Monday, August 16, 2004

Prescription Misdescription

I was half-heartedly toying with the idea of buying a HPT this weekend. Partly because all my Mind Control action has convinced me, the Arch Sceptic, that I could possibly be pregnant. Plus, we were going grocery shopping, which means E. would be paying for it. And I kind of liked the idea of the box going through the electric scanner while the check-out person remains completely po-faced, even though she is thinking:

Pregnancy test. They are buying an HPT! Maybe she's pregnant! She certainly has the child-bearing hips for it. That reminds me of the time when I missed my period and...oooh, look, donuts.

But before I could slink off to the aisles to study those tempting little boxes, I figured that I better get my thyroxine prescription filled at the pharmacy counter in the store. Especially since the choice of test was apt to be a complicated decision for a novice like me, and could potentially take up a lot of the designated shopping time.

As an aside, I should point out that the designated shopping time is usually eight or nine hours, on average. E. loves grocery shopping. He's never happier than when he is strolling the aisles, studying the comparative merits of Big Dawg Extra Spicee Chili Mix as opposed to Wild West Ranchero Chili Powder. He adores pausing at the deli counter to peruse the cheese and meats. He delights in fondling every single melon, whilst complaining endlessly about the fresh fruit & veg selection in Scotland.

I, on the other hand, if given the option would rather stick needles in my eyes than go to to the supermarket. I don't know why, maybe it raises some childhood trauma, like being lassoed to the seat of the shopping trolley with my mother's handbag strap. But more likely I just find it grindingly dull.

I made my way over to the pharmacy counter, slip in hand. This is only the second time I have had the prescription filled, and I find it all a little confusing. This time even more so than last.

"Hi!" I chirped to the lady behind the counter. "I need this filled, please, and I need a Form B9872 MED-EX5 in order to send off for my S-CHARGE U20490, please. That's because my SCRIPREP 209-X hasn't returned from the Health Board yet, even though it has been a month since I sent it.

Translation- here's the prescription, please fill it, and give me the thing I need to get the £6.90 refunded later.

The lady at the counter studied the form and shook her head. Then she wandered off to speak to the pharmacist for two or three hours.

He came back holding the bit of paper.

"This is the wrong form. This isn't a prescription."

"Oh," I said, "I was just at the doctor last week and that is all she gave me."

"No, no," he said, "You need the NHSDR-7X5 part of the form. Do you have that?"

Did I? I wondered. What is NHSDR-7X5 and where is it, if have? In desk? At home in cupboard? Where the fucking fuck?

"Ermmmm," I said. "I dunno. I thought that was all I needed. It kinda looks like a prescription to me."

Cue long-winded explanation as if I was five years old. Complete with cross-referencing of other, real prescriptions handed in by people who clearly knew how this prescription-filling lark was done.

"I do this every day," he said, a touch pompously. "I know what I am talking about."

In retrospect, I don't know why I felt like such a doofus. Maybe it was his stern Headmasterly tone, as if I was trying to score illicit thyroxine with an incomplete prescription. Or maybe it was just the realisation that I can't seem to figure out how to do something so basic as get a scrip filled. But seeing how I will be taking this medication for the rest of my life, I guess I will have time to figure it out.

I didn't really feel like looking at the HPTs after that, which were directly across the aisle from the beady-eyed stare of the lady behind the counter, who had witnessed this whole amusing exchange with a smirk on her face.

Maybe I'll buy one later today, if there is still a need. If there's time, after tracking down the mysterious NHSDR-7X5.


At 5:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love it.

I too am trying to combine infertility with a foreign medical system. ( Luckyily I can't actually afford to have the real stuff done in my country of residence, so its only the ancillary bits and pieces).

My favourite was trying to get a script for the pill filled. She did the first one, and gave me the generic, which normally would be fine, but the generic wasn't coated for dry swallowing. So I made her do it again, with the brand name. Turns out the brand name isn't, either. So then I subject the poor woman to a good ten minute lecture on the virtues of easy swallow pills. In depth. Serious depth ( in fact I'm pretty sure that there was some debate over the virtues or otherwise of right wing leadership in there, too).

And I've decided the only way to work this health insurance thing is to simply ring the company every week and ask how they're coming along with that claim, then tell them all about how in my native country we have a plastic swipe card - average claim procesing time: three seconds. And I follow up with an enquiry as to how the outsourcing of the call centre to India is coming along.

They love me, really they do.

At 7:17 PM, Blogger Julianna said...

Make sure when you go back with your NHSDR7X5 that you take a lunch because there is sure to be a long line and you're sure to have to plow through your wallet for more missed information and then, after all of that, they may be out of the meds so you'll have to come back tomorrow.

At least that is how it works here sometimes.

Good luck!

At 10:23 PM, Blogger Orodemniades said...

Can I borrow E for my next shopping trip? I'll happily send Mr Oro down in exchange...

At 11:59 PM, Blogger lobster girl said...

Good grief, how exhausting. Stuff like that makes me stumble home in a blind shaking rage. Sorry you had to deal with the mess.
If you ever do buy that HPT, lemme know if you want to hear my opinions on brands.

At 1:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When you do figure out what NHSDR-7X5 is, could you let me know? You know it's bad when even Google doesn't know.


At 2:18 AM, Blogger Toni said...

Huh..and I thought the US medical system was crazy...guess it spread over the ocean to you guys. Good luck finding the form and getting the prescription. I'm not sure what 6.90 pounds translates to - but I'd be willing to loan it to you until you get the forms :)

At 3:19 AM, Blogger Jen P said...

Gah. The annoyance factor alone would break me. Thank goodness things are a bit less complicated here. I'd go nuts if I couldn't get my acid-reflux script refilled within 20 minutes!

At 1:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't even get me started about pharmacies or insurance.... Ugghhh. (My internal organs are clamping up at the mere thought of those horrendous institutions of medical "care".)

Oh, and I pay the bills if G. does all the grocery shopping. Compromise is a beautiful things in our house.

Heidi (lost and finding)


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