So this is being a “modern mom”

By Mir
September 29, 2008

I miss the olden times.

Oh, not the REALLY olden times, like when you ate what you grew or killed yourself, because that seems fairly messy and also girls weren’t allowed to wear pants. That just seems like a drag. But I mean the halcyon days of middle America when every modern invention was fabulous and nobody knew or cared that it might not exactly be good for you. Sugar cereal? YUM YUM! Canned veggies with cups of salt in ’em? DELICIOUS!

And as for things like medications… well, if your kid had allergies or whatever, you didn’t have to get special medicine for it. Silly! You just gave them a spoonful of cod liver oil or honey or maybe you gave him a shot of brandy, I DON’T KNOW, but it all just seems like it was a lot easier.

No, I wasn’t alive then. And neither were my kids. But we miss it, anyway. And here is why:

EXHIBIT A: Like most of the rest of the people in the world who can 1) afford to make choices about food, 2) think, and 3) read, I’ve started trying to eliminate high fructose corn syrup from our diets. It’s a lot like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, only MORE DIFFICULT, because HFCS is in just about everything. (And no, Corn Growers Association, I am not buying your crap about it being a Sweet Surprise. A sweet surprise of screwed up metabolism, maybe!) These days I make more of our food from scratch than ever before—owing to both health concerns and the discovery that two-parent households actually allow for the time to cook/bake some things I never had time to, previously—but there are items, obviously, that it’s just convenient to be able to buy, pre-made.

I bake bread, sure, but sandwich bread is a handy thing to be able to buy. And crackers. And cold cereal. (I do make a mean granola, but still.) You know the sort of stuff. And it’s all got HFCS in it, or could, and so I am back to reading labels and being more deliberate about my choices.

This has caused my daughter no end of grief. She taps her foot while I select the non-HFCS-containing bread (sometimes wailing that I no longer buy her the bagels she likes), but it becomes full-scale battle when we get to the cereal aisle. Because all the GOOOOOD cereals have HFCS. And WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE ANYWAY so why does a little bit of CORN SYRUP matter? GEEZ. (Note: There are plenty of good cereals without HFCS. Someone is a little melodramatic, though I am not naming names.) Eventually we come to agree on an inferior cereal (or I just pick something and move on), but the muttering continues for several aisles.

Why, this weekend I found out that I am the ONLY MOTHER IN THE COUNTRY who doesn’t buy her children apple juice, too. AND THAT DOESN’T EVEN HAVE CORN SYRUP. Clearly I am just trying to make life as miserable as possible.

It kind of makes me yearn for those days when they told everyone that powdered formula was nutritionally superior to breast milk. I mean, it wasn’t TRUE, but everyone believed it, and everyone was happy! No one read the label! And all the moms bought their kids apple juice, too!

[Note to self: Stop taking the deprived child to the grocery store.]

EXHIBIT B: My son has been taking a 10 mg dosage of a medication, and his doctor recently decided to up his dosage to 15 mg. This particular medication, however, comes in a 10 mg tablet or a 20 mg tablet—but not in a 15 mg tablet. That’s fine. We can cut the pills in half and he can take 1.5 pills every day.

“Am I going to have trouble filling this prescription?” I asked the doctor, as he handed me the script for 45 pills as a 30 day supply.

“Nah, you’ll be fine. It’s written out,” he told me.


I have been trying to fill that @&$^! prescription ever since. Because it couldn’t possibly be that the doctor wrote the prescription for a 1.5 pill dosage when a 1.5 pill dosage was called for. DON’T BE SILLY.

Given my recent issues with our local pharmacy, I decided to try out the pharmacy located at our grocery store. I’m there once a week, anyway, and they seem friendly enough. So I brought the prescription in and they told me it would just be a few minutes. I wandered off and discovered that pasta was on a 2-for-1 special, so I loaded up with noodles before returning. (This is not relevant to the story. I just thought “I loaded up with noodles” was a mental image you needed. You’re welcome!)

I returned to the counter only to be told that they were so sorry, but the insurance was rejecting the claim. 30 days, 30 pills. Period. Did I want them to try to get an override? Well, yes, I certainly did, but it was past 5:00 and they’d need to call the doctor’s office.

We were out of medication, though. So the pharmacist was nice enough to give me 2 pills and told me to come back the next day.

The next day they hadn’t heard back from the doctor’s office. Oops! It was Friday, then, so the pharmacist gave me three more pills to get Monkey through the weekend.

