August 20, 2011

Where was I?

Newsflash: Cris makes rookie mistake and goes running in the heat without water. DUMB. My reasoning was also rookie: I'm fairly acclimated at this point, I'm only going a couple miles, etc etc. See, I was running in a new pair of shoes for the first time and didn't want to go too far in them - it'll take a while to break them in. But I didn't take water, either, and that was just dumb. I was very uncomfortable out there on a route that I usually run quite well.

So where was I? Where am I?

I've seen most of my doctors lately and I'm still not a candidate for transplant, thankfully, but I'll be the first to admit that it's getting harder and harder to keep my lungs clear and functional. In fact, I'm on IVs again, a mere six weeks after coming off them. That's not a record for me, though, as there was one time I only had four weeks off.

Dad's birthday passed this week. He would have been 69. In a few days, I'll be off to Terre Haute for Dad's memorial.

And, of course, I'm working. That's good, though I'm less than energized by the work I'm doing right now. I'm designing - drafting at this point - two sets of Christmas windows. Neither of which is based on a particularly solid premise. They could be charming; they could be disasters. At every turn, I'm told budgets have been slashed, we can't do THIS, we can't do THAT... and I fear that will make all the difference.

On the plus side, the IVs are working - my sputum was markedly less green and I'm producing less. And while my running abilities have nosedived through lack of ability to breathe and just lack of practice, I have gotten back on the bike and am pretty good at cranking away for an hour and squeezing a worthwhile workout out of it. If I'm serious about my health, I'll get back to 3 runs a week and add in a weekly weights workout at my gym, something I've neglected all summer. Who wants to be in a gym while the sun shines?

The year is about to start at FIT and I'm slated to teach two classes. I am uneasy about this, but can't back out now. If the Vectorworks I course doesn't go any better than this last spring, I'll decline to teach it again.

August 1, 2011

Duane Reade pharmacy people are...not smart

For the third time in a year, I've been handed someone else's medication. The first time, I didn't catch it 'til I'd gotten home, as the copay was identical, the bottle size identical. Only the pills were a different shape and that clued me in. What if I'd taken them by accident?

The second time, I discovered the error in the store. The higher copay tipped me off.

This time, I was well into being unhappy with the way things were going before I discovered the error. When I went to pick up my pulmozyme, I gave the woman my name and SPELLED IT OUT. Then stopped her from searching the small bins, saying it would be a box and was probably on the bottom shelf. She goes searching and comes back saying my insurance denied the refill and shows me the denial slip. She said if I wanted to pay for it myself, it would $215. I was not happy about this; I am not prepared right now to shell out that much for a single medication.

I was puzzled because this was a new prescription, not a refill. And though it was for the same medication as the previous script, that script had long expired. So what the dealio? I didn't recognize the 800 number on the denial notice, but called anyway and got connected to Medco. That seemed odd, so I hung and checked the number. There was an 866 number listed for patient helpline, so I called that - and got connected to United HealthCare. This is where bells began going off. I was with UHC when I worked for NYU, but that was eight years ago. Were they called some old numbers still hanging around in the system? That didn't seem right.

Then I noticed the patient name. Robin Do-something. The stupid lady had only looked at the first two letters! What if that woman's insurance hadn't denied her refill and I'd ended up taking it home? Another day would be lost as I was already out of Pulmozyme and the Robin woman wouldn't have her medicine either! This is INCOMPETENCE.

So I have the pharmacy girl on the hunt for MY meds and find out they never filled the script! "We don't have enough." I know that, I said, and thought I'd made arrangement when I dropped this off seven hours earlier - WITH THE SAME PHARMACIST ON DUTY - to take the one box they had; a partial fill. Apparently, since I wasn't going to wait on it, it was forgotten about. Goddamn it. So they grumbled, but I got my box of Pulmozyme. They owe me two more boxes.

On the plus side: two thumbs up to MY insurance, which is not only covering my meds as usual, but is now not charging a copay, either, as I've hit my catastrophic cap for the year.