filled at the hospital pharmacy for free under a city contract.  The pharmacy is closed on weekends and after 4:30, and would not fill an Rx the day before...had to be ON the day it ran out.  So you can imagine that I spent some horrific weekends and holidays.  My doc also had a habit of going on vacation and not notifying her patients.  So when I would call for a refill and she wouldn't be there, no other doctor would want to prescribe a narcotic.  I don't think my PMD is very good, but I don't want to have to go through this all over again with a new doctor.  And now that I have Medicare, I can at least get my scripts filled at any pharmacy.

You mentioned that you will be applying for disability soon.  Why not now?  It takes so darned long to get it, usually.  If you do get it, you will have to wait 2 years to be eligible for Medicare....or 2 yrs. minus the months/years it took you to get approved.  Since it took them over 2 years to finally approve my claim, my Medicare kicked in right away, plus I got a nice fat check for 2 yrs. of back payments.   wink

You are always such a supportive voice on this forum.  I hope now we can offer YOU some support and understanding.  I think all of us have been in your shoes at least once.

My prayers are with you for minimal pain.  If you do go out, drive carefully.

Hugs,


hep93
Forum moderator - Hepatitis


skeye
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Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 1/10/2009 6:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Palady,

I hope you are doing alright today, especially with all the snow! Thinking of you,

Skeye

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 1/10/2009 6:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Hep & Skeye,
Thanks to both of you. I just popped online briefly. Feeling oh, so tired. Trying to get some bills paid which are a must. Haven't even gone outside! Fortunately I don't have to until Monday, so hoping my cousin will come with his truck tomorrow to help get my car out of the driveway.

Thanks again - love the warm fuzzies I get from reading everyone's kind thoughts!

PaLady

skeye
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Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 1/10/2009 6:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Aw, I hope you can get some sleep tonight! Definitely don't go outside if you don't have too! The last thing you need is to make your pain worse in any way! I'm already dreading having to clean off my car & get it out of the driveway when the time comes. It doesn't do well in snow.

Skeye

hurtzallot
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 1/10/2009 7:31 PM (GMT -7)   

PAlady,

Did you figure it out, or are you like me guessing your way through to the next day? Heating pads, warm thermo wraps, medications out the ying-yang, and man o man if it weren't for HOT water baths (Up to 105 degrees according to my little rubber ducky used for my children 20 years ago) sometimes I think I'm losing my sanity! I now sleep in a chair = less heating pads = smaller electrical bill = NOT LOL! Had my son install a punching bag in my basement 3 years ago, so I could go lean on a pole and vent, if you will, I ruptured L-4 and herniated S-1 wound up in the hospital for an extended stay = NOT LOL!

Told my wife maybe a PC would be a safer way to vent. I had lost my job due to serious injuries, filed for SSDI, while fighting a nasty workers compensation case, borrowing money from every Tom Dick and Mary to pay for medical care. I had doctors out the kazoo backing my claim (s) and received the denial letter from the SSA after working 35 years paying taxes and living by "their" rules. Anyhow no money, life in shambles and some high society judge questioning my credibility, hell thats all I had left! It took 3 years to PROVE that my doctors nor myself ever uttered a single mis-truth. During this time my shiny new PC my wife purchased for me to vent on said FATAL ERROR. (Just needed to hit system restore.) Quietly walked out to the garage, grabbed an old rusty hammer, didn't want to hurt the new 20$ one I was unable to use anyway, swung as hard as my body would let me and put it through the computer. Wow now that was venting and I felt GREAT!!!!!

My wife, when she returned from vacation, informed me how inexpensive it will be to simply replace the monitor and hit system restore/recovery. OOPS, the trash man had taken the new venting machine away 3 days ago, tower, monitor, mouse, all but the mouse pad I still have (Approximate value 1500$)

PAlady, moral of the story, please, please teach me how to vent. It's been a long, long expensive road....1 step forward and 2 steps back, I've been snowbound ever since. 


Opinionated and you no what they say about opinions. Simpleton living with chronic pain.


PAlady
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Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 1/10/2009 11:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Hurtz,
Your post was a good start toward venting. My first thought was to make sure to give the hammers to your wife for safekeeping! smilewinkgrin

Try some less expensive things like writing here to us, or get some crayons and scribble on a piece of paper. Scribble big time - black and red are really good colors to help let the air out of your tires, so to speak! smhair

Well, I warm packed myself up, did some stretches, went out and did a little shoveling at 11pm, and came back in to return to the heat packs and stretches and a few meds. Late night comedy also helps! But now I'm wide awake, still haven't paid the bills, but sure don't feel like it! That's way too depressing for a Saturday night. shakehead

I'm gonna check Comedy Central, but I'll probably be back later! Hope we all surprise eachother and get a good night's sleep!

And thank you all again for the support. It means a lot! yeah

PaLady

Tirzah
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Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2283
   Posted 1/11/2009 11:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Hang in there! Only one day to go. :)

ryand
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Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 639
   Posted 1/11/2009 12:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh, PAlady, I wish I could tell you to stay inside where it's warm, but I know all to well that those of us who are alone don't have much choice in those situations. I am glad you are spacing it out a as much as possible and trying to warm yourself back up and rest your muscles in between times. I wish I could make the time go more quickly for you! Or get those crazy Wilsons to start shoveling! smhair I'm willing the minutes to speed up and the temperature to rise!

Ry

hep93
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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 1/11/2009 1:37 PM (GMT -7)   

Hurtzallot, it wasn't funny at the time, I'm sure, but it sure is now--your venting on the "shiny new machine."  smilewinkgrin

I take it you finally got SSD?  It took them 2 yrs. to approve my claim.  That lump sum back payment is nice, though, isn't it?  You just go through hell while waiting.  My aunt helped me out for 1 1/2 yrs., plus I got food stamps.  If it weren't for that, I don't know what I would have done.

PALady, I think you did the right thing to try to tough it out until Mon.  The thing about running out of pain meds, though, is that it is so hard to get back on track with controlling the pain after your body being w/o them.  Sometimes, when you start again, it seems like they aren't even working.  You just have to continue taking them until a therapeutic dose builds up in your body.  Try to stay out of the snow today!  For me, cold is my pain's worst enemy.  Cold and damp is even worse.  I'm in NE FL, but we have our chilly spells (going down in the 20s this week!)  I just try to stay inside with the heat on as much as possible.  At least we have no snow to deal with!


hep93
Forum moderator - Hepatitis


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 1/11/2009 2:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks again, everyone. So glad I shoveled yesterday (well, my body isn't). So far no new snow today so I think I can use my car to "plow' my way out of the end of the driveway. That way I can get out tomorrow. Gotta get out tomorrow.

Hep - fortunately I'm not totally off the percs, I've been stretching them with tylenol for a few days so as not to go through complete withdrawal. And I have all my other meds, thankfully, including muscle relaxants although I usually save those for at night or else I can't function. But if you're going to get 20 degrees imagine what we're going to get! Later this week it's going to be highs in the single digits!! HIGHS! I would stay in bed the entire time if I had someone to bring me my meds, food and a porta potty! LOL

PaLady

ryand
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Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 639
   Posted 1/11/2009 2:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh, PAlady!!!! ROFL!!! I just laughed so hard I started crying!!! I have this picture now of some poor delivery man bent at the waist with a port-a-potty slung over his shoulder, negotiating his way through the living room and down the hall.... "Look out for that lamp! Nope, the bedroom, not the dining room, please!" Oh my goodness!!! Oh, it hurts to laugh, but this is SO worth it!

turn
Ry

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 1/11/2009 3:42 PM (GMT -7)   

PALady, well that's smart.  I thought you were w/o any Percs at all and really doing well, if that were the case.  I know about "stretching them out," though, and it's just not the same but better than nothing!  Since I stopped working, I've been able to reduce my Lortab from 3 a day to 2, six days out of seven.  I also take Flexeryl at night, but lately have been taking melatonin instead...or sometimes in addition to a Flexeryl.

And I HAVE a port-a-potty!  LOL!  I haven't let go of any of the equipment I had from my hip surgeries, as I know I will need it again down the road.  wink


hep93
Forum moderator - Hepatitis


skeye
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Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 1/11/2009 4:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Palady,

Glad to hear that you are doing alright (well, as well as can be expected) & that you got your driveway cleaned up so you're ready to go tomorrow. Oh how I wish I could share this little puppy with you. We picked him up this afternoon & he is just all love. I know I'm not going to be able to part with him come the end of the week (it doesn't help that I already named him!). He's been following me around since we got him. I wasn't having the best day pain-wise & I am very nervous about my neuroophthalmologist appointment tomorrow (to say the least), but this little angel has helped to cheer me up. So I know he'd send you kisses of he could to help cheer you up & maybe help you feel a little better!

Skeye

ryand
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 639
   Posted 1/11/2009 5:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey, I didn't mean anything offensive by the humor there... My brain is so foggy and tired right now that it didn't occur to me to think of the hospital type of port-a-potty. I had a picture of the kind you see at a construction site! I would never laugh at anyone feeling crummy - you all know that, right? Sometimes the weirdest things make me laugh. I think it's that laugh instead of cry mechanism kicking in. Anyhow... please forgive me if I offended anyone. I could erase the post if you want me to.

Ry

PAlady
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Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 1/11/2009 6:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Ry - Not offensive at all! Made me laugh! I wasn't thinking of one of the big ones either, but the image really was funny. I think I'd like whatever Hep has, although my bedroom is small and so cluttered with stuff now I have no idea where I'd put it!

I still use the high hat toilet seat and shower chair I got from my surgery. I'm embarassed the rare times I get company. Oh, well. Hep I sure am glad I had some perc to stretch because it also make sme realize why I take two 5/325's instead of just one. The pain isn't covered but it's better than just tylenol. I'm spending a lot of time on heating pads. And my Steelers (football team, for those who don't watch) just won their playoff game, so that helped!

Skeye - my goddaughter's children just got a puppy from "Santa" and she's a mix of yellow lab and samoyed. Mostly looks like a yellow lab. I have pictures of her (Chloe - although she was almost named Marley - looks just like the puppy in the commercials) on my computer that make me smile. I keep toying with getting another cat. I miss having an animal, but I need to be sure I'd have the physical stamina and finances to care for one. They sure can provide comfort.

Ok, I'd better go eat some dinner while I have a burst of energy.

Thanks, friends!

PaLady
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