This morning I called my doctor’s office, and they said they’d call me back. An hour later, this is what happened:

Chirpy Doctor’s Office Hag: Is this Monkey’s mom?
Me: Yes?
CDOH: Yes, I see that you’ve had some trouble with his prescription and the insurance.
Me: Yes. And I specifically asked the doctor if it was going to be a problem, because I suspected the half-a-pill thing might be.
CDOH: Well, yes, the insurance company requires a Prior Authorization for a dose like this. I can help you with that.
Me: Oh. Well, great! I would appreciate that.
CDOH: That’ll be $10, which you can either pay over the phone or by dropping off a check.
CDOH: You see, the insurance company makes us do this a lot, and there’s just a whole lot of paperwork involved, and so we need to charge for it.
CDOH: Um, so, did you want me to go ahead?
Me: You know, I’m not often speechless. Do I want you to go ahead? Yes, my child needs his medication, so obviously we’ll do whatever needs to be done to get it, but the fact that you are CHARGING on top of what we pay for a visit there? That’s ridiculous. I mean, you KNOW that, right? That it’s ridiculous that I should have to pay an additional fee to get you to tell the insurance company to honor the doctor’s prescription?
Me: So if someone didn’t want to or couldn’t pay this additional money—on top of the doctor’s visit, and on top of the prescription cost—you would just let a patient go without their meds, because it’s too much trouble for you?
Me: I’m sorry, I know it’s not your fault, but I am just stunned. That’s preposterous. That’s everything that’s wrong with health care in America, right there.
CDOH: So did you want to pay by check or credit card?

I have to go back to the pharmacy today for two more pills to get us through until the prescription is authorized. (And the next time we go to that doctor’s office I am tracking down that Chirpy Hag and getting a piece of her hair. I’M JUST SAYING.)

Maybe this is a sign that we should just ditch the meds altogether. I’m sure I could find some cod liver oil or something to give Monkey, instead. Oh, wait. I KNOW! I could just give him a big spoonful of high fructose corn syrup! That would solve ALL my problems!



  1. Leandra

    Oh my sweet lord. Do you remember the good old days when people only had health insurance for catastrophic injuries or hospitalization and you actually paid a reasonable amount for your doctor’s visit? THOSE were the good old days.

  2. Cathy McCaughan

    The “good old days” only seemed that way because mom was stoned on valium.

  3. kate

    That’s ridiculous! What if the good dr. had written a scrip for 20 mg. pills? And you cut a few of them into quarters? It’s pretty sad when the patient has to outwit the system, because it works so hard to outwit the patient…

  4. Half Assed Kitchen

    I kind of only vaguely try to avoid HFCS. We’re pretty much avoiding everything else on the planet (food allergies) so our diets consist primarily of HFCS, trans fats and butter.

  5. Katie

    I’m with you on the anti-HFCS bandwagon. I had found a good store brand organic ketchup (Safeway) that was very close to Heinz but then we moved and I can’t seem to find another like it (my kids don’t like the Trader Joes version). Aunt Millies now makes a good sandwich bread without HFCS (and buns too, hurray!). Although they may just be a local bakery. Bulls Eye makes barbeque sauce without HFCS, this was a killer one for me to find since 75% of the sauces ingredient lists start with HFCS! We’ll just ignore my daily allowance of HFCS in the form of Mountain Dew…

    Good luck with the ped and pharmacy!

  6. RuthWells

    Holy mother of god. That is just wrong. I would snatch the Chirpy Hag bald-headed.

  7. RuthWells

    OR! Could the doctor write the scrip for 20mg?

  8. Amy-Go

    LALALALALA I can’t heeeeeeaaarrr you….I am too busy buying apple juice and pretending all is right with the world…

  9. Nelson's Mama

    I’m with Ruthwell…is it reasonable to just give him 20mg?

  10. Laura

    You want to make your shopping even more interesting?
    Try finding bread without L-cysteine in it. (often simply under the name of dough conditioner)

    L-cysteine is a known excitotoxin (along with aspartame and msg), and very bad for developing brains.

    I’ve had such trouble finding safe bread that we’re buying a bread machine next weekend. Because while I don’t want to feed my daughter toxins, I also don’t have hours and hours to devote to baking every week.

  11. Tatiana

    Wow… American health care is so fucked, it never fails to amaze me.

  12. Sheila

    Is the doctor even AWARE of the billing practice at his office? That’s another thing to miss about the Olden Days. You could pay the doc in eggs or a side of beef, and all would be well.

  13. Naomi in Ohio

    Oh man ….

    I have nothing to say. We have had these experiences too and it just makes me want to live like Laura Ingalls Wilder (seriously).

  14. dad

    How about if the doctor writes the Rx for 20 mg.s and states that it must be dispensed in 10 mg. tablets? Then, every fourth month you just don’t bother to have it filled.

    Its just too depressing to get bogged down in logic.

