8 hours ago
Monday, June 20, 2016
Four Prescriptions and One Perforated Ear Drum Later...
Sorry, another update about my boring health. But things sometimes get a little dragged out.
A couple of posts ago I wrote about getting sick in Yellowstone the moment I arrived and trying my hardest to stave off illness with every good health habit and home remedy I could conjure. I finally yielded to coming home a week ago today and promptly set to using the two antibiotics I was prescribed. I slept. A lot. I rested. I still haven't told my presidency I'm in town. I laid low. And progress has been made. I can swallow with ease and without pain (practically convinced myself I had throat cancer or something...could not believe the degree of pain). My swollen glands are no more. Both infected eyes have cleared up nicely. It's just that my left ear is still bothering me and I didn't want to drive four hundred miles away from the doctor only to have something flare up, so I went back to see him today to ask if I'm "good to go." Nope, I'm not.
My ear drum ruptured. That explains the hearing loss and the time it will take to clear up. Although I'm almost finished with the oral medication, my ear is still showing infection, so he prescribed EAR drops along with a nasal spray to help my Eustachian tubes along. This nasal spray...I have to use it daily until after I return from Virginia!
So off I went to the pharmacy to get my meds. I don't think I mentioned in my earlier post that last week, the oral medication was covered by insurance, but the eye drops were not. The eye drops were $10 so I went ahead and got them because, hey, both eyes were infected and yes, I needed help with that. I mentioned to my doctor today that the eye drops last week were not covered by insurance and his jaw hit the floor. He was, in a word, incredulous.
So today at the pharmacy, I asked, "Are both of these covered by my insurance?" They said they were. I saw the nasal spray and then I saw EYE drops. So I mentioned, "Um, I was prescribed EYE drops last week...and now I need EAR drops." The pharmacist explained that the insurance companies won't let the pharmacy fill the prescription as EAR drops, so they dispense the same exact medication as EYE drops. He said, "Don't worry, it's the exact same stuff and you will put it in your ear." Okay...
So I brought the stuff home and looked at the directions. It said to instill 10 drops into my left ear once a day. I thought my doctor said one drop, not ten drops, but then I assumed that because they are really EYE drops, in order to work as EAR drops, I needed 10 drops, not one drop. So I put them in and promptly fell asleep. I got to thinking about it when I woke up and called the pharmacy to double check. They agreed that 10 ear drops sounds like too many, so they checked the order from the doctor and it did indeed say 10 drops. So then I called the doctor's office and they said, "It's supposed to be 1 drop per day." Great. I had already instilled more than a WEEK'S worth of ear drops in my ear. I hope I can hear when this is all said and done!
Also, the nasal spray? It's just Flonase. But my doctor said, "You can get this over the counter, but it's cheaper if you get it as a prescription."
Really?!? How many games do we need to play in the medical world? We won't cover these eye drops but we'll cover those eye drops, even though you're not really using them as eye drops. And we'll give you this medication for a lower price because you're buying it the hard way instead of the easy way.
And the doctor said he needs me to hang around here for a few more days to rest. He's concerned about me making these elevation changes with my perforated ear drum and child-sized Eustachian tubes. And so I wonder if I'm supposed to be accomplishing something else during this long sickness. Is there a purpose to my being separated from my husband even longer? I'm perking up a bit more each day, but it's not like I've been reading with wild abandon or working out or doing stuff for school (or church, or anyone). I am strong enough to sit up to the computer and put my sorry little details out there for the world to read. Now on to something more productive. Like laundry.