A Good Change

Walking, wearing my wedding ring, and being able to swallow easily are things that I used to take for granted.  No more.  Thanks to an immune system that turned on me, I realize just how fragile life is, and how quickly things can change.

With a speedy diagnosis, which led to multiple prescriptions, my swelling is down.  I can wear my rings again (most of the time).  I can swallow and don’t feel like I’m choking.  I can get out of bed in the morning without yelping in pain.  The results of those Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs are fantastic!

Every morning I eat breakfast and take my pills (four of them).  Mid-day I’m not hungry, but grab a bite to eat so that I can take my pills (four more).  Then in the evening, I fix supper and take five more pills.  As if that’s not enough, I take a omeprazole at bedtime to (I hope) prevent all those other pills from eating a hole in my stomach.

Tuesdays are special.  When I get up in the morning, I inject my Enbrel.  At bedtime I swallow my eight methotrexate pills, then sleep through the dizzying side-effects.  Those bonus meds on Tuesdays have made a huge difference in how I can function in my life.

Those drugs don’t grow on trees, though.  I can’t just walk out to the garden for them like I can apples or sage.  Every month I have to journey to the pharmacy.  Every month I would come home and write a rant about how aggravating it was to deal with my pharmacy.  Some of those rants I posted, some I deleted, and some still sit in my drafts folder.  I would never do business with any other company that frustrated me as much as the pharmacy did, but the meds help a lot so I figured that dealing with the pharmacy was part of the price I had to pay to feel better.

The more I thought about it, though, I decided that I didn’t have to be stuck with that particular pharmacy.  There are many others.  Maybe another one would be better.  I started looking around, observing pharmacies in the area.  I talked to friends to find out where they get their prescriptions, and their reasons for liking/disliking their pharmacy of choice.  I even asked one of the pharmacist bloggers for tips (thanks PC).

A few months ago I finally made the switch.  What a difference!

  • 21 miles closer to my house (but nowhere near my doctor’s office)
  • refills can be ordered online
  • two of the prescriptions cost less than at the old pharmacy
  • they remember to send the Enbrel charge to the program that reduces my co-pay
  • they promptly contact my doctor and refill my meds (instead of losing the faxed authorization from my rheumy)
  • my meds are ready and accurate when I pick them up

It’s amazing to have this work the way it should.  When I have five days left on my prescriptions, I log on to the pharmacy’s website to order refills.  A day or two later I go pick them up.  Everything is accurate.  No hassles.

I should have changed a long time ago.