  15. Em

    For what its worth, I don’t my kids apple juice. Occassionally, there is orange juice in the house (there is a recipe I need it for) but otherwise it’s all milk or water. Grandma’s house is a whole other story but at home, milk and water. Like prison.

    As for the doctor’s office. I would keep a detailed record on all of this. Usually when something is this weird, you end up hearing about it again. Could you submit the receipt from the doctor’s office TO the insurance? Ridiculous but no more ridiculous than being charged in the first place. Yes, I would not let this one go. I think you should make a stink of legendary proportions. Make it so in the future, they have everything ready just so they don’t have to DEAL with you again. I am not good at this but my mother is. Embarrassing as hell but she doesn’t take any bull like this either.

  16. Megan

    You can add another eeeeevil mom who doesn’t buy apple juice. Or orange juice either for that matter. In fact, my deprived children simply don’t get juice – how’s that for vicious? However they do get all the lovely water they want – filled with all sorts of mineral goodness (just the way it comes out of the tap – yes, I flirt with danger that way). And they suffer through fresh fruit the poor loves. I haven’t really read up on the HFCS thing mostly because it makes my head spin but also because my kids are old enough now that I figure I’ve already messed ’em up pretty thoroughly. I’ll make up for it though! The next major OMG! This formerly harmless thing will now KILL YOU DEAD! scare that comes along I’m going to jump on that band wagon and play the darned tuba!

  17. Susan

    I think you should bill the doctor’s office for all of the time you have wasted and extra work you have had to do while running around trying to fill the prescription.

  18. Lori

    But HFCS is made from CORN so it must be good for you. And like Apple Juice, it’s fine in moderation. Okay, enough sarcasm. Honestly, I think the Corn people are the new Tobacco people. Lying jack-holes.

    Oh and I think you’re officially flagged at pharmacies all over your hometown. Try to get a dose and a half of anything. I dare you.

  19. Karen

    Honestly, how about those people who haven’t got then ten bucks? Which, from the looks of things, could be most of us sooner rather than later.

    I am older than you are, and so I remember the good old days and sometimes … they WERE better. Once upon a time, in my little town, the drugstore was owned by my friend Bobby’s dad. Bobby thought I was cute and used to chase my 6 year old self around the store and stick his tongue out at me. More importantly, I remember once when my little brother was very, very sick, and Bobby’s dad, who was also the pharmacist, got up in the middle of the night and opened the store and went in and made up the medicine my mom needed to give my brother. Yeah, imagine! No ten bucks either. And we live in upstate New York, it was probably snowing. Hard.

    I agree with Em. Make a scene Mir, they deserve it.

  20. Jackie@agsoccermom

    THAT JUST BITES. My son takes 3 pills because of this same thing. They don’t have a larger dose for it and the other brand has yellow food coloring that my son is allergic to. Only, my doctor don’t charge for a service they should provide anyway. That’s just wrong. The Doc is the one who upped his meds to create this problem in the first place just so he can charge you another fee. Wrong, Wrong, Wrong.

  21. mamalang

    Not even getting into the healthy food debate, but I had to chime in on the dr.’s office. Watch out, it’s a slippery slope down to not good care. Our ex-peds office starting charging a copay for everything…you call to talk to the nurse? COpay. You need a prescription refill and we haven’t seen you in six months, (or six days, didn’t matter)? Copay. You come in for a 2:00 visit, and the dr is so busy showing the new doc how to turn on the lights that you don’t see anyone for an hour and then only a nurse, who tells you that the previous dr is wrong, it isn’t his lungs, it might be his heart, but we’ll wait and see? Copay. We no longer go there. Our new doctor? They don’t charge for everything, the dr’s themselves call you to talk to you (so there’s none of that “I have to check and call you back crap”) and they are one of the busiest practices in town. GO figure.

    Good luck with the meds. I feel your pain.

  22. MomCat

    Why are we not buying apple juice? Is it that pesticide-on-the-skin thing from a few years back? I’m so out of touch. I buy the natural/unfiltered/organic kind, so we can die of E. coli poisoning instead.

  23. Fran

    Sometimes I’m not so sure the doctors are aware of the “cost” – I’d check with the office manager and find out if the doctor is aware the charge has been implemented in his/her name

  24. WaywardGoddess

    “The “good old days” only seemed that way because mom was stoned on valium.”

    That’s the best idea yet! Mother’s Little Helper for everyone!!

  25. jules

    Been there, done that and still recovering from the resultant aneurism. Next time, try “use as directed” and see if that helps. I had to do that with one of T’s Rx’s..

  26. Flea

    Mir, it sounds like you need a very large stick to take with you everywhere you go. You ever see Walking Tall? Just sayin’.

