Have you ever had to go a day or more without having your prescription medication?
Do you know the physical irritation and anxiousness of waiting to obtain the medication reordered?
Have you spent hours on the phone with the doctor’s office, insurance company or pharmacy waiting for your own ADHD medications to be filled?
If so, you, like me, have been trapped within the medication maze.
For years I have listened as clients told me about their problems to be diagnosed, only to have their expectations 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 getting lost to online medication mailing systems. Suspicious looks from pharmacists when picking up medications. Refusals simply by insurance companies to pay for prescribed medications. The countless dead ends, backtracking, twists plus turns of getting a written prescribed through the process and have it filled. The ADHD medication maze is a frustrating web where so many people with ADHD find themselves stuck not knowing which way to turn and unfortunately a lot of 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 connect.
I called to make an appointment and also a month later got in to discover my doctor who, after a 25-minute wait and a 10-minute appointment, prescribed me my medications. As I still left the clinic, I was told a 14-day short-term prescription would be known as to my local pharmacy and a good email/fax would be sent to Express Scripts, my mail-order pharmacy. Okey dokey.
Not so bad. Except (you noticed 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 the 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 will pick them up on my way to the particular airport and just to be sure, allow 15 minutes extra.
You see where this is heading, right?
I arrived at the pharmacy with plenty of time, trying to have trust and confidence in the system… all things considered 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 pharmacist my name and they turned around to reach for my prescription. The particular pharmacist placed two bags in the counter, rang me up… the cost was under $10 dollars… Yay! Woo Hoo… happy dancing. I even scolded myself for doubting all would work out.
Wait a minute. I had three prescription medications. “Uh hello Mr. Pharmacy Man, 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 heard those fated words… “The doctor reordered three medications, but the XYZase is not covered by your insurance until the first of next month. ”
And then, in a nanosecond, my belly dropped, my pulse quickened and I began to see red. I was annoyed by the whole system. Frustrated because I trusted everyone to do their work. Angry with the realization that so many people get stuck in this medication maze with little support or map to find their way out…
Side notice: I’ll admit it… I have a true problem with the way medications are furnished in this country. It’s a crazy system, full of twists and turns we have been expected to navigate in order to get prescriptions packed. It’s complicated by monetarily inspired insurance companies who decide what health care I receive and what I have a tendency. Last time I checked, insurance firms do not have a medical license; they will not have the training to decide whether We continue on a medication or not. My doctor with the advanced M.
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G. degree should be the one to decide medically what is in the best interest associated with my health.
So where was I… oh yes, standing at the pick-up counter at the pharmacy…
Mustering the courage and trying very hard not to be rude, I told the pharmacist that “the insurance company failed to get to decide my medical care, my doctor did and I would spend on that prescription out of my own pocket if needed… thank you. ” Then, I was asked to step out of the line and told my prescription would be filled as soon as possible.
So I waited… I don’t mind waiting… in the end I had allowed an extra 15 minutes just in case. So I waited while the pharmacist loaded other prescriptions, answered three telephone calls… and a half hour later and 8 people less in line, the pharmacy assistant grabbed the coveted white bag, looked at me and said “it’s ready. ”
Not relying myself to say a word, fuming with the needless half hour wait around, 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 for my medication and left.
Fourteen days later, my interim medication bottles were almost empty, but my Express script online mail prescription medications were scheduled to arrive. (Insert chuckle track. )
Yep… you guessed it… no white plastic bag with jingling pill bottles acquired yet graced my mailbox. I had been a day away from my medications working out a second time that 30 days.
Curses… here we go once 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 particular refill order from my doctor… 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), yet “sorry” the email/fax with the doctor prescribed to my mail-order pharmacy hadn’t been sent. Do I need them to do it now?
People! Work with me here! I’m doing all I can… I need you to follow through. Who in their right thoughts would ever go through this insanity over and over again if their medication wasn’t essential?
The fact is I know so many of you decide to go through this confusing, exhausting medicine maze… month after month, every single year. You bravely and boldly take on the process where you almost need a medical degree yourself to get prescriptions loaded. It is ineffective, inefficient, and, regrettably, it is what we are left to do business with.
We cannot escape it… if you have found yourself in the medication maze, here are some tools to sustain a person when you find yourself in this labyrinth:
Remember – you and your doctor get to decide your medical treatment.
Your insurance company refusing to cover a medication doesn’t mean on the phone to pay for it out of your own pocket. I realize some medications are costly, nevertheless , you might be surprised at how affordable some really are. Always ask.
Often 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. Particularly call the pharmacy and your medication-mailing service to confirm they received the prescription orders… if not, call your own doctor’s office to make sure they were delivered. Don’t assume.
Keep the doctor’s office, pharmacy and mail delivery systems numbers where they can be easily discovered.
Don’t give up. Remember the benefits of your own medication far outweigh the frustration to get them.
The confusing, strenuous medication maze is an all too typical problem those with ADHD face. I am aware your frustrations and admire your own courage to go forth despite the insanity of it all! I’ll bet you have some “medication maze” stories of your… I’d love to hear them!