Saturday, September 30, 2006

So I'm a Druggie or Something

I am seriously considering getting a new doctor. It's a shame, really, because this guy seems to know his stuff and trust me to give him accurate information. But his assistant is an idiot. Normally, that doesn't affect me too much, and I've been willing to cope with it to have a good doc who can deliver. But recently, during the disability evaluation, a woman from the Social Security office called about a note that was in my medical file. "Are you employed? Because it says here that you've been checking your blood pressure at work." Um, no. Not employed. No work. Can't work, remember? Maybe it's a reference to my blood pressure being high because of my work a year ago? She sounded extremely dubious, and I don't blame her. What the heck? I'm thinking it was a note meant for someone else's file and it got put in mine by mistake.

But then there was my latest adventure, and I'm ready to commit bodily damage on the dimwits who work at that clinic. It started when I noticed that I was getting a little low on my pain meds and decided to call for a new prescription. (Percocet requires a new paper prescription written every time you get a new supply, it being a mind-altering drug and all.) This was last week-- i.e., the third week of September-- remember that.

I guess the trouble started because I needed the new script to be the same strength as I'd been using for a long time instead of the new one the doc had given me the last time I was in. (My discount plan doesn't cover it, so it costs an arm, a leg, and most of the small intestine.) I called and explained the situation and specified the strength and dosage that I needed. The doc's assistant (Idiot Girl) called back and said I could pick up the paper. Great, I said. The Man (TM) picked it up and fortunately brought it home before stopping at the pharmacy. "Um, this is only for half the amount I need," I muttered. It being Friday evening, I had to wait until Monday to call back and ask them to correct the mistake.

So Monday morning I called, thankful that I still had a couple days' worth of pills left. The person who took my call apologized, but the doc wouldn't be in again until Tuesday. OK, fine. Except of course that TM doesn't have a free minute on Tuesdays (or Thursdays) while the clinic is open and will be unable to get it until Wednesday. Well, fortunately, I had enough meds left to survive that long.

On Wednesday, TM being worried about me, he took the script directly to the pharmacy and had it filled. When he brought it home, I took one look and screamed. It was twice the dose it should have been, so it cost well over $150. Money, I need not add, that we couldn't spare. Dear heavens, how hard is this? How many times did I specify what strength and dosage I needed? (Yes, I was in full "critical Mom" mode.) OK, the clinic's still open, let's see if we can get this fixed today. I called and left yet another message but again had to wait for Idiot Girl to call back and tell me it was ready.

Well, she didn't call on Wednesday. Thursday morning, her bright but dim voice came over the line, "We've got it right this time. Sorry for the inconvenience." Inconvenience? Really? I have exactly one more pill left-- that's 6 hours' worth-- no car, and no way to get this thing filled today. And in fact, no way to get it filled tomorrow until late afternoon. So, in fact, I faced nearly 24 hours of not just unmitigated pain but (what I didn't know) the excruciating torment of opiate withdrawal. Oooh, inconvenient, that.

By 7:30 p.m. Thursday, the Percocet had worn off and my muscles were seizing up. I took a large dose of ibuprofen, but it had no effect. By midnight, my every nerve felt as if it were on fire. I couldn't sleep, but at some point, the pain overwhelmed me and I passed out. It also woke me a bit later. I repeated this cycle several times before morning. When TM and the older kids left for school, I was having a hard time breathing because it hurt too much to move even that little bit. I couldn't even croak out, "Only 9 more hours." I wanted to blog about it; my brain was still alert enough to find the situation interesting, but I physically couldn't do even that much.

Punkin Boy was pretty good, and didn't jump on me or head-butt me or anything, and that helped a lot. Still, it was a marathon. And I was just wondering whether I could make it through that last 2 hours, when miracle of miracles, the garage door opened and in rushed TM with a pharmacy bag in his hand. He looked like nothing less than an angel of mercy bringing deliverance to a tormented soul. It took a while for the effects of the withdrawal to leave me, but much of the pain took a most welcome powder and I was able to smile again.

I'm feeling better, but I'm still looking for a new doc.

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