  27. Carolyn

    Love my pediatrician even more now.

    But darn you for making me question the new ad campaign from the Corn Growers’ Ass. (association!) I was all set to start allowing it back into our lives. I want to buy bread for less than $4 again… :(

  28. bec 38

    This is way off-topic but I gotta say…apple juice may be nutritionally deficient (I’m not saying it is or it isn’t) but orange juice, well, potassium, folic acid, vitamin C, and (if you buy fortified) calcium. It’s so nutritious I can’t possibly think it’s bad, unless your child neglects to actually eat food if you give him/her orange juice.

  29. Cathi

    My husband is a family practice doctor so I know exactly how this is (and yes it is a specialty so he is not general practice like in the olden days) He trys his best to make everyone happy while in his office but every bodies insurance is different as well as every pharmacy has different rules about what they must call insurance on. The bottom line is that no mater how much you want to be Marcus Wellby, doctors are struggling today to make ends meet (just like every one else). Phone calls to insurance co. can keep their nurse on the phone for hours just trying to get a perscrption filled. Have you ever waited on hold for an insurance company? Many doctors have had to hire one person just to handle perscriptions. And since insurance usually doesn’t pay what they bill, many doctors have had to start billing for phone calls. No – it’s not fair to you but it’s not fair to the doctor either. The only one getting rich here is your insurance company. (So Yes , something needs to change in our health care system. But, I for one, do not believe that the federal government will do a better job.)
    Good luck with Monkey’s Rx – you might ask your doctor if they carry samples of the medication as this could take a while to straighten out.

  30. Lindy

    The Kroger in Athens has a really good Kroger-brand natural apple juice that doesn’t have high fructose corn syrup in it. It’s kind of hard to find hidden in all the other apple juice and the label is very similar to their regular stuff, but it’s alot darker. Very good though, and not ridiculously priced. Can’t find the stuff now since I’ve moved across the state though. Blah. Stupid small towns.

    And kudos to you for trying to find all the HFCS-free food for your kids just because you’re a nice, modern concerned mom. I feel your pain. Try being married to a bodybuilder. He eats so much we spend more money a month on groceries than rent. Grocery shopping with him sounds like shopping with your kids. Except rather than being a cute little kid, he’s a gorilla in a man suit. And it’s not just the corn syrup…

    No HFCS (unless if it’s in ketchup because ketchup is AWESOME and good smothering EVERYTHING I cook). No butter. No artificial processed sugar of any kind. No salt (no, really, we had to buy a stupid popcorn maker because he loves popcorn but you can’t find those microwave bags without salt). No carbonation. No Gatorade. Super high protein and low low fat. Only lean meat. Really expensive flour-free fancyass bread. And of course, I have to buy 5 different cereals (that meet all aforementioned criteria) so he can mix them all together because it tastes better that way and he won’t go within 10 feet of a vegetable unless it’s a bean or a corn, but that’s just him being a picky man. AND NO HIPPIE FOOD. (He doesn’t like hippies).

    Agh. Now, I ate very healthy before I married him, but the thought that our poor kids we’ll probably end up with (hippies bad, kids good) will never taste a delicious, delicious corn dog… it tears at my heart.

  31. ImpostorMom

    oh good lord. I had a similar situation with a prescription I was taking. I was taking one pill a day and my doc upped my dosage to two but neglected to write me a new prescription. When I ran out of meds the pharmacy couldn’t fill the prescription because the insurance said it was too soon. Ugh. I called the doctor’s office and they assured me they’d call in an updated prescription. They called in a prescription and when I went to pick it up the pharmacist informed me that yes they had indeed called in a new prescription for the EXACT SAME DOSAGE. so no they still couldn’t fill it. then my head exploded.

  32. Nancy

    My 23 year old son is trying to keep us on the path to HFCS freedom – dragging me along.
    Want to hear a fun medical story? In Massachusetts we are now required by law to have health insurance. If you don’t they charge you at tax time. So for the people who don’t have a job that offers insurance, they designed the Commonwealth Plan. It’s cheap, but guess what? Doctors won’t take it. I’ve talked with/heard about 5 people who can’t find a doctor who takes the plan.
    Go Mass!

  33. Stefanie

    Argh. This reminds me of some of my own catastrophes with insurance. Well, I have allergies. Ones bad enough to cause sinus infections/laryngitis/upper respiratory infections. So I went to the doctor, and he gave me Allegra and Flonase, which worked So! Beautifully! and then I had to refill them (keep in mind that the pharmacist filled the original prescription without complaint) and the pharmacist said that the insurance company wasn’t covering them and they want me to try OTC. Guess what? I’ve tried every OTC under the sun! Currently I am on my third sinus infection of the year. Yippee. (I really can’t afford to pay out-of-pocket for said allergy medicine. So I just have to grin and bear it.)
    Also, another medication I take my insurance refuses to cover except in case of “medical necessity”. Um, hello? If my doctor prescribed it, that means I need it. Just sayin’.
    Yay insurance companies!

