Better living through chemistry.

From my LiveJournal, July 7th, 2008:

I ran out of Lamictal last week, on Tuesday. I forgot Tuesday, and I was so busy at work that I didn’t make it to the pharmacy while it was still open Wednesday, and I got there at 6:05 on Thursday and was too late. I went Friday but they were closed for the holiday, and they aren’t open on the weekend. I tried to make it today but I had too many crises on my plate at work today to make it, either… Again, I wasn’t even close at six to even catch the pharmacist before she left for home.

Maybe I should get the mail-order meds so at the very least I won’t do this anymore… This is the first time I’ve forgotten to pick it up/haven’t made it for such a long period of time. I’ve now been without for a week. I’ll go pick up first thing in the morning, and take two tomorrow, first thing in the morning and then at night like normal to get me jump-started.

I should go to bed before the usual problems arise, particularly suicidal ideation. My roommate’s got my dagger hidden, so at least I don’t have anything sharp and pointy in my bedroom anymore…

I hate it when I run out of medication, and all the planning in the world doesn’t always prevent emergencies. I fill a weekly mediset because keeping mental track of eight pills a day is no easy task, and when one is running low, I leave that bottle on the sink as a visual reminder that I need to order more. Most of the time this works, but sometimes I forget to ask the tech at work for the refill, or don’t have time to when she is actually there, and I tend to forget I can call the main pharmacy myself. Heh. The post up there was back when I was using the pharmacy that was in the same building as my doctor, and was a bit of a drive from my office and home. They were awesome and I miss using their services, but QOL was able to get me a better deal on my medicines, and was IN my office, so it was a bit of a no-brainer there.

I’ve tried the mail-order system before, back when my parents used it and I was in college; it was cool because they could ship just my medicines to me, and their medicines to them, but sometimes it was late and I’d miss a day or so. I feel much more in control by going to the pharmacy in person, because I can also ask questions of the pharmacist if I need to, and I like developing a rapport with folks that I can call up with client issues so I can get additional info, and they’re much more willing to chat with me because they know me.

I love going to small pharmacies, too. I like to support local stores; finding a local pharmacy that is willing to price-match is awesome, what with all the $4 lists running around. QOL is particularly cool about only charging what they actually pay plus whatever it costs to keep their operation running (something like $7-11, I don’t remember), rather than most commercial pharmacies that charge the average everyone else charges. That’s why generics that might cost the pharmacy pennies a pill, can cost hundreds when you go to actually fill it- the industry average will slowly settle down to something reasonable, but it will take a while. I guess if insurance companies are willing to pay it, they’re willing to charge it? (Don’t hesitate to correct me if I’m wrong, Archmage. This is what the QOL tech explained to me ages ago.)

Pharmacists in general are awesome resources. Being friends with one is doubly awesome (hi Archmage!) because you can ask questions whenever. I wasn’t comfortable with switching from Lexapro to Celexa until Archmage sat down and explained the chemicals themselves to me and any potential side effects and downsides switching could cause. (Very little, other than having to take a higher dose. I’ll take that for a $95 savings, thanks.) Even after three or four of the psychiatrists I work with said it would be an easy switch, I was still uncomfortable until I had all the information I needed to feel confident that it was in my best interest, and not just in the interest of my pocketbook.

Even if I’m trying to pick out an over-the-counter medication that I’ve not taken before, I will go up to the pharmacist and list my medications and make sure nothing will interact, or if there are potential interactions, what I need to look for. The hypothyroidism usually gives me more trouble than the rest, honestly, because most allergy medications and other decongestants say not to take them. Also, birth control and antibiotics don’t mix, which isn’t fun. All those great symptoms of whatever it is that’s wrong with my estrogen production, get to come back and visit for a while. Even in the pharmacist looks annoyed at my questions, I ask, because it’s my health at stake here. Don’t hesitate to be annoying when it’s in your best health interest!

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