Now, the part of this that has me worked up today, is that the fact that medicines mean dealing with the pharmacy. And although the people at our pharmacy are nice enough, the whole experience drives me to the edge quicker than virtually any other thing in my life.
Let’s start with the fact that I have to go multiple times a month. Why? Because it isn’t like any of Gabriel’s medicines actually get finished at the same time each month – mostly because they are started at different times, and then changed, or upped or downed, or adjusted in some other crazy fashion to make picking them all up at the same time impossible.
Now let’s add the fact that because Gabriel’s medicines are covered by Adoption Support (Yes, thank you to adoption support, I appreciate it immensely, but since they are so kind, they require no less than 82 proverbial hoops to jump through for this favor), I can only get the medicine refilled the moment it needs to be. Which looks like this:
“I need to refill a Rx for my son.”
“OK, when will you be out?”
“I have one more dose for tomorrow, and then we’re out.”
“What time do you give it to him tomorrow?”
“OK, then we will have your RX filled and ready to go by 7:59am the day after tomorrow. Please don’t try to pick it up early this time.”
And there is no getting around this – I’ve tried. No 3-month supplies, no ‘auto refill’. Nada.
Which brings me to the next challenge here – They never have the medicine in stock.
What is up with that?? Seriously.
Gabriel has been on one of his medicines for the last 15+ months – same medicine, every month, ordered from the same pharmacy.
Now, let’s also mention here that is a MOOD STABILIZER (which I could use from dealing with the damn pharmacy), so, not just theoretically here people, he isn’t going to just magically stop using it one day. Nope, not gonna happen.
Yet, it never fails, when I call to refill it, the conversation sounds like this:
“I need to refill my son’s Rx.”
“We don’t have that in stock.”
“Well, we are out of it starting tomorrow, and this, as I am SURE you learned in pharmacy school, is a mood stabilizer, which means that I cannot just stop giving it to him.”
“We should have it on Tuesday.”
“Ah, we can’t wait that long – what can I do?”
“Well, you can drive out to the-middle-of-nowhereville, they might have some, but you’ll have to call them yourself.”
“Of course. Can you order it for next month now?”
“No, we can’t order it until you need it.”
“Yeah, I agree, let’s not plan ahead.”
Now you get that I have to drive to the pharmacy, deal with them not keeping my son’s meds in stock, and that isn’t even the worst part.
The worst part is that they can’t seem to get it right. How is that possible?! I mean these are Bipolar meds – not antibiotics or allergy meds – we need the right dose, the right total amount, all at the right time. That’s why it is called a prescription.
I am going to just skip ahead to today’s example – why? Because you are going to get bored of this complaint soon, so I’ll tell my story:
I drive up to get Gabe’s meds (only refilling 2 today), before school. Why did I do this before school?
Because they just called last night (we sent in new Rx on Thursday after our Dr. Apt) to let us know they are finished, and Gabe needs the ‘extra’ Rx bottle to take meds to his new school today.
OK, there I am, in the drive through.
“I need to pick Rx for my son.”
Wait. Wait. Wait.
“Here you go, please sign.”
“Wait a second,” I say as I open the bag, “There is only one of these, and I need a second one with a Rx label on it for the school.”
She leaves. Comes back. Gives me the second bottle. A GENERIC bottle that doesn’t have the little ‘insert syringe in here’ spout to make measuring the liquid medicine easier.
I open it anyway, trying to just cut my losses and make it to school on time. I realize I cannot get the stopper out, so I hit the ‘call button’.
“Hi, yeah, I can’t get this out, and need you to pour like ¼ of the bottle into the extra one.”
She takes it, and then returns with it, un-removed, and nothing transferred to the other bottle.
“You’ll need to just put the syringe into this bottle and transfer it that way to the other bottle.”
Did you get that? She can’t take the stopper out and POUR the medicine from one bottle to another, she wants me to do it with a 1 ml syringe – one syringe at a time.
While this process is going on, I realize that I only have one bottle of the second medicine, which contains 250ml.
Now, the Rx is for 7ml twice a day – that is 14 ml a day.
Anyone quick with math?
Correct! 250 is not 14x30 – or in plain English, she didn’t give me a full month’s supply.
I tell her the correct math --
“There is a second bottle missing here – I need 14 ml a day for the full 30 days – which means we need 420ml.” (Yes, I used the calculator on my cellphone to make sure I asked for the exact right amount.)
She takes the bottle.
“I don’t have time to wait for this one; I need to get my son to school, so I’ll come back for it. Could you just finish the other one?”
And brings both of them back at the same time; the first one was done, sitting on the counter next to pharmacist while he worked on the second one. Seriously?
Gabriel was going to explode, so I calmly told him that it was my day to explode over having to wait, and that he could just watch how I was holding it together and try to do the same.
Good news is that we got the meds, neither of us blew a major fuse, and we were off. Deep Breath, exhale.
For me, this is worse than nails on a chalkboard, or being cut off on the highway -- those things are fine with me. However, the pharmacy is just something I don’t have a choice about at this point. Gabriel is Bipolar and all Bipolar people need their medication to be stable. I understand that. But it still drives me crazy!
OK. I feel better. Thanks for listening. : )
Anyone have a rant to get off their chest? What drives you crazy about managing your child’s needs?
Leave me a comment!
Photo: One of the little goats at the petting zoo in Victoria Canada -- get the irony? A goat? You know, "What gets your goat?" I crack myself up.