So, I have this rash. It’s painful, not to mention that I feel like the town leper when I shake hands with the good people at church.
“Rivera, Rivera — what’s your first name?”
“Was it just the one medication?”
“No, there should be two. A lotion and an antihistamine.”
She finds the antihistamine and hands it to me, while I sign two stickers and a receipt.
“Oh, you know what? Your insurer wouldn’t accept the other medication. We faxed your doctor and asked him to prescribe an alternative.”
It’s 4 p.m. and the somewhat helpful staff at my doctor’s office leaves the office by 4:30 p.m. to pick up their children, to catch the last few minutes of Oprah, to remind me that it isn’t about my health care needs. Who knows why they leave early? They just do.
I catch them in time.
“Hi, I’m Jay Rivera, I’m one of Dr. Buhari’s patients. I was just at the drug store and the lady there told me the insurance wouldn’t accept –”
“Let me transfer you, so you won’t have to repeat your story again.”
I tell her the story in excruciating detail. I wait on hold long enough to check my work e-mail, my personal e-mail and my voice mail.
“Hi, I was on hold waiting for someone to fax a prescription to — ”
“Oh, hold on. She’ll be right with you.”
She explains to me that it’s been fixed. I rush back to the pharmacy.”
“Oh, it looks like your insurer is not accepting this medication either.”
It’s Friday after 5 p.m. I don’t bother asking the pharmacy assistant what I should do. I don’t bother calling my doctor. I take my lotion, grab a bottle of water and a Hostess Apple Pie — my attempt to self medicate — and head for the checkout.
Monday rolled around and my hands were extremely uncomfortable. In my effort to do everything but care for an ongoing health problem, 5 p.m. came and went and I still hadn’t called the doctor.
Tuesday morning arrived and I was ready to throw something. I called my doctor and spoke to his crack staff.
In an unprecedented act of mercy, the receptionist assessed the situation and said, “Well, maybe we can get you some samples, since you’re having such a hard time with your insurer. I’m sure the doctor has some around here.”
Hallelujah. The Man had it in for me, but thanks to one cool receptionist the day was saved. She hooked me up with a two-week supply, gratis, and it was all I could do to not genuflect at the front counter as I picked up my stash in the plastic bag.
As for my premium health insurance plan, they’re on my lump-of-coal list. Honestly, whats a little antihistamine going to hurt? What are you going to do though, go without insurance? Feh. What a racket.