  34. lmerie

    How tacky of that office!! Can you “counter charge” them for the time and gas it has taken you for them not handling it correctly to begin with?

  35. Kathy

    Reminds me of the time about 15 years ago when I took my 3 small children to a new pediatric dentist for a regular cleaning/checkup. Our insurance covers in full an annual cleaning and checkup. Except when I prepared to leave, the receptionist informed me that I owed $60. What? The dentist charged $20 per visit to sterilize his instruments and unfortunately our insurance would not cover that charge. I was flabbergasted. When I asked the receptionist if I refused to pay would the dentist use the instruments on the next patient without sterilizing them, she wouldn’t answer me. Hmmph!

  36. T with Honey

    I find it interesting that even thought the pharmacy is not authorized to fill the prescription they keep handing you more pills. Granted, I think that is very nice of them and wouldn’t want your son to have to go without them because of red tape. But, as you said in your post it pretty much sums up the state of health care.

    Let’s keep passing the buck until someone will pay it. Let’s keep increasing paper work because doing what makes sense doesn’t make dollars.

    Good luck!

  37. Michelle

    The only time I’ve had good experiences with drugs and doctors is when I go to get my depo shot. It’s simple and pain-free, and they even throw in the bonus of not having my period. Nice people.

  38. andi

    I like how the corn growers association says HFCS is fine in moderation. How exactly do you moderate it when it’s in every stinkin’ product?!

  39. Headless Mom

    Gah. Terrible. Awful. All of the cr** I hate about our systems, nowadays. With a big glop of HFCS on top!

  40. Rebeckah

    Your blog name is so cute. My Mom always talks about when she had to have Cod Liver Oil for her ailments : ). ICK!

  41. Randi

    Oh Mir, you know I love you, but I have to say that I just don’t get some of these things that you do (then again, I don’t get some of the things that *I* do) – for instance, the corn syrup thing – I make sure that my kids eat healthy and limit their intake of soda and juice (because juice is just as bad as soda), but I don’t see the problem with having something with HFCS in it, as long as you’re not eating ALL processed foods.

    There are obese children out there but many times it’s because the entire diet sucks and there is no exercise, rather than just because they’re eating a little bit of HFCS.

    Then again, just suck in some of the air in today’s society and you’ll get cancer or something.

  42. The Other Other Dawn

    Why didn’t the doctor just use his or her brains and write a script for 30 20 mm pills? I think you could be trusted to administer the medication correctly. Surely he or she doesn’t need that $10 that much.

    I have never in my life had a pharmacy question my doctor’s prescription (luckily, they’ve never needed to due to physician error) and my insurance doesn’t nickle and dime me on prescriptions. It gets me on the big stuff, but that’s another issue.

    Move to Canada! Universal health care! And snow! And… snow!

  43. carolyn

    I did not read every other comment, so i don’t know if others said this…PLEASE speak directly to the doctor about the ridiculous $10 charge. that is WRONG and you need to know if he is aware of what his office staff is doing.

  44. Kate G

    ugh the whole stuff thats in food stuff drives me INSANE! i think i might also have to purchase a bread maker and perhaps start a garden in earnest because all the label reading is making my eyes hurt.
    and THEN to add on crazy doctors and pharmacies!? uuggghh

  45. Kris

    In a similar boat. Let me guess…Tenex?

  46. Noelle

    I’m not sure that charging you a $10 co-pay for something you already paid for is legal. Serioulsy, you might want to check with your insurance company, the doctor’s office might be in violation of his contract with them. Like, for instance, did you know that it is illegal to charge you for a cancelled appointment?

  47. tammy

    Apples only keep doctors away, honey. If you wanna keep medical office assistants away, you gotta get some apple juice.

    Of course, mace works, too. And it doesn’t have any corn syrup.

  48. dgm

    Hey! I thought I was the only mom who doesn’t buy their kids apple juice (or much of any kind of juice, for that matter). They think it’s a special treat to drink it at a restaurant. Can my daughter call your daughter?

  49. erma

    I have NEVER heard of a doctor charging for additional forms to be filled out. Is this a SPECIALIST who is charging additionally? Unbelievable.

  50. holly

    Hey – I had the same issue with the one and a half tablet thing for my own medicine, but the wonderful store with the concentric circles and Starbucks by customer service was able to take care of that for me.

    Just saying…

  51. tj

    My poor girl, if it’s not one thing it’s another.

