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.