Where Is My Specialty Pharmacy? *A Small Rant*

  Here we are halfway through February already. As I get older it seems the years pass quicker.

  Unfortunately, this new year has not began well. I experienced a change in my health insurance January 1, 2019. This normally might not be problematic, but if you are on biologic medications it can be a nightmare. With my prior insurance company, I was only allowed to receive 1 prefilled Cosentyx per month. Therefore, when the new year with the new insurance began I had no Cosentyx.

  First thing I did was try calling my new insurance company, epic fail. I was on hold for 48 minutes waiting for my call to be answered. When a customer representative finally answered, she was clueless. I asked her who they used to fill specialty medications for their members. She had never even heard of a "specialty" medication. I explained it was a medication that has to be shipped to me because regular pharmacies do not carry it. She seemed perplexed. Finally after several minutes, she told me I had called the wrong number. She happily gave me a number to call to get the service I needed. I wasn't happy about needing to call again since I had been on hold for so long. I thought perhaps since it was a number to call about a biologic specialty medication it wouldn't be as busy as their main line. I began keying in the phone number the representative had given me. I thought this number seems familiar, I looked at the previous number I had called. I was shocked! I couldn't believe my eyes. She had gave me the exact same number I dialed to reach her. I'm not sure if she simply wanted me to ask one of her coworkers, but didn't want them to know she was clueless or what. Perhaps, she was new and wasn't familiar with the companies departments. You'd think they'd train new employees better or have a mentor they could go to with questions.

  In the end, I hung up the phone because it put me on hold again. I didn't have another 48 minutes to be on hold. I called my doctor's office and asked if her biologic coordinator could get my Cosentyx shipment set up for me. Unfortunately, the coordinator called me the next day and had the same experience I had. She stayed on hold an hour and the rep she spoke with did not know what company filled their specialty pharmacy orders. Needless to say, the coordinator was not pleased. She said all she could figure out was to send in a prescription and hope they forwarded it to the correct location.

  I still have not received my Cosentyx. I haven't had any since December 2018. Six weeks past my last scheduled injection date. My pain and stiffness levels are soaring. Will I ever get this straightened out? Hopefully eventually.

  Does our insurance carriers not care about us patients? It certainly seems they don't. Do they not realize the damage ankylosing spondylitis can cause our bodies? If it was one of their loved ones suffering from this unrelenting disease, would they allow an untrained customer representative to brush off the ordering of their medication? No, they wouldn't! This countries insurance system is unfair, uncaring, and money grubbing.

   I apologize my rant. I hope each of you are receiving the treatment you need and the service you deserve. Stay strong AS warrior. 

Thoughts of A Chronic Disease Warrior

     I am looking into other options to help my family's financial situation. I know with my ankylosing spondylitis I am at a disadvantage. I am unable to perform the types of jobs I have held in the past. I currently have a part time job, which allows me to pick my own hours and days. It is perfect because if I am experiencing too much pain on one day, I can simply work another day. However, this job may be coming to an end soon. I hope things work out and I can continue with my current position, but I do not want to wait and be left with no income. Hence, I have been scouring the web and asking opinions from friends about jobs they think I might be able to handle with my health issues. It hasn't been an easy task.
    Where can someone with ankylosing spondylitis, scoliosis, osteoarthritis, peripheral neuropathy, and fibromyalgia get hired? Good question, huh? Yes, I know some people don't disclose their health issues to employers, but how can I not since there are so many things my health limits. For instance I can not stand longer than 15 minutes or my back feels like it is breaking. Also, I can not sit longer than 10-15 minutes or I stiffen up and can hardly walk. I have lifting limitations. I suffer from overwhelming fatigue some days. Thanks autoimmune disease!
     I am not eligible for Social Security disability due to not having enough work credits. How can I get work credits when I can't work? It's all a vicious cycle.
     Right now I am considering resell. I have been researching Ebay resellers, fees, shipping, etc. I was thinking if I was able to get a bit of inventory ahead, I would be able to do listing as I was able.
     I'm still in the planning stages and still looking for other options. If you have any ideas, I'd welcome input.
     I never thought as a young person that I'd be fighting my own body. I never thought I'd be unemployable at 47 years old. I never thought I'd be injecting a biologic medication that might be worse than the disease I have.
    I just never thought...... 