  52. Ramblin' Red


    I too have tried to eliminate/reduce HFCS – but oh, my heck, it is in EVERYthing!

    And the doctor – sounds ridiculous to me. I get that docs are struggling, what with liability insurance premiums soaring and health insurance companies being so damned disgusting with their paperwork/denial procedures that they have to have special insurance billers on staff; but frack, something has got to give!

  53. Karen

    OOOOOO, don’t even get me started on the state of our health care system and the lack of courteous people in doctor’s offices around the country. You can read my story here:

    I just do not understand why doctors hire such dim witted people to work in their offices when there are so many people out there who are competent looking for jobs. If I were you, I would ask the doctor why that Chirpy Hag did not call for authorization the day you were in there to get the prescription, and why you were not told by him that there would be an additional charge for that call when you asked him if you have any trouble getting the prescription filled. I have found many times that the doctors don’t actually know what their office staff is doing unless you complain directly to him or her.

    Maybe this is only happening in Georgia, because I was in Georgia when my medical war took place.

  54. Karen

    Oh, and then there was this: I worked for the same telephone company in Atlanta for 20 YEARS. I had health insurance for my family through that job for 20 YEARS. I had, and still have, 3 children, one of whom was asthmatic and allergic to everything, so that she was either in the emergency room or at the doctor’s office about 4 times a month for 12 years. EVERY. TIME. I. TOOK HER. TO. THE. DOCTOR. the insurance company denied benefits for the claim because “we have no record of a child by this name on your policy.” Every time I got the denial of benefits, I called human resources and added her to the policy, AGAIN. It got to be a joke in my office, because everyone could hear me on the phone with HR, telling them yet again that Yes, I do have a daughte named Emily, I know this to be a fact because I was there when she was born, I have to buy her clothes and shoes and food, and provide a home for her, and no, she was not just adopted and no, she is not my step-daughter, will you PLEASE just add her to my policy???? This went on until she was old enough to leave home and no longer be covered on my policy.

  55. Amy

    I just had my bcp prescription refill refused because the pharmacy didn’t believe that my doc had, in fact, written the scrip to be taken continuously. Even though the scrip SAYS take EVERY DAY DO NOT TAKE PLACEBO PILLS. So, I’m out of pills, and now I have cramps and feel crabby and am going to get my ridiculously horrendous endometriosis-ridden period. THANK YOU VERY MUCH PHARMACY.

    Umm….not that it bothers me enough to go on blogs and scare all the other commenters. I feel just fine, thanks. They should have at least given me a free valium, though, right?

  56. Amy

    oh – and lindy – I found some FANTASTIC ketchup with no HFCS in it. It was a generic organic grocery store brand (private selection) but it tastes so good!

  57. Susan


    We went through something similar when my husband was suddenly out of work with a very bad back, on disability.

    His specialist’s office, 90 miles away, refused to submit the ONE PAGE paper, signed by the doctor, to disability. They told us he’d either have to pick it up himself (sure, what’s $50 in gas and the fact that HE CAN NOT WALK, LET ALONE DRIVE) and mail it in, or he would have to pay $10 for them to mail it–but he would have to pay the ten dollars IN PERSON. They couldn’t bill his account for it.

    Sometimes, I wish I were born 40 years earlier when people were actually considerate and not thinking of only themselves 24/7.

  58. nae

    I haven’t ever heard of an administration fee being charged at a Dr.s surgery. My feeling would be to find another Dr. pronto!! when you call your surgery to get your records sent to your new, fab Dr. make a point of telling them WHY you are changing surgery’s due to the ridiculous policies of unnecessary charges!
    As for the Apple Juice, good for you! We are a apple-juice-when-you-are-sick kind of family :) any other time, there is fancy water from the tap!

  59. Kailani

    Oh, yeah? Try having a child who is ALLERGIC to CORN. All forms by any name…CORN!! It is in EVERYTHING people!! Hmph!

    PS ~ your CDOH is a dufus! Talk to the doc. After telling you you’d have no problem filling the ‘script, he owes you…big time.

  60. Emily

    Ohhhh Canada… I know my stories pale in comparison, and while I greatly (greatly greatly) appreciate my universal health care and my health and dental coverage built into my student fees at the university and my health coverage from work…. but seriously. I have had asthma my whole life. I take Advair.

    My work coverage doesn’t pay for Advair AT ALL but clears all bills for other scrips so I pay $0. Advair costs me $135/month when I’m not in school. When I am in school it costs me $25 (partial coverage).

    Both of my plans are through the same health care provider. Why are the rules different? I DON’T KNOW!

    I called the insurance and they said I need to get a special authority request from my doctor to say that I actually need the drug. Isn’t that what the prescription is for??

