Last Friday I went to the doctor with a terrible sore throat. He said it was probably strep and called in a z-pak right away (he didn’t want me to have to labor through the weekend with this pain).
I went to pick up the script (that’s medical speak for “prescription”).
First fail. After 30 minutes of waiting. The pharmacy “didn’t have” a prescription for me. I had to call and have it re-sent at about 4:50. Luckily they were still open. Got that taken care of.
Second fail. After 20 more minutes, and me with an empty pregnant belly (well almost empty), they told me that they couldn’t sell me the z-pak.
At this point I’m hot, hungry and little nauseous from the nasal spray Doc gave me. “What?!” I said in the nicest, most sane sounding way possible. The pharmacist repeated her exact statement. I replied, “I heard you. I was just shocked.”
I think she was expecting some sort of outburst because she sort of winced as she delivered the following statement, “Your insurance company won’t let us sell it to you since you’ve had this medication too recently.”
Shaking a little from anger and hunger (mostly hunger), as calm as I could possibly speak, I nearly whispered, “So the insurance company decides what’s good for me and not my doctor? Besides, it’s been over a year since I’ve had this type of medicine. How long do I have to wait?”
My throat hurts, my head hurts, I’m starving and nauseous. I’m desperate enough to leap over the counter and grab the meds myself. Can’t be too hard, I’ve seen it on the news a hundred times. You get the little stick and you count the pills on a plastic tray; then you collect your ridiculous paycheck.
The pharmacist had no clue. To her, a computer software told her, “Don’t sell this medicine to this drug abuser”, or something like that.
I continued, trying not to sound like a drug abuser, “Can you just sell it to me and not tell them?”
She lightened up, “Oh, so you want to pay cash?” As if she’d offered me that option before and I simply opted for the cash route.
Shaking my head, rolling my eyes, and accompanied by a long sigh, I said, “Yes.”
That decision sent the process in motion. She replied, “Ok then, just give me about 20 minutes to fill that order.” Once again, I imagined myself leaping over the counter. (You do crazy things when you are pregnant and hungry). Instead I opted for a bag of corn chips and stood, as impatiently as possible, next to the counter eating handfuls of chips at a time – trying to ignore the looks of pity and disgust from other shoppers.
I spent the rest of the weekend miserable with strep and congestion, but happy because I had my z-pak. If there’s anything to take away from this post, it would be 1) Don’t ask Danielle how her weekend was unless you want a real, 15-minute, dramatic answer or 2) the insurance company never has the last word when it comes to your health.