I was going to have a post finally done — one about the food I’ve been playing with and a couple I more or less made up — and posted this morning. Or maybe even yesterday afternoon, if things had gone as planned.
But they didn’t.
For anyone who doesn’t follow me on Twitter:
I went to my doctor appointment at 10 a.m. Tuesday, annoyed that I hadn’t been able to reach them by phone since Monday, and found… broken police tape by the door.
I thought they’d been robbed, so I peeked in. Empty lobby. Not as in “no people.” As in “no chairs.”
Another woman showed up and was also lost. I thought it was weird that she asked if I’d given the doctor money. Um, no, my insurance covers visits.
She went next door and chatted up an employee there. My Spanish isn’t terrible, but I struggle to understand the regular speed from native speakers. So the other lady translated.
Apparently, my doctor and/or his office staff (who knows?) had been helping people across the border. I caught the words for $6,000 and $8,000. So it doesn’t sound like he was helping refugees out of the goodness of his heart or anything. Ugh.
So he’s apparently been arrested. I guess that’s why the phone isn’t working.
Anyway, this would all be humorously bizarre and slightly aggravating if I were a normal patient. But I’m not.
It was a small miracle to find a doctor willing to prescribe Adderall for an off-label use. Most doctors (understandably) won’t take that risk, even if they agree it would help me.
And plenty would if they could, but the medical networks they work for won’t let them even think the words.
Just go to an individual/small practice, you say? Would if I could. But very few are around at this point.
Besides the fact that networks are just going to offer them a lot of money to join, networks are increasingly the only ones that insurance companies will work with. Because it’s a lot easier to just work with four or five big networks’ providers and get just four to five sources billing/querying you, than to have a ton of little practices each sending in a tiny number of claims and medical records and such.
So even doctors who want to strike out on their own, they’re having an increasingly difficult time getting insurance to work with them. So networks just keep hiring doctors and buying up practices.
So even if this were happening before July, I’d be looking at some pretty slim odds.
But now? Now I have to take a blood pressure medication if I want to take a stimulant at all.
So I have to not only convince my doctor to please play a little fast and loose with prescription use but also please ignore the fact that it means I struggle to keep a sane blood pressure.
In other words, instead of finishing editing and naming and scheduling a post, I spent today spiraling and intermittently crying about whether I’m now facing a life where I can’t get any kind of actual medicine to help with my fatigue.
And the month off the Adderall was… not as miserable as I remember, but definitely not not-miserable.
I told Pirate Party Guy — who came over to listen and hug me while I cried and otherwise soothe me — that a life with chronic fatigue and no medication for it is like living on a leash. Any time I tried to really make much forward movement, the chain stops you short. And something something metaphorical choking of the collar, yada yada.
I can’t go back to that. I just… can’t.
I did go to my plan’s site and bookmark the providers from the smallest practices (only two or three locations). They’re probably the best bet at getting doctors with some leeway for independent thought.
I’ll probably try for a woman, since they tend to be more empathetic and less dismissive. I’ll suggest an anti-narcoleptic rather than Adderall. While all these stimulants are carefully monitored, I feel like asking for an off-label use of an anti-narcoleptic is probably going to make a doctor less wary than asking them to prescribe, ya know, a chemical cousin of meth.
And of course, I have to hope I get an amenable doctor in one to two chances. Because if I doctor-hop, I could be seen as drug-seeking and then no one will help me.
The only actual potentially helpful fact in this case is that it’s close to the end of the year. So if by the end of November I’ve struck out with two doctors, I can just opt to switch insurance plans (which I might have done anyway) and then I’ll have to find a new primary care doctor anyway.
But this also means I have to get it figured out in the next few weeks because I only have until early December to switch insurance plans.
Oh, the other helpful fact is that I still have some of this last extended release prescription’s pills left. And some 30 mg regular ones — which I can break in half and will at least take a bit of the edge off the fatigue — and I let the last 30 mg prescription I’d turned in go back to stock (during my break from stimulants). So I will probably still be able to get that filled — but not right now because there’s a national shortage apparently. Because of course there is.
I’d assume that the pharmacies will honor existing prescriptions, even if the prescriber is, ya know, facing federal criminal charges — as long as they’re unrelated to medicine, anyway.
Anyway, it’s impossibly late, as I stayed up watching TV and playing a matching game on my phone — repetition is soothing and helpful for brief periods of disassociation from the real world — until almost 1 a.m. Then I stayed up answering the overnight emails so I can sleep in a bit later tomorrow. And then writing this up.
So I’m going to sink self-pityingly into my bed and try to get some sleep.