I went to the eye doctor last Friday expecting that my left eye was going to need surgery for the hole in my retina. I had asked my parents to fly out to help take care of Chupie if Hibby was going to be away, but one of my sisters was getting an award of some sort for her work in her Master's program at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) the same day as my surgery, so they didn't want to miss that. I was going to reschedule, but figured, let's just see what happens.
Hibby ended up being in town so that was good. He took the day off from work and we went to the doc's office. At my last appointment, I was there for 5 hours. No joke! From 11 AM til 4 PM. And the place was an absolute zoo. There were a million people in the waiting room (and the "dark room" where you wait for your eyes to dilate before they see you). After a million tests and scans, they finally brought me to the room where I was going to have the surgery to laser my retinal hole closed, and I waited another half an hour. I took a nap! Haha! So this time, I told my husband to go, have a good time with Chupie, and I'll text him when it's over.
Well, the office was nice and quiet this time around. I mean, there were definitely people there, but the waiting room wasn't overflowing. And, luckily, there wasn't anyone talking my ear off in the "dark room." Things went pretty quickly. Then the doc saw me and said, "Okay. Your left eye's hole still looks small. We're going to just watch it for now. Keep an eye on it. We'll see you back in 6 months." And that was it. NO SURGERY FOR ME! YAY! Of course, this time, instead of sitting in the waiting room waiting for me, Hibby had gone all the way downtown to the Children's Museum with Chupie. Oh well. I walked through the hospital to their "Skywalk" and into the mall where I had a lovely hour or two to myself to just walk around and do whatever I wanted. Alone. :)
I have been having issues with my prescription insurance lately. At the start of 2015 the plan changed slightly and now some of my medications are costing more than they used to.
For example, I went to the pharmacy a few months ago to get my test strips rx filled. The nice pharmacy tech told me they'd be $52. But my rx insurance told me that the most I would pay for a "non-preferred" drug (highest cost rxs) would be $45....so I was confused. I spent an inordinate amount of time online through their website, which had me then log in to a different website (which apparently deals with our rxs instead of our medical insurance) trying to figure out what the deal was. I was just glad I didn't have to listen to hold music or scream "REPRESENTATIVE!" at a robot ten thousand times! In the end, I found out that my brand of test strips (Freestyle) which are used in my Omnipod PDM, which doubles as a meter, are considered as requiring "Step Therapy."
I'm sorry, but what?! Step therapy for test strips? My insurance company claims that before I use this more expensive brand, I should first try a cheaper brand. Namely, Bayer test strips. And that's the only kind they charge regular copays for. So now I have to ask my doctor to send in a Prior Authorization form so I don't have to "try" the Bayer ones because the Freestyle ones are "better" for me. So weird. I wish I could just call them and be like, "Um...do you know how any of the products you cover work? Because you had no problem saying I could get an Omnipod insulin pump system, but you won't cover a required part of using it?" Sigh...
Happy Ending: Luckily for me, the pharmacy tech had a "trial card" that lets me get all 200 strips I need for a month for only $40.01. Sweet! :) (Especially since I found out on the rx insurance website that without insurance, it would cost me $337 for those same 200 strips. I really feel for people who don't have insurance, and thank my dad for telling me, when I was a senior in college, "You must get a job. You can't just sit around. How will you pay for your insulin? You need a job so you can get insurance." And so that's how I've lived my life! (Until now, of course, where I get to stay at home, and my Hibby gets to bring in the money and the insurance!)
Now that isn't the only Prior Authorization story I have. I also called the pharmacy asking for a refill on my insulin. And what do they say? I need Prior Authorization for this one too. I suppose it is like a step therapy situation as well, where they want me to use Novolog instead of Humalog. Even though, once I switched from Pork insulin in 2004, I've been on Humalog. I don't know if their really all that different, but it's what I know. What if I have to adjust all my pump settings just because of a need for a preferred brand? So, here's hoping my doc authorizes! Not sure she'd have a reason not too...??
All that said.... Here's the things that annoyed me most this last week... Can you relate?!
So...with those test strips...I was totally completely out. Now, I know this makes me a bad patient/client/pharmacy consumer, but it happens, okay? I almost always have a bottle on hand, so when I was running out, I didn't bother to check and just assumed I had another bottle waiting in my cabinet of diabetic things. (You all have those, right? I'm not alone? Old pen needles, old meters, needles, strips, lancets, broken lancers? Heehee, okay, maybe I should throw that last one out by now....) Well, there weren't any in there, so the next morning I called up my pharmacy to get a refill.
The last time I got these refilled, the pharmacy told me they'd have to order them and that it'd be a few days. Well, I was running low and asked to get a half order--just one box of 100 instead of 2--so this time when I got the refill, I had to request that I get the whole order (all 200) so I didn't have to come back every 2 seconds to the pharmacy. Adding to my annoyance.
My pharmacy told me that they had none in stock and would have to order them. They'd be in the next evening. So I said, "Okay, nevermind. I'll get them at another [pharmacy name] then." And so I went out to find some strips.
First pharmacy, none in stock. It was also a Monday and this place was mobbed. I asked if it was easy to check if another pharmacy had them in stock, and the tech pulled out her cell phone. I'm not sure what that was for (don't they have a system on the computer to show what other stores have? I used to work at a Rite Aid as a pharmacy tech, and I'm pretty sure we had that??) and told me she was pretty busy, so I told her not to worry and left.
In the parking lot, my Chupie in her carseat, I Google-mapped the area for the pharmacy I usually use. Across the street from where I was is a Walgreens (not my pharmacy) but if I went there, I'd have to pay what my insurance suggested because they wouldn't have my trial card on file. So I resisted the urge and headed towards the next pharmacy Google showed me.
As I headed there, I gave them a call. The tech was soooo nice and calm, and checked that they had all the strips in stock, and was quick about it all. What a switch from my regular pharmacy! She said they'd be ready in two hours. No problem. I can wait that long, not 2 days!
At this point, it was around noon and I hadn't been able to check my blood sugar all day... Whoops... I had just over-dosed a little each time I ate. And hoped I wouldn't go low. But I did a little while later, on my way to pick up the strips! Oh well. I'd rather be a little low then high, really. Helps my A1c!
I was pleased when I picked up my strips that they were indeed $40.01 still, and, in a lovely coincidence, the tech's name was Stephannie too! (Spelled with a PH instead of an F like me, and with an extra N, but that's okay. She was so awesome, I'm cool with it.) :) We commiserated on how our names are always spelled wrong and how hers is commonly mis-said as well. Ahh, our parents trying to be creative. :)
That's it for my rambling complaints for today! I'm sure you all have similar complaints!