Tuesday, May 18, 2010

More medical fun

To kick off the latest round of fun, my employer surreptitiously replaced our drug supplier with another vendor, kind of like how the commercials show actors who pretend to not know the difference between instant coffee and the real thing. (note - if you can't tell, you either have no taste buds or the coffee has a higher IQ) Being the discerning taker of drugs that I am, I noticed the swap immediately after my bunny pharmacist said "They're no longer covering you." But she is smart and helpful and managed to find the new company with a few phone calls, so the issue was resolved.

A week later I got the r/x card and paperwork from the new vendor. They're not as widely accepted and don't cover as many meds, but the Target pharmacy with the two bunnies is in their network and they do handle diabetes medications, probably because that one can eventually lead to conditions such as death and should be taken more seriously than, say, dandruff. Plus which my copay dropped from $30/med/month to just $10, so for once these things worked in my favor. (insert sound effect of god laughing so hard Sprite shoots out of his nose)

So then I went back for more insulin and was told that the drug company wouldn't authorize any because my last prescription said 45 units daily and so they calculated that I don't need any more for a couple of weeks. I explained to the pharmacist, who was not one of the bunnies, that my endocrinologist authorized me to raise the amount based on my home blood sugar readings and that I was now up to 80 units. They said they'd call and get an updated prescription and then I could have my drugs.

The next day I hadn't heard back from them, so I dropped by and another pharmacist who was also not a bunny (a disturbing trend) told me no new news, just go home and we'll let you know when you can shoot up again. Apparently the non-bunny drug dealers view diabetes as a minor issue like acne that can clear up on its own if ignored. Fortunately I expect problems when doctors are involved (if you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you'll understand why) and so I began the refill process several days before I would run out.

Remembering that early in the week usually means bunny, I dropped by Monday and re-explained the issue to the bunny on duty. She checked the progress (HA!) made by the others and discovered a) my regular doctor (who doesn't believe using more than 40 units per day helps) said I'm no longer his patient (news to me), b) the endocrinologist's office has never heard of the endo guy who authorized the increase even though his name was prominently displayed on all the paperwork and doors, and c) the insurance company isn't budging without somebody officially writing a prescription for 80 units daily. The bunnyist questioned me about my condition and how it is responding to the increased dosage (80 units has been doing the job for about a month now, so it appears stable), then personally authorized a one-time refill based on my information. And so the day was saved by a tiny cute Asian woman. As usual.

Now I have to go back to my regular doctor, who may have fired me, and hope that his belief that the amount I'm taking to control my problem can't work won't override the fact that it does. If he refuses to give me an updated prescription I'll have to go back to the endocrinologist, who is very expensive and may have been recalled back to his home planet just before the Saturnians wiped the memories of everyone in his office.

Tomorrow I go to the optometrist in the hopes that they can help reverse the effects of my retinopathy. I remain optimistic despite the fact that their office has a small cemetery in front, as if to say "Official Motto: Our Eye Exams Are Not Always Fatal". I'm seriously not making up the detail about the cemetery.

Ordinarily I would close with a picture of a hot bunny in a lab coat, but I'm having technical problems with my home PC and can't upload pics. IOU one pharmaceutical bunny.

USEFUL INFORMATION WARNING: Increasing beyond 40 units did in fact have very little impact on my blood sugar levels, and had no impact beyond 45 until I discovered taking two small (81mg) enteric aspirins daily combined with the insulin brought it down. It looks like my regular doctor and the endo guy each had a third of the puzzle and I found the last piece to the solution. If you know any diabetics who aren't responding to Lantus (the typical, daily dose of insulin often prescribed) you might want to pass that tip along.


Robin said...

Isn't medication such a pain in the ass? I keep trying to get off my meds but then everything falls apart.

GreenJello said...

Yay for helpful pharmaceutical bunnies!

Tragic said...

Too damn many pharmacists around here seem to think they know better than the original prescribing doctors, its maddening. God but its still nice to see you strong and ornery again, not that you haven't been all along, but I haven't been here in a long time sooo ... :-)

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

What I hate is when I'm going on vacation and will need a refill of my birth control while on vacation. So, I get the refill early and get the "No-No" naughty girl finger wag from the pharmacists and insurance company. As if I'm doing something horribly bad like shooting up heroin. Nice.

Jay said...

Tiny cute Asian girls make everything better.

SJ said...

Sometimes life imitates anime!

Maundering mutterer said...

Not cool. Bite your doctor's ears off when you see him and tell him its from me. Mind you, you might get blood poisoning... and 'Maundering Mutterer'will be difficult to say with your mouth full.

Avitable said...

Bunny rescue should make everything better.

Realliveman said...

It's medical Wednesday I see.

Captain Dumbass said...

You make diabetes sound like so much fun.

Monogram Queen said...

I'm am glad you figured things out on your own, Thank God for Bunny Pharmacists~

Grant said...

Robin - no meds doesn't seem to be an option for me. I just hope I can maintain, and that there will be bunny.

GreenJello - bunnies improve everything.

Tragic - so far the drug bunnies have way out-scored the docs, so I'd be willing to listen to them if they had any suggestions.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter - you mean birth control pills aren't a viable substitute for heroin? I need to get my money back.

Jay - that's now my official motto.

SJ - but not often enough. Or maybe I'm watching the wrong anime.

Maundering mutterer - I can't bite my doctor. I don't know where he's been.

Avitable - we should start a new Dial-a-bunny rescue service.

Realliveman - no, medical Wednesday this week involved temporarily blinding me.

Captain Dumbass - it's a party in a syringe.

Monogram Queen - I keep telling you that bunnies fix everything, and still I have yet to see a single one on your blog.

Ricardo said...

Where are you getting these terrible doctors? I swear!

Grant said...

Ricardo - do you live in some freakish part of the country that has competent medical care, or are you deriving all of your assumptions from Nurse Jackie?

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