Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Spoonful of Sugar

Lately, I've been ruminating on some of the blogs I read that are written by medical people. There are nurses, doctors, pharmacists, EMT's, ER techs, secretaries and probably housekeeping, for all I know. For some reason, the majority of sites that I have visited have writers who are pretty snarky and sometimes amazingly clever in their turn of a phrase. One particular pharmacist has a palpable hate for "golden oldies", and he seems to have it in for anyone who receives Social Security. Do we all throw the switch on our intellect the day we turn in our key to the executive washroom? There could be reasons why his customers don't understand every ramification of Medicare Part D, since the whole thing was written to deliberately obfuscate the whole plan. Couldn't Congress have written the damn plan in language not requiring an Doctorate of Jurisprudence to decode it?

For the last two and a half months , I have been suddenly stricken with a confusing set of symptoms. It started in mid-December with GERD (gastric reflux). But, my mind told me that it was impossible, since I had been the recipient of an esophageal fundoplication about nine years ago. This is a nifty surgery where the doctor wraps the top of your stomach around the bottom of your esophagus to keep your stomach from sliding up into your thoracic cavity through a Paraesophageal Hernia. It worked great....for many years and then started feeling like I had slipped a cog somewhere in my middle. This was complicated by another miracle of modern medicine known as a stent in my celiac artery. This major artery goes from your aorta to your liver and provides your innards with oxygen to keep digestion going. So, "my Honey" and I headed up the road to Punta Gorda and The Peace River Hospital on Dec. 26th. Tests were run and medicine prescribed (Prevacid and Carafate), which I started taking faithfully right away. Within another week, I was miserable with horrendous indigestion and we rolled on up the road to the ER again. This time, another doctor took a look at my old EKG and my newly minted EKG and said, "I think it is your heart, not your esophagus!" He then threw me into a room and called a cardiologist who sent me by ambulance to a bigger hospital and did a cardiac cath with two stents. Being a very alert and GREAT cardiac doc, he used Cobalt Chromium stents, so gastro doctors could do whatever they needed, after I had taken Plavix and Aspirin for a month. So, Honey and I drove even further up the road to northwestern Ohio and I saw my family doc, my northern heart doc and a gastroenterologist. The Endo doctor did an EGD as soon as my month was up and I discontinued the drugs that could make me bleed. The results are in and I was right.... my fundoplication has loosened up and I had developed gastric erosion in my lower esophagus, but it was in the process of healing from the twice daily Prevacid. He also ordered Carafate Suspension and we immediately discovered that this medicine was the reason that the pain had been so bad in my esophagus...I am allergic to it!
Okay, I took a long time to explain what is eating at me....not my gut, my brain. We drove back to Florida and the Ohio doctor had ordered Prevacid (twice a day) at my Ohio pharmacy. I called them this morning. With my Part D coverage of Medicare, a one month supply of Prevacid, twice a day (60 pills), is $38.00 and change. Since that seemed reasonable, I asked them about my husband's Rx for Prevacid (it works great, but OTC Prilosec is cheaper) and a three month supply of Prevacid, once a day (90 pills), is $116.00! Something just is not right here! If I get a three month's supply (180 pills), it will cost me $114.00....isn't that $2.00 cheaper for twice as many pills? Now, Mr. Hot Dog Pharmacist....Explain to the Golden Oldies how the insurance companies do the math! We are talking belly pain here, not narcotic addiction. Someday very soon, you will be old and eating your words---- I wish I could be here to see what you have to say when you are the one being screwed.
Something very strange is happening in our country. The many bills being passed by congress are placing diametric opposition between the ages. A close friend's granddaughter married two years ago in her early twenties. She and her equally young husband built a four bedroom, three bathroom home with a huge walk through shower, swimming pool on a water site. This was at the top of the housing bubble. He recently applied to the government for mortgage relief, because the young wife had a temporary medical problem and was given a $100,000.00 break on the mortgage. He has told "Grampa" that the old folks are living too long and depleting "his" Social Security. Do you see a pattern here? Our young people are spouting the equivalent of hate speech toward senior citizens....could the government be fomenting this breech between the ages? Soon, Uncle Sam will be floating us out into the ocean on a burning canoe, while the twenty somethings wave gaily from shore and the angry pharmacist leads the choir. So long for a while, that's all the songs for a while!


Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

feel better honey. i am glad you are back in florida anyway... and i hate that buzzard pharmacist. he has some valid points but he has been at it too long. it's time he moved on to some place where he didn't have to see any human. or animal. or anything.

smiles, bee

Cathy said...

I have lots to say on this topic but right now I am short on time but I will be back. In the meantime I would like to ship that pharmacist out to sea and throw his ass overboard. I cannot read him anymore. I think he is a psycho.

Big Dave T said...

If you guys are living too long they'll probably really have a problem with my grandmother who is 97, and still has an older living sister. When she asked the doctor lately how she's doing, the doctor told her, "Don't worry about it." We all should live long enough to hear our doctors give that advice.

You've convinced me. I'm going to stop taking drugs when I'm 65. Boycott pharmacists!

But I do have some leftover Xanax if you think that'll help you cope with the bad stuff there.

Loving Annie said...

That pharmacist is evil. Sorry that things have been so rough for you, Kacey.

Insensitivity towards the older population seems rampant.

Medicare/the pompous, confusing language and documentation is just designed to get people to throw up their hands and submit to economic indignities.

That kid who got the mortgage break sounds like quite a jerk... Grrrr.

Dust-bunny said...

I'm so sorry you had such troubles with your stomach, it seems to be so common lately. I had some similar problems a couple of years ago, including a very high h-pylori count, but I ended up treating it naturally with something called "gum mastica", and it worked!

I was wondering if you could give me any information on Matty. I noticed that she hasn't posted in some time, and I commented on both blogs in the hopes of finding out what was going on with Mr. T, but she hasn't answered. I'm getting worried. Can you answer me on Facebook, in case I forget to come back here? Thank you so much Kacey, and I hope this finds you well!

Carine said...

living too long and using his social security???

what is it with some of these people????

hope you feel better soon and just don't pay attention to one so unfamiliar with the fact that some day-someone will thing that he's lived "too long"

Granny Annie said...

Every sentence of your post affected me in some way and I could relate to it way too well! Oh my goodness, hope you are making some kind of progress by now. One consolation, these kids will be seniors themselves by the time they start getting changes and then those changes will most change their lives cause we'll be dead. WhooHoo!