Sunday, January 27, 2013

I am not a patient patient

I am not a patient patient at the best of times. Overnight delivery has spoiled me (and most Americans) to expect instant gratification. To quote Violet from Willy Wonka, "I want it now!"

On Friday I went to see my pain doctor who is in charge of relieving me of pain, as opposed to cancer cootie detection and other specialties. The biggest news I could share with him was that my rheumatologist, to whom he referred me, is leaving the hospital to go to another one.

He suggested, his usual poking, prodding and contortions (does it hurt when  you do this?), that I should increase my dose of my pain patches back up to 10 mcg/hr and then suggested I see him again in six months. I made a face and he changed it to four months. (Who says you can't make faces at  your doctor or that I might be too old for it?)

There are issues with increasing my pain patches back up to 10 from 5. The upside is less pain. The downside is: the price. Can you say $95 for a four week dose? Ouch.

I was getting the patches through mail order because I used to be able to save money and pay $95 for three months. But the law has changed here and they in the evil addictive/street value class and I can only get one month's worth at a time. I understand the principle behind it that people can be addicted, blah, blah, blah. But it hurts my wallet with the copay. I have a friend who gets the 20 dose and she pays around $20/month.

I do have very good health insurance but every so often I get dinged by something like this. For instance my insurance did not cover a chemotherapy wig. But I have a $5000/year out of pocket maximum which does not include pharmacy expenses.  But it means I will not go bankrupt paying medical bills. In the end, I will be paying over $1000 to be relatively pain free each year. But I think its worth it.

There is another downside to these pain patches. I have a reaction to the adhesive. Of course I do. I don't know if its an allergy or what. I have to put on cortisone anti itch stuff on my skin before I can put on a patch which means waiting an hour.

I have gotten completely off track of my being a patient patient so allow me to haul my train of thought back. When the doctor asked which pharmacy I wanted my new prescription to go to, I said the local pharmacy so I could go fill it that day. BUT IT WAS OUT OF STOCK. Being a weekend it won't be there until after 2PM on Monday. I want it NOW! I'll just suck it up and live on Tramadol until then.

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