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Monday, March 20, 2017

Round and Round We Go... The Saga Continues


I feel like Rocky Balboa.  Like I just went 10 rounds.  Ten rounds with the medical profession.  My saga continues...

See:

The PA at the ER on Saturday prescribed oral steroids (after I received IV steroids in the hospital). I picked them up yesterday, Sunday, as I couldn't start them until then.  I asked the pharmacist if there was any gluten, nuts, soy, corn or eggs in it.  

He read off the computer and said he didn't think so.  Then he printed out a label with the name and phone number of the manufacturer,  He highlighted the NDC number of the prescription and told me to call myself.  He was professional, polite and concerned, but not willing to commit.  


He didn't give me a definitive answer.  No one wants to take responsibility.  No one wants to leave their company open to a lawsuit.  


ROUND 1

I couldn't call the manufacturer until this morning since they were not open over the weekend.  That's when the "fun" began.  
  1. I dialed.  I waited on hold about 10 minutes before someone answered.  I was transferred twice.
  2. A Customer Service Representative finally got on the line.
  3. I gave her the NDC number, all my personal information - my full name, date of birth, address, phone number, maybe even the dogs' names, my blood type and my great grandmother's maiden name!  Well, at least it felt that way. 
  4. I gave her a list of my allergies
  5. I was placed on hold another 10 minutes.  
  6. Ten minutes on hold initially, 3 minutes being transferred, 6 minutes talking to the CSR, 10 more minutes on hold.  That's TWENTY NINE MINUTES in so far. 
  7. She came back on the line, told me to hold some more and I waited another 5 minutes.
  8. We were now in THIRTY FOUR MINUTES. 
  9. She came back on the line, asked me several more questions (not sure why she didn't ask initially) then placed me on hold for another 8 minutes.
  10. FORTY TWO MINUTES in - no answer yet.
  11. She came back on the line and informed me the product contained corn.  
  12. I asked if she had a product that did not contain any gluten, nuts, soy, corn or eggs.  
  13. She chuckled (why that was amusing I'm not sure), then told me she had no way of looking that information up.  She advised me to call the pharmacy. 

ROUND 2

Calling back the pharmacy I picked the medication up from was pointless.  They already told me they couldn't tell me what medication would be safe.  I had to talk to the manufacturer(s) who.... told me to call the pharmacy, who... told me to call the manufacturer(s), who... (well you get the idea)..  
  1. I called the compounding pharmacy the Allergist gave me the number to. 
  2. I had to give them all the same information I gave the CSR at the manufacturer, only I think they also wanted my great grandfathers Social Security Number (did they have Social Security Numbers back then?)
  3. I asked if they could make me prednisone without anything I'm allergic to in it.
  4. I was put on hold for at least 6 minutes.
  5. She told me they can make me a liquid.
  6. She took all my insurance information.
  7. She told me she needs a prescription sent in and what it must say.
I WAS AT THIS FOR ONE HOUR 25 MINUTES  by the time this call was complete! 


ROUND 3
  1. I called the ER and asked for the PA that prescribed the medication originally.
  2. I was told he was not working today and that the ER doesn't do follow-ups.  
  3. I was told to call my Primary Care Doctor. 

ROUND 4
  1. Calling the Primary's office was pointless. I knew from experience they wouldn't call in the prescription.
  2. The Primary's office would need me to come in to see a doctor there.  There was no reason. They only refer me to Specialists. I have a lot of experience with this. 

ROUND 5
  1. I called the Allergist several times.  I couldn't get through.  
  2. I will call again tomorrow.  
So... I went five rounds, but I swear it felt like 10.  I'm completely stressed out.  

As of right now, I have no steroids.  I'm still swollen.  I'm taking Benadryl, but it's not doing much.  


I did get an appointment for Wednesday with an ENT, per the allergist's recommendation.  They happened to get a cancellation, miraculously, and the ONLY appointment I could have was this Wednesday at 1:00 p.m., otherwise, I have to wait months.  

I tried the Specialist the PA and allergist recommended, but I can't reach him until tomorrow per his recording.  


As of 8:00 p.m., Monday, 3/20/17, I have gotten nowhere.  My neck, face, throat, tongue and nose are still swelling (it goes up and down),  I spent about three hours total going in circles.  

And round and round we go... The Saga Continues.

Stay tuned...

When you live a normal life, you are given a prescription, you go to your pharmacy, you pick it up and you start taking your medication.  Nothing about my life is normal.  


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