June 25, 2003

I have some news!

I think it is good news, but there may be some among the Blogosphere who may feel it is bad news that I am going to live. I awoke this morning hoping to see that big bump above my right eyebrow had subsided or, at least, had finally come to a head. It had changed . . . for the worse. It had swollen in size to the point where it was forcing the corner of my right eye closed. The voices in my head kicked in:

OK, stop pussyfooting around*, Tiger, that is your eye** and maybe your eyesight. Get Ye to the Doctor, ASAP!***
OK, so I had court, this morning. Thankfully all I did was submit my pay sheet on the one case set today because the DA dismissed the case. He had called me just before close of business yesterday to inform me of such. I was in and out of Court in less than 5 minutes. I immediately ran to the doctor's office. I could see the doctor sometime later this afternoon, but I could get in to see the P.A. right away. I like P.A.s much better than doctors anyway and the insurance pays the bill, whomever I see. I was already convinced it was only some infection due to the pimple I tried to pop Sunday evening. A P.A. is sufficiently capable of prescribing antibiotics. I get to take two of these huge horse choking pills twice a day for 10 days.

Prior to seeing the P.A., the nurse weighed me: 196, with my boots on. I was immensely pleased, I am still within 10 pounds of 200, where I have been for almost the last 15 years. My blood pressure was 150/80 which the nurse said was good. I know they just changed the blood pressure levels for where high blood pressure is indicated. The last time I had given blood I had been told me I was getting very near the high blood pressure mark. I decided it might be advisable to ask the P.A. about that also. She suggested I start on what she called the starter medication: the medication generally prescribed for people at risk for high blood pressure the first time. Also, of course, I have to watch my cholesterol and sodium and I have to exercise. Thankfully, I did not have my cigarettes in my pocket and she had not seen me previously. Most likely, on my chart, she saw where I had been prescribed whatever that stop smoking drug the doctors are pushing now. She said nothing about my smoking. I am not blind to it being a problem, I just dislike doctors telling me to stop. I know I need to stop. I will stop as soon as someone devises an inpatient program where they keep you doped up for years until you have absolutely no more craving for nicotine. I am eager to trade my nicotine addiction for an addiction to a better drug.

After I left the doctor's office, I went across the street to the pharmacy to get my prescriptions filled. I have something to rant about. You know, you hear these stories in the news about this and that. I had heard the cries and concerns about prescription drugs, but I was not really abreast of the problem. I pay an arm and a leg for health insurance,*** and the last time I had to get any prescriptions filled, I paid $5.00 for each medication. Well, we recently changed carriers. I got all kinds of information, but who reads all that crap. It is a bunch of gobblety-gook written by a bunch of paralegals for attorneys making far more than I and understanding it doesn't change anything anyway. Those are the rules, they suck, and you are stuck. Insurance companies control everything.**** I learned this fact a few years back.

Well, they changed the rules for prescriptions. I had to pay $5.00 for one of them and $25.00 for the other. I said something to the pharmacist and he said that $25.00 was only my co-pay. The antibiotics were $100.00. Now wait? $100.00 for penicillin?***** Surely in the last 50 years they have perfected growing mold on bread to the point where they can produce it cheaply? No wonder people are up in arms about the price of prescription drugs. $100 for a drug and it doesn't even make you high? I am thoroughly convinced that the War on Drugs is putting the wrong drug dealers in prison. These pharmaceutical companies are the real criminals.

*Where in the heck did this word originate, anyway? All Webster's says is it originated in 1903.

**OK, the thought of how sexy I would look with a nifty black pirate patch over one eye did run through my mind a couple of times before I dismissed it.

***I actually ran into one of my clients on the street right before going to court: a veterinarian. I asked for his advice and he told me it looked like some type of infection and that I should go see a doctor. I ask his medical advice often. I figure veterinarians are much smarter than doctors. They treat more species than just one, and aren't we just another species of animal anyway?

****They recently raised their rates, so in addition to an arm and a leg, I am now also paying 3 toes on my remaining foot and my left butt cheek.

*****Let me see, they control the doctors, the hospitals, the legislatures and the courts. I could rant for days on insurance companies. I detest them.

******It is not actually penicillin, it is Augmentin. I am sure that generic penicillin would have worked wondrously, and from my understanding generic penicillin can be purchased for about $8.00 cash (no co-pay involved). So what is it about Augmentin that makes it so much more expensive than regular old penicillin? I am placing my bet on that GlaxoSmithKline is attempting to recoup some of the large payoffs they pay to the doctors to prescribe it. After all, the insurance companies have cut way into the income brackets of the doctors by curtailing the actual medical assistance they can provide to their patients, so those poor doctors have to find new ways of generating income, don't they?

Posted by Tiger at June 25, 2003 01:53 PM

Good morning! I must be really sadistic at heart, because you made me laugh and the coffee hasn't taken hold yet. (I also have not read your review of my showcase entry so I am still speaking to you).
My last job had insurance with co-pay, so I too was shocked at the cost of not only medicine but also a doctor's visit ($63!!!!) when one is uninsured....

Posted by: Susie at June 26, 2003 07:52 AM