Remember my advice for summer traveling with special needs children? Well, number one was really important. And I started working on it long before I left home. But not early enough apparently.
Medications while on vacation are essential. I used to think swim suits, church clothes, or shoes were essential. Nope. My motto is, if I can buy it at Walmart, its not worth going back for. So that pretty much leaves passports, tickets, and medications that are essential to a trip.
I started two weeks before we left reordering medications, checking refills, and calling doctors. However, my son is on a medication that requires a blood draw in order to refill it. And because we can only draw blood after 30 days (insurance regulations) his blood draw was only days before the trip.
At the doctor’s appointment a day later, we confirmed that the pharmacy could ship the medication to us on vacation. “No problem,” they said. When a pharmacy says no problem, do not be seduced by those words. If there can be a problem, there will be a problem.
I had a couple of days left of the medication and figured we would have it sent to us within a few days. Since our trip was two weeks long, we would definitely need that refill. Here is how the saga played out:
Tuesday we discovered that the pharmacy could not ship to the state we were vacationing in: federal law prohibited it. So we transferred the prescription to a nationwide pharmacy.
Thursday I called the pharmacy; they said there was a problem and they were working on it.
Friday we were told that we didn’t have clearance from the blood work. Our doctor had not “cleared” us to get the medicine. What?
So I began calling the doctor. And what doctor’s office answers patient questions on a Friday afternoon?
Monday, I tried again. They said they had cleared us. It was a pharmacy issue. The pharmacy said no, it was the doctor’s office. I left another message.
Tuesday was a national holiday.
Wednesday I tried again to plead with the pharmacy.
Thursday we drove home.
Friday I discovered that the doctor’s office had been returning my calls . . . wait for it . . . on my home phone, despite the fact I kept giving them my cell phone.
After arriving home it took an assistant at the doctor’s office hours of phone calls to different pharmacies. First to the original pharmacy because they had messed up on the clearance when they transferred the medication to another pharmacy. Second, to find the medication, some pharmacies only had partial fills and federal law says they cannot partial fill this specific medication. And finally to me, to send me across town 45 minutes to the pharmacy that had the medication.
So once again, I’m going to remind myself to check medication refills before leaving home. State lines, federal laws, pharmacy regulations, doctor’s schedules and insurance rules combine to make one crazy, never want to repeat, medication nightmare.
Has anyone else had crazy problems with medication refills or is it just me?