Wednesday, August 26, 2009


When I picked up my medicine at Wal-Mart yesterday I was shocked to find that my bill was $420 something. I needed re-fills of four out of five I take daily. I am very healthy and no one thinks I am as old as nearly ninety. All this must be a huge fake, and I am actually held together by the Pharmacy world. I tested this a couple of weeks ago. I took a vacation from the pills and I survived. Maybe I weakened my bones a trifle or maybe I filled my blood vessels with gunk. My heart continued its irregular beat without my noticing anything. My fourth pill is for having less than a whole gland below my neck, I can't remember the name of it. I think I will ask my MD if I can do this one week a month from now on.

Since I was at the eastern edge of town, I went to see what Gilbert was doing. I am so glad I did. What was happening in the water outside the house was worth seeing. There was one Canadian Coast Guard ship, working with an American Coast Guard ship and a Helicopter flying between them. We had a Russian Coast Guard ship in town and he had been attending earlier. It was exciting to watch what they were doing and I forgot my own little drama.

Every time I see what improvements are done in the garden my heart sings and I am so glad I moved out of there, so the place can flourish again.


Anonymous said...

Isn't the neck gland you're talking about your THYROID?! I just had my left lobe of my thyroid removed this past year -- I don't think it's a medicine you want to skimp on. Hyperthyroidism causes fatigue, weight loss, trembling hands, feeling hot, irregular heartbeat and worse; while hypothyroidism causes weight gain, dry hair or hair loss, cold intolerance, muscle cramps, irritability, depression and even memory loss.

I got lucky; because the doctor only removed half of my thyroid, the half that is left is creating enough of the thyroid hormone to "do the job" for my entire body... but if I had my entire thyroid removed I'd have to be on meds too. And, with symptoms like that I think I'd argue FOR keeping myself on the medicine!!


Anonymous said...

There are many pharmaceutical companies that provide free drugs to uninsured and under-insured people. You can (or ask Shreve to) "google" the name of those expensive drugs to learn the manufacturer. Go to the manufacturer's website, click on their "patient assistance program" or PAP link, follow the prompts and download an application. The financial guideline is usually 3 times the poverty level.

No one in this country needs to go without life saving medication. It's available. You just have to figure out how to get it.

If the drugs you take aren't covered, ask your pharmacist to give you a list of comparable drugs. Research their availability through the PAPs of all the manufacturers. Then, ask your doctor if you can switch to one of those.

It might take a little time to get it organized, but it can be worth it.

I'm a pharmacist, working for a company that fills and distributes 20,000 FREE prescriptions every DAY for PAPs of several drug manufacturers. Sometimes it seems like what we do is too much of a secret.

The prescriptions we fill are all brand name drugs. If you can get your doctor to prescribe generics, they are usually available at WalMart for $4.00/month. WalMart actually does a better job of providing life saving medication than does Medicare part D!

Go for it Gertrud!

Anonymous said...

$420 is so outrageous! So many people are in the same boat. Hope you can save some money from the pharmacist's advice. Let us know if it works for you.

Unknown said...

I have just discovered your blog after speaking with daughter # 1 this morning. Having never ever read a blog, this is all a rather amazing way to reconnect with an old friend. Your writing is lovely and it is a delight learning more about a remarkable woman I once knew. I think it will be a treat to open my computer daily and see what you are thinking about. Keep it up and know I am far away on the other end reading.
Particularly liked the Andrew Wyeth day and photos of three girls. The crab story reminded me of hunting for mussels on the rocks in Laguna Beach and peeking over a wall to see if someone was there ready to offer some ginger cookies.

Anonymous said...

Just to describe the situation in Sweden, the country you left behind:
The maximum cost of prescription drugs is 1800 SEK (~250$) per year.
There are no drug shortages. There is no drug rationing, although there is an effective program to get people to use generis drugs. And I think I remember some cases in the paper about experimental drugs that cost 100 000$ per month (I think) were the government tried to stop it but failed and the patient still get it.
Also there is allot of medical innovation going on in Sweden.
Just my addition to the American healthcare debate