How Did The Dog Know The House Was On Fire?

My last post was a while ago, in it I promised my next would be about my nephew's dog. He was the reason my sister was not inside her home when it caught on fire. Did he know something terrible was about to happen? I think he did, I consider him a hero.
20180823_180748    First, let me give you some information about this remarkable dog. About 6 or 7 years ago my nephew moved into his own home. He decided he wanted to get a dog as a companion. My nephew loves the outdoors, so he wanted a dog that he could take for runs in the park, as well as, take on hunting trips. My nephew researched different breeds and finally settled on the breed called Vizsla. He traveled across 3 states to go pick up his new best buddy. After meeting this little reddish brown bundle of energy, he decided he'd name him, "Max". Max was a handful as he grew into an adult dog. He reminded me of Tigger from Winnie the Pooh, because he bounced and bounced wherever he went. Once he was a grown dog, he was so heavy he would almost knock me down when he'd happily welcome me to his home. I usually would pause by a wall or vehicle and lean against it until my welcome hug from Max was over. No one wants to see a fat, hunched backed middle aged lady lying on the floor. Besides that as stiff as this disease, Ankylosing Spondylitis, has made me I'd probably never be able to get up :P
Back to the story, my sister had took a week of vacation from her job. Since my nephew was working, she told him to bring Max to her house. She loves to spoil her granddog. As she was going about her day, she noticed Max kept going to the front storm door. She knew he'd already pottied outside so she couldn't figure why he wanted out again. She talked to him, thinking he might be missing my nephew. Although she found Max's behavior odd, she pushed it from her mind as she cleaned her home. Finally Max began running into the all glass storm door and whining. My sister was afraid as heavy as Max is that he might break the glass door, so she closed her front door. She comforted Max with a pat and reassuring words that she would take him outside as soon as she finished her task at hand. Max was incessant and began pawing at the front door and whining with more intensity. My sister thought the dog was acting so strange and unlike his normal self that she put his leash on him in case there was an animal or some kind of wildlife outside. She knew something had him all stirred up and she didn't want him chasing a cat or some other creature through the subdivision. As soon as she opened her front doors, Max bolted. My sister had to hold on tightly to the leash, as Max dragged her down the 5 concrete steps that led to her yard. She said he seemed to want to get a distance away from the house. After he pottied she told him it was time to go inside. She said Max fought her all the way to the bottom of the steps. My sister not knowing what was making Max try to pull her back into the yard was getting annoyed. She straightened herself and wrapped Max's leash tightly around her hands. She struggled to pull Max up the steps to the door. Max whining all the while. When my sister started to reach for her door knob, she caught a glimpse of flames. She looked through the glass as her kitchen cabinets were blazing. Max took the opportunity to pull her away from the door. Luckily she had her cell phone in her pocket. She quickly put Max in her car and called 911.
After talking with the 911 dispatcher and knowing the fire trucks were enroute my sister was in a state of shock. She knew the fire engines and sirens would scare Max so she moved him in her car to a neighbor's house. She gave him praise for saving her.
In the days that followed the fire, the inspector came to investigate the cause of it. He determined the fire was sparked by a light switch and plug in located by the kitchen door. He told my sister based on what he saw that he believed there was a flash of fire. Almost like a small explosion. He told her it was a good thing she was outside when the fire broke out.
I guess we'll never know for certain but we believe Max must've sensed the fire. Whether he smelled the switch and plug in getting hot or even if he could hear something, he definitely knew they needed to get out of that house. Max couldn't speak but he communicated what he needed. Our family has always loved our pets but Max is one very special dog. We'll never forget how he saved my sister.
Love your pets and listen to them. They can communicate, if you pay attention.

Update: My sister is still in counseling. She is suffering from PTSD. My sister and brother in law lost most everything in the house. A cleaning crew tried to save their clothing but some of it was too yellowed. The insurance also brought in a crew to try to restore some of their wooden furniture, however some of it got some hot that the varnish bubbled. They had to tear everything out of the house down to the studs. Last week, my youngest nephew completed rewiring the home and it passed inspection. They installed new insulation and currently new sheetrock is being hung. The hope is they be back in their home by Christmas but it will depend on the contractors. Thank you for all the prayers and well wishes during this difficult time.
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  Hugs and pain free wