Breaking Brains: The Pharmacy

Returning home we knew we were setting ourselves up for a logistical learning curve.  After all the closest clinic was 8 hours away and our clinic was 18 hours away.  IVF was not a common procedure in our small town, so we anticipated some hiccups at least.  We had enough meds to last us about a week after we got home, so refills were a must.  As soon as we got home, the clinic faxed in the prescription to our only pharmacy and I went by to check in.  You know it was a good sign when they looked up my name and said that I wasn’t in the system, I clearly hadn’t had anything filled there before.  I smiled and said other than the several thousands of dollars of meds I got filled there at the start of this journey.  Digging a little deeper, surprise surprise they found me.  I was overfilled with confidence that my name was already a complication for them.  The lady I was speaking with told me that the other pharmacist was on the phone with my clinic.  This afforded me some comfort in thinking that this might actually go smoothly if the two professionals sorted it out together.

I waited patiently and saw a lot of confidence building nods, paired with multiple okays.  When he hung up the phone, I was expecting a thumbs up and good to go.  Yeah, nice try… He finished the call with a thank you, they have everything they need and he hung up.  His coworker pointed me out and I explained that I just wanted to check in considering the complexity of it.  “Yeah, we can’t do it.” “WHAT?!?” Despite the very agreeable phone call with absolutely no clarifying questions, he apparently decided that this was just not possible.  You see, the progesterone shots are in oil.  The clinic makes it in cottonseed oil; however, the common form that is pre-made is in sesame seed oil.  I would find out later that the nurse at the clinic explained this very thing several times on the phone, but it just broke his brain that the oil was different.  He insisted that he needed to order it from a place down south that can make it in cottonseed oil.  I told him that the stuff I currently had was in sesame and he can order the same one, but he was having none of it.  Essentially, it was have it made or they couldn’t do it at all.  Just swell….

I went home to share the awesome news.  Yeah, my wife wanted to go back and throw something, like maybe a brain, at them.  This was not rocket science and we were not trained pharmacists, yet we understood the instructions just fine.  I called the clinic next and happened to have spoken to the same nurse that had the torture of speaking to our pharmacist on the phone.  She was equally confused by the fact that he had absolutely no issue or need for further instruction on the phone and then turns around and tells me something completely different.  He had all the tools, all the info and spoke to all the right people and still he couldn’t get his head around it.  She offered to call back and try again and I declined the offer.  If they didn’t get it from the long detailed call earlier, then they just aren’t going to get it.  I didn’t have much time to lose, so I needed to figure out a contingency plan.

After some consideration, I decided that my best bet without going into a major center was to go to the next largest town within reasonable distance for refills.  This place is big enough to have a wal-mart, but not to big that they have something crazy like a mall or something.  First call and I lucked out by talking to the manager.  She didn’t skip a beat and said they had 4 vials in stock.  Booya!  I’ll take a three hour drive one way to get the right stuff, than try and gamble with our guy.  Luckily, I had a trip coming up (for my first blood test) so I could pick up the meds along the way.  All was set and I called the clinic to update them.  Then I had the fun job of calling the pharmacy here and asking them to fax my prescription to someone that could actually fill it.

Fast forward to the next week.  My daughter and I were just on our way to get my blood test done and I called the pharmacy to make sure my prescription was filled by the time we made it there.  Not even five minutes passed and I get a return call from the pharmacy.  It was a different person than the one I had just spoken to and he was calling to let me know that they did not have my progesterone in oil.  FML.  I was trying not to lose my shit because my kid was in the car, and this poor bastard had no idea what I had been through to date to get this far.  However, I was super stressed because I was running low and needed the goods.  A was having déjà vu as I explained the situation again.  Further to that, I explained that I had called previously and was told that they had 4 vials in stock of the same stuff I was taking now.  This apparently threw him off and he had to call me back.  I had a long drive anyway, so I had time.  Taking deep breathes to keep me going, I couldn’t help but laugh.  Here I was stressing out about these ridiculously important meds, and from the back seat I am hearing my little girl repeating the lines from Croods, completely unaware of the issue or the fact that one even exists.  Alright… lets just drive.

Lucky enough we didn’t have to wait long and even better was that this guy was a better problem solver than my local guy.  We finally made it to the pharmacy and I just wanted the goods!!!  I’m going to blame the hormones in making me desperate to get these damn drugs!  Even though I hate taking them, I knew it was a very necessary thing to keep this rolling.  Once it was in hand, we were good.  Naturally, it was not that easy…

I knew it was looking good when I walked up and I got a bill.  Okay, I handed over my benefits card and then we wait.  Yeah, there was a complication in the benefits.  Despite the fact that I was running almost empty on my one form of progesterone, they were saying it was a double fill because I still had more than 30% left in my other progesterone.  Apparently the benefits peeps don’t care what the prescription says, progesterone is progesterone no matter what the form so I was double dipping.  Seriously?  This is lady juice for pregos not oxy for the black market!  In her amazing timing abilities, my daughter announced quite loudly that she had to poop and after I said we just had to wait a few minutes, she followed it with “It’s an emergency! I have to poop!” Definitely not a shy one there…The wait went quickly as we went across the store to find the washroom.  I came back and he explained the issue and said that we would have to call.  I think he sensed the fact that this newly pregnant chick was losing her patience and he didn’t want me leaping over his counter after I activated my ninja skills in response.  He pulled some magic dust out of the back room supply and made it happen.

It was nice to have that little form of relief during my three hour drive home.  I was good for two more weeks and I at least had someone in the know to make it all go more smoothly down the road.  Unfortunately, I knew that this was only the start and more glitches were coming down the pipe.  IVF has a very detailed protocol and several appointments were required before the usual “first” appointment at 12 weeks.  There were more brains to be broken, but until then, my daughter and I decided that we had some feelings to eat after such a stressful day.  It doesn’t take much to convince a toddler that she would like pizza, so really, the day ended on a win!    Really, what else could one want but lady juice and pizza?  Recipe for awesomeness!  Till next time folks.

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