If you’ve been reading here since the dawn of time, you might recall that I had a hysterectomy at a pretty young age. My uterus was a complete asshole, and both of my ovaries were bitches. In the space between my first period and the triumphant day when I bid the plumbing good riddance, I dealt with debilitating cramps, excessive bleeding, countless ruptured cysts, infertility and pregnancy loss, and let us not forget the endless migraine headaches. Basically I was a mess. I am much happier without any rogue organs, and I love receiving a small, controlled (read: non-system-poisoning) dose of hormones via the miracle of modern pharmaceuticals. I take juuuust enough to stave off the hot flashes and a full beard.
I’ve had… maybe… two? three, tops? migraines since my hyst (over a decade ago). I kind of forgot about them. Maybe I did forget about them, kind of, until my darling daughter lay sobbing on the kitchen floor yesterday morning, moaning about how she could feel the blood pulsing through her head and the light was too bright and was she dying?
Ohhhhh, pumpkin. No, not dying. You thought menses was when you became a woman? NOPE. First migraine; that’s when shit gets real. Sorry, baby. Welcome to womanhood in our family! It sucks.
I did all of the things I could remember for her, yesterday, and many ice packs and hours of sleeping and Excedrin later, she asked to be taken to school for a test she didn’t want to miss. She made it through the test but didn’t look so hot, after. I put her to bed early last night, hoping she’d be better today.
Of course she woke up today with the migraine back at full-force, because if there’s anything my children love, it’s being as sick as possible on a Friday so that I have to decide if they need a doctor rightthissecond or if I’m willing to gamble on needing to hit Urgent Care over the weekend. (I kid. She certainly wasn’t doing it on purpose, and she has all my sympathy because migraines are the WORST.)
I decided to take her to the pediatrician because clearly she was going to need a prescription med for relief, as Excedrin was barely making a dent. And while I hope this is an isolated incident… well, probably it’s not. Better to get checked out and have some meds on hand.
You know how we have middle schools here in America? We should really have something like that for doctors, between a pediatrician and a internist. Chickadee smiled at all the babies and toddlers in the waiting room and then pointed to a cartoon poster that proclaimed “You’re our star patient!”
“Oh boy!” she said. “I’m a star!” I chuckled. “Also,” she continued, “maybe I am a little old to still be coming here?” I resisted the urge to tell her that just because she’s almost 17 doesn’t mean she’s not my PRESHUS LITTLE BABYKINS. I didn’t need to, though, because before I had a chance, we were whisked off into an exam room, and my grown child complained that there were no princesses on the walls like there are in the room she usually gets. HA.
Our doctor is very kind and patient, and both gave us a prescription for migraine meds and insisted I take Chickie to be evaluated by a neurologist, which is AWESOME, because Murphy’s Law teaches us that setting up such an appointment virtually guarantees she will NEVER have another migraine! I like how the doc thinks ahead like that.
Back in the car, I asked Chickadee if she thought she could handle 15 minutes at the pharmacy so we could get her meds, and she said she supposed, so rather than take her home and go out again, I went to get her meds.
This is where everything kind of went off the rails. I guess this was the first time I’d gone to pick up prescriptions since the new year, and even though we did not switch insurance this year, our insurance—which has, for the umpteenth year in a row, raised its premiums, copays, and deductibles, while covering even less than ever before!—magically infiltrated the computer system at the pharmacy and insisted we no longer had any coverage. At all. Of any kind.
Of course, we waited 20 minutes before the pharmacy tech told us this.
No problem! Here is her insurance card. Surely you can just update the info.
“This is your old card, ma’am.” Oh. Um. Whoops?
The tech called the insurance company while I texted Otto. Did he have our new cards? No, he gave them to me, he said. He did? I didn’t seem to have them. Was he sure? Pretty sure. WELL I DON’T HAVE THEM AND THEY WON’T GIVE US HER MEDS. Otto was delighted to hear from me, I’m sure. Meanwhile, Chickadee was curled up in a chair in the corner, just wanting her damn Imitrex.
In the middle of all of this, the tech also told me that a different prescription we’d dropped off was written incorrectly and couldn’t be filled at all. That was for one of Chickie’s daily meds and came from a different doctor’s office, where HER doc has been out on leave and the series of rotating fill-in docs have either messed up or completely forgotten her prescription EVERY MONTH SINCE, and so that was a great bonus on top of the rest of it.
Eventually Otto texted me a picture of HIS insurance card, which I was able to give to the tech, who was able to use it to convince the computer that we actually have insurance. “All set,” she said. “Just give us 15 minutes or so, we’ll call you.
It was more like half an hour, but no matter, at least we were finally getting her meds. Also, we had some other meds there to pick up, so there were kind of a lot of bags. A different tech started scanning them. I watched on the register monitor at they started popping up at $83… $225… $54.12….
“UHHHHHHHH…” I said, unable to form anything coherent with my mouth parts.
“Do you not have insurance?” she asked, finally, noticing the total.
Through a combination of strangled grunting and gesticulation, I somehow got THAT tech to talk to the OTHER tech, and after a brief consultation I heard a huffed, “Well no one told ME that the insurance had to be redone!” She came back over. “It’s going to be just a few more minutes to straighten this out.”
I pulled out my phone and texted Otto: “WE ARE GOING TO DIE HERE AT THE PHARMACY. I WILL MISS YOU.” (Always one to roll with the punches, Otto texted back, “You know what I wish you could do? Use some more of your dramatic training for day to day purposes.”)
By now Chickadee was leaning on my shoulder, looking decidedly pale, and asking if we were ever leaving. I stroked her hair and put on my most winning smile and caught the tech’s eye. “Is there ANY way we could get our hands on one of those pills while we get this sorted out?” I asked. She took one look at Chickie and brought the Imitrex right over (there is a God).
We ended up stuck there for about another 20 minutes, but eventually everything was received and charged correctly and paid for and there were only about 5 people in line behind us who hated our guts. So… yay?
And did you know that you can only get 9 Imitrex at a time? It’s true! That means we could potentially do this whole thing all over again before we even get in to see the neurologist. Like maybe tomorrow, because I think I feel my own migraine coming on….