Perhaps you have had to go a day or more without having your prescription medication?
Do you know the physical pain and anxiousness of waiting to find the medication reordered?
Have you spent hours on the phone with the doctor’s office, insurance company or pharmacy waiting for your ADHD medications to be filled?
If so, you, like me, have been trapped in the medication maze.
For years I have listened as clients told me about their problems to be diagnosed, only to have their hopes dashed when they find themselves trapped in the ADHD medication maze. What is the ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER medication maze? It is that twisted cycle of trying to get ADHD medicines refilled. Prescriptions not relayed to local pharmacies or faxes obtaining lost to online medication sending systems. Suspicious looks from pharmacists when picking up medications. Refusals simply by insurance companies to pay for prescribed medications. The numerous dead ends, backtracking, twists and turns of getting a written prescribed through the process and have it loaded. The ADHD medication maze is really a frustrating web where so many people along with ADHD find themselves stuck not knowing which way to turn and unfortunately several give up and never get a chance to go through the possible benefits of ADHD medications.
In theory, filling medication prescriptions is supposed to be easy work. In reality, it hardly ever goes smoothly. Let me tell you about my very own recent experience with trying to get my medications filled. I know many of you will associate.
I called to make an appointment and a month later got in to find my doctor who, after a 25-minute wait and a 10-minute appointment, recommended me my medications. As I left the clinic, I was told the 14-day short-term prescription would be known as to my local pharmacy and an email/fax would be sent to Express Scripts, my mail-order pharmacy. Okey dokey.
Not so bad. Except (you saw this coming, didn’t you? ) a plan is only as good as its performance.
The following day my local pharmacy auto responder called (nice function by the way) to let me know our short-term interim medications were ready to be picked up. I was pleasantly treated and somewhat surprised it had been that will uncomplicated. Easy peazy, I thought. I am going to pick them up on my way to the particular airport and just to be sure, allow 15 minutes extra.
You see where this is going, right?
I arrived at the pharmacy with plenty of time, trying to have trust and confidence in the system… in the end they had confirmed my prescription had been ready for pick up, right? I anxiously waited patiently in line for the two people prior to me to pick up their prescriptions and also have a pharmacy consult… do dee do… no worries, plenty of time.
My convert. I stepped up, gave the particular pharmacist my name and they overturn to reach for my prescription. The pharmacist placed two bags within the counter, rang me up… the cost was under $10 dollars… Yay! Woo Hoo… happy dance. I even scolded myself with regard to doubting all would work out.
And after that…
Wait a minute. I had three medications. “Uh hello Mr. Pharmacy Guy, I’m supposed to have three medications filled today… there are only two. ”
At this point I was still hopeful… wanting to trust in this “fill the pill system” and then I noticed those fated words… “The physician reordered three medications, but the XYZase is not covered by your insurance till the first of next month. ”
Wait exactly what?
And then, in a nanosecond, my tummy dropped, my pulse quickened and am began to see red. I was frustrated by the whole system. Frustrated because I trusted everyone to do their work. Angry with the realization that a lot of people get stuck in this medication maze with little support or chart to find their way out…
Side note: I’ll admit it… I have a real problem with the way medications are dispensed in this country. It’s a crazy program, full of twists and turns we have been expected to navigate in order to get prescriptions filled up. It’s complicated by monetarily motivated insurance companies who decide what medical care I receive and what I don’t. Last time I checked, insurance firms do not have a medical license; indicate have the training to decide whether I continue on a medication or not. My doctor with the advanced M. Deb. degree should be the one to decide clinically what is in the best interest of my health.
So where was I actually… oh yes, standing at the pick-up counter at the pharmacy…
Mustering our courage and trying very hard never to be rude, I told the pharmacist that “the insurance company did not get to decide my medical care, our doctor did and I would spend on that prescription out of my own wallet if needed… thank you. ” Then, I was asked to step out of the line and told my doctor prescribed would be filled as soon as possible.
So I anxiously waited… I don’t mind waiting… all things considered I had allowed an extra 15 minutes in case. So I waited while the pharmacist stuffed other prescriptions, answered three telephone calls… and a half hour later and almost eight people less in line, the pharmacy assistant grabbed the coveted whitened bag, looked at me and stated “it’s ready. ”
Not trusting myself to say a word, fuming with the needless half hour wait, the senselessness of our insurance companies dictating our medical care and the realization of so many other people going through similar encounters… I paid the $25 regarding my medication and left.
Two weeks later, my interim medication bottles were almost empty, but my Express script online mail medications were scheduled to arrive. (Insert chuckle track. )
Yep… you guessed it… no white plastic handbag with jingling pill bottles got yet graced my mailbox. I used to be a day away from my medications running out a second time that month.
Curses… here we go again! Who knew what had happened this time? So once again I was on the phone calling my mail-order pharmacy to see if they had received the refill order from my doc… nope they hadn’t received this. I called the doctor’s office once again… “oops”… they had emailed my local pharmacy the short-term refill (we all know how that went), but “sorry” the email/fax with the prescription to my mail-order pharmacy hadn’t already been sent. Do I need them to do it?
People! Work with me here! Now i’m doing all I can… I need you to follow through. Who in their right mind would ever go through this insanity over and over again if their medication wasn’t necessary?
The fact is I know so many of you decide to go through this confusing, exhausting medicine maze… month after month, year after year. You bravely and boldly take on the process where you almost need a healthcare degree yourself to get prescriptions filled. It is ineffective, inefficient, and, unfortunately, it is what we are left to work alongside.
We cannot escape it… if you have found yourself in the medication maze, here are some tools to sustain you when you find yourself in this labyrinth:
Remember : you and your doctor get to decide your own medical treatment.
Your insurance company refusing to fund a medication doesn’t mean weight loss pay for it out of your own pocket. I am aware some medications are costly, nevertheless , you might be surprised at how inexpensive some really are. Always ask.
Always double and triple check to ensure emails/faxes/phone calls have been made/sent and received so the delivery of your medicines goes as smoothly as possible.
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Particularly call the pharmacy and your medication-mailing service to confirm they received the particular prescription orders… if not, call your own doctor’s office to make sure they were sent. Don’t assume.
Keep the doctor’s office, pharmacy and mail delivery techniques numbers where they can be easily found.
Don’t give up. Remember the benefits of your own medication far outweigh the disappointment to get them.
The confusing, stressful medication maze is an all too common problem those with ADHD face. I am aware your frustrations and admire your own courage to go forth despite the craziness of it all! I’ll bet you might have some “medication maze” stories of your own… I’d love to hear them!