Crisis Mode

I actually have been working on another draft about life, the universe, and everything as I come up on four years since I was diagnosed with a brain tumor, but last night I had a melt down and went into crisis mode.

I see my pain specialist more than any of my other doctors and because I live in a state that is making progress, but still leaves a lot of room to be desired on the part of chronic pain patients, I get my scripts filled every 28-30 days. I have five scripts that have to be filled every month and another three that get filled every three months (muscle relaxers, synthroid, etc). Of the five, I have three that *must* be filled every 29 days (give or take a day).

I follow all of the rules. I sign my “contract” every year. I jump through all the damn hoops pain patients have to fluffing follow. I accept that the doctors, the pharmacists, and my insurance all fluffing track me. I have had the same pain doctors for over 6 years. I had the same pharmacy until last year when insurance made the choice to kick CVS out of our plan, so I went back to Walgreens. I live in a fairly small town, so I see the same people every month.

I follow all the damn fluffing rules!!

So, when I went to get my nighttime doses of my meds last night and realized I do NOT have the number of long acting pain pills I should have I panicked!

I don’t know why I didn’t notice sooner, but I last filled my scripts about 10 days ago, so I was missing about 2 weeks worth of pain meds. I freaked the **** out. If you know what it’s like trying to fill a schedule II script, you understand the fear that comes with not having your meds or being able to account for it. The rules are: we don’t give a fluff if you lost them, flushed them, or had them stolen. YOU are responsible for your scripts and your meds, so buckle up.

The one fear my husband has is not that I’ll have a seizure halfway down the stairs and the cats don’t know CPR, or that I’ll forget where I live and not be able to drive home, or even chocolate milk. (seriously, how many people almost die by chocolate milk? …..don’t answer that.)

It’s that something will happen and I won’t have my meds. Because that means withdrawal, and we both know I ain’t surviving that. Judge me, but my pain scripts mean I can be a “theatre mom” for my youngest. Or clean my house. Or get the grocery shopping done. It means my husband can work, and travel when he needs to, and I can run my house and be a grown up.

But suddenly, I did not have the ability to survive until my next script would be filled. I collapsed in fear. I didn’t even cry myself to sleep as I tried to figure out what to do. I just sat there in terrified silence, contemplating ….well crisis mode.

Fortunately my husband figured out that he needed to go talk to the pharmacy because  if their pill count was off I could prove my script had not been filled properly.  He was at the pharmacy this morning when they opened and went over everything with the pharmacist. They checked my file, checked their pill count, and discovered they were “over” as many pills as I was missing. It ended up being a relatively easy fix with a lot of apologies from the pharmacist, and the whole thing was over within 12 hours.

This is the world I live in. This is why I jump through the hoops, and follow the stupid rules. So that in the event something like this happens, I can show that I am a good and cooperative patient. Today I’m still feeling a little fragile, and my wrists are a little sore from being in a dark place. (No, I didn’t actually hurt myself. But I was definitely in crisis.)

I live in a very small box, with a lot of rules, and not a lot of room to fight back. This is the reality of being a chronic pain patient in the US right now.

2 responses

  1. I haven’t the slightest idea why a raven is like a writing desk. Call me the Mad Hatter. 😉🙃
    I hear your pain, Xunnie. And I know how you feel. I’m occasionally on a long-acting pain med when my pain flares up to unmanageable levels with just the short-acting. Of course, they’re both CIIs. I have to see my PCP every 3 months to be considered “compliant,” even though there’s no contract or anything. It’s mainly to protect her if she ever gets audited, but also to protect me in case a pharmacy gets a stick up their butts.
    I can’t imagine how stressful this situation was for you! I know all too well that feeling of panic when you realize your pain meds won’t last. I’ve had actual meltdowns before when it’s happened because the level of pain I knew I was going to experience as a result was terrifying to me. My PCP is only in the office 2-3 days a week to provide extended hours coverage, so if my request for a new prescription misses her, sometimes I’ve had rationing weekends where I’ve been useless from pain.
    And I have to say…you did the pharmacy a HUGE favor by bringing the fact that they shorted you to their attention. It varies by state how often a store needs to perform a CII inventory. I only worked retail for a few months (before I decided it sucked and I moved on to hospital pharmacy), but as the student pharmacist, I always did the initial count when dispensing a CII because I was allowed access to the safe. We always learned that if your count was going to be off, it was better to be over the count than short on the count (for obvious reasons), but it can still cause a pharmacy problems if the count is off in ANY way, by even a single pill. Might give the pharmacy manager indigestion, because by law, it’s their fault if the count is off.
    There’s no easy way to be a chronic pain patient in the U.S. right now. I’m in Ohio, where it’s getting worse by the day. I hope your state continues to be level-headed and progressive!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your experience too! I’m just right down in Maryland, and we’re getting options but right now I’m still locked into all the bs. It sounds like you get exactly what it’s like without my meds. I ‘m useless.
      I just couldn’t even believe they screwed up so solidly! I had one script with 30 and one with 90 and it looks like they just threw 30 in both and nobody double checked it. I know I will be keeping a closer eye on my scripts now.
      *gentle hugs*

      Liked by 1 person

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