    Bah. Sorry to vent, I’m just pissed off and out almost $400 right now.

  61. Carla Hinkle

    I like the get-the-RX-written-for-20-mg idea …

    It does seem ridiculous to have to pay $10, but my dad is a Dr. and his office staff/nurses can get hung up for hours calling insurance … Cathi is right, no one is getting rich except the insurance company but it isn’t *necessarily* a case of an evil Dr….

  62. Jenn

    Yep, on the anti-hfcs bandwagon here too. I’ve found that the label reading is an ongoing process: many a brand of bread has switched on my watch. The easiest way to do it is to fork out the $4 for oganic or look in the bakery dept (vs the bread aisle) for the store brand bread. Avoid the white breads and look for the multi-grain ones. They’re less likely to contain hfcs. I’ve just given up and bake my own. I use a no-knead refrigerator dough most of the time and the bread machine when I’m feeling lazy. The downside, other than the work involved, is that the bread tastes soooo much better you eat more.

    As for the $10 charge: I can see the Dr’s side of it, and yours. Insurance companies are pretty much making a habit of refusing anything but the most basic of scripts and it’s got to eat up a lot of time. But this one could be considered their error, since you did express doubts in advance. Next prescription, tell the Dr it won’t fly and if he insists on writing it that way ask him if he’s willing to waive the $10 when the insurance company gives you grief.

    Commenter with a corn allergy: You have my complete and absolute sympathy. I’ve read the list of stuff that contains corn. It’s longer than my arm.

  63. Amy@UWM

    Also went on the HFCS elimination tear after Dr. Oz on the Oprah show told us it would make our insides stick together. Not sure if that was before or after he told us what our poop should look like.

    Nature’s Own Wheat Bread is the only line of pre-packaged bread that Publix sells that does NOT have HFCS. Good bread too.

    SOOOO many things wrong with our health care system. But yeah, that $10 charge is ridiculous.

  64. Nancy

    can I get the granola recipe? Moving’s something that I miss. A lot.
    And yes, the HFCS saga. It never ends. Just when you think you’ve got it figured out…it’s somewhere else.

  65. Zandor

    Hi. I don’t really have any medical horrer story or food thing, but I hope you get this figured out soon. I’m sorry.

  66. Kim

    Toxins? Oh, I’m so excited about what’s coming: The Christmas Season. And finding affordable lead-free toys! What a joy it was last year! Can we give our kids metal toys with small pointy bits like they played with in yesteryear?

  67. Jenn

    Have the doctor write the prescription for the 20mg dosage dispensed in 10mg pills– in other words, you’d have to take 2 a day. (But you can just take your 1 1/2 and be fine with that. *wink*) good luck!

  68. Sherry

    Your healthcare system sounds frustrating and complicated. Here in Canada I just walk in and out of the ped’s office and there are never any charges, paperwork, nothing. Prescription drugs are not covered though, unless you have coverasge through insurance through work. But it seems a lot simpler. Goodluck!

    And you have inspired me to read labels for HFCs, and try to actively start to avoid them. They just can’t be good!

  69. Fold My Laundry Please

    Here in the Pacific Northwest we have the Franz brand of bread. While much of what they offer has HFCS in it, they have a sandwich bread (it’s a whole grain white bread, whatever that means) and several types of bagels (plain, cinnamon raisin, and whole wheat mini bagles) all made WITHOUT the dreaded corn syrup. I don’t know if it’s possible, but you could speak with your local grocery store and see if they’ll order in some of it for you. You can check out all of their nutritional info at

    And if you’re looking for other scary things to watch out for on nutrition labels, add hydrogenated oils and partially hydrogenated oils to your list. Thems the fancy words for trans fats. And remember kids! Just because the front of the package says, “No trans fats!” doesn’t mean they’re not really in there!

    As for apple juice, I make my kids a drink I call Apple Splash. 1 part juice to 4 (or more) parts water poured over ice. It’s ice water! With a splash of apple juice! It’s Apple Splash!

  70. barbex

    Ok, help me out here: What’s wrong about apple juice?

    Good apple juice is 100% fruit, just like eating an apple so what is so bad about that?

  71. Missy

    I’m with barbex, what’s the deal with apple juice?? My ped just told me I could start letting my 7 month old drink an ounce or two a day.

  72. Sue @ My Party of 6

    No words. Good GOD! We’ve had our share of trouble with pharmacies and doctors offices, but *gasp*!

    Also – you are NOT the only mom who doesn’t buy apple juice! My kids have to drink water or milk. Or shrivel up.

    I had NO IDEA HFCS was in bread. !!! I’m trying to eliminate all the partially hydrogenated stuff. I’ll have to tackle HFCS after that.

