how to get a prescription filled in 33 easy steps

1. Marry a man who works full time and pays for his family to have health insurance.

2. Take a child to the doctor for a persistent medical condition.

3. Have several doctor visits over a nine-month period, and pay your co-pay each time. Yep, your insurance company should be fully aware your child is being treated for something.

4. Get several prescriptions filled for the condition along the way. Each time those Rx's are filled, go through a rigorous process by which the insurance company requires a magical special authorization completed by the prescribing doctor in addition to the prescription.

5. Schedule a follow up visit a month before school starts, so that if the child's meds need to be changed they can be changed during the summer.

6. Go to doctor visit, get bloodwork done and get new Rx.

7. Drop Rx off at pharmacy. Go to CVS, because you've given up on Walgreens.

8. Make sure pharmacy has your new phone number.

9. Have bout of wishful thinking where you go back to pharmacy to pick up Rx. Oh, the insurance company is requiring something else. We tried to call you, but your phone number doesn't work. That's right, that's why my new, correct phone number is written on the prescription. Right next to the magical special secret code number the insurance company requires.

10. Call doctor's office.

11. Call pharmacy.

12. Repeat #10 and #11 numerous times.

13. Insurance company is requiring the child to be evaluated to make sure the child is not suicidal or depressed, because this is a potential side affect of the meds.

14. The very nice doctor calls to check on you. You tell the doctor that this whole thing is starting to make you feel suicidal and depressed.

15. Work for two days to try to find out who can evaluate the child for suicidal tendencies/depression.

16. Lament about how the homeless people you know at church, when they get sick, they go to the emergency room, get care and meds and don't have to go through any of this.

17. Take child to another doctor. Doctor refuses to evaluate potential of suicidal tendencies and depression. On to the next one!

18. Find someone who will evaluate child. By the way, it'll cost $200.

19. Finally find a medical professional who will help.

20. Wait two days for piece of paper. Hooray! Child doesn't want to be a cutter or listen to Marilyn Manson! You, on the other hand, are dangerously close to the edge.

21. Fax piece of paper.

22. Wait.

23. Wait.

24. Start making phone calls. Make 11 phone calls in the matter of a few hours.

25. After way too many phone calls, add the pharmacy, the doctor's office and the insurance company to my T-Mobile My-Faves because you are going to run out of cell phone minutes.

26. Have the realization it would be easier to acquire crack cocaine.

27. Threaten to file complaint with the Insurance Commissioner.

28. Have a splitting headache and take two Tylenol.

29. Hear back from the depths of hell, a.k.a. the insurance company. Easy peasy!!!! The prescription can be filled if they have just one more thing. Another special magical something from the doctor saying the specialist in fact prescribed the prescription that they prescribed on their prescription pad for the condition your child has been treated for, for the past 9 months.

30. Contemplate forming a support group.

31. A few more phone calls, and voila! The prescription can be filled!

32. Go to pick up prescription. In the end the $500+ prescription was filled with a generic. It cost me $12.00. Two weeks of my life, and $12.00.

33. Leave the pharmacy. The heavens open, and angels sing the hallelujah chorus.


As if this hasn't been enough to deal with in a week, don't even get me started on the fun I've had with AT&T and the $500 charge on my phone bill that no AT&T employee can explain.

I've had better weeks.

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