  73. crockpot lady

    ah, this is why you need to move next door. You are given dirty looks here if you do have apple juice in the house or packaged food (other than TJ or WF).

    my head is spinning from your healthcare stories. We have Kaiser, and have never had an issue with anything. I’m so sorry.

  74. Laura

    I paid my copay after visiting the dr office to get an IUD. Then I got a bill for $10 in the mail from the dr. I called the insurance co & asked if the dr was allowed to do that. The customer service rep said no they weren’t. The CSR said they weren’t supposed to ask for the copay for the service the dr provided either, it wasn’t really an office visit. She then called the dr’s office with me on the line. She got my $10 bill cancelled. They told her they’d give me my copay back. They didn’t & I didn’t follow up.

    It is worth trying to call the insurance co.!

  75. Lady_Faire99

    Couldn’t the doctor just write the prescription as 1 pill twice a day? You’d get 60 pills for 30 days and they’d last you 45 days. You’d go longer between Dr. visits too! Bonus! The healthcare system is wack-a-doodle!

  76. Aimee

    Good grief! That *is* everything that’s wrong with the healthcare system, in a nice little HFCS-coated nutshell.

    On the bright side, “Chirpy Hag” made me giggle!

  77. Jenn

    Apple juice has a lot of sugar in it. Sure it’s a natural sugar, but it’s still a lot of sugar for not much nutrition. Eating the whole apple would give you fiber, plus extra nutritional good stuff hiding in the skin. We like apple boats at our house: a quartered apple with peanut butter and chocolate chips for the passengers.

  78. Emmilee

    How about apple juice costs money, and tap water not so much? We never buy juice because I’d rather buy other things.

    And I’m sorry about the Rx thing. That stinks.

  79. Shannon

    Holy cow, CHARGING for prior authorization? That’s a new one to me and absolutely ridiculous.

    I’m on my 3rd Rx of progesterone suppositories and still waiting to hear back from my insurance company about my appeal. (OF COURSE they don’t want to pay.)
    I’d also like to know how my Rx prenatal vitamins can cost $50. Um, they are vitamins.

    Also, I used to get apple juice in my bottle as a baby. Mmm mmm…sugary goodness!

  80. Astrogirl

    My god, you have certainly opened the floodgates with this post! I wonder why that is – could it be because our health care system is SO F’ED UP that stories like these are now commonplace – that we share and compare our war stories of dealing with the medical system in this country, as if they were badges of honor earned in war? Well, hell yeh, because that’s exactly what they are.

    My hat’s off to you, dear, pretty pretty Mir – I would have unleashed holy hell on that Hag, and then the doctor would have dumped me, and then I would be begging every pediatrician in town to please, please see my son before his allergies eat him alive. But you are a good mom. Just make sure it’s a big chunk of hair; the voodoo doll works better that way.

  81. Sara

    just go to the juice mix aisle and get the walmart brand of crystal light in the apple juice flavor. My son is ADHD so sugar is a NO GO!! So he gets diet soda, and crystal light. He doesn’t know it’s any different and it tastes the same as apple juice. There’s OJ (I think it’s called morning surprise or something) but they are all sugar free juice mixes that is a completely reasonable substitute!

  82. Melissa

    Please don’t give your kids artificial sweeteners unless they absolutely cannot have real sugar. AS make you crave sweet things more, and they are entirely made up of chemicals. Not good for developing bodies and brains!

    And honestly, just because your doctor told you you could give your baby apple juice is no reason to start. She won’t know what it is for years unless you start her on it early. The only time my 2 year old has had juice of any kind is when she’s had constipation and the doctor told me it could help loosen her up. Other that that, nothing but water or milk.

    Arnold’s makes a lot of HCFS free bread and labels it right on the end – and it’s good bread, too!

  83. LIsa

    Here is a pharmacy/insurance issue that makes my head want to explode on a regular basis: We pay $18,786 dollars per year out-of-pocket (oh yeah, appox 1/4 of our pre-tax income) for health insurance (had baby with heart defect now stuck because no other insurance company will touch us, woo-hoo) for a family of 4, yes 4 not 14. We have twins who often get the same illnesses at the same time, like pink-eye for example. Well, when we go to get the prescriptions filled they always say “we were able to just fill one because it is too soon for a refill.” To which I say “there is no refill it is two prescriptions, for two totally.” They always say “Right, but we can’t refill it because it is too soon.” Then my head explodes. You would think that our delightful insurance company would be able to tell that they are two prescriptions for two different people considering they are more than happy to accept my arm and leg for insuring said children.

Things I Might Once Have Said


Quick Retail Therapy

Pin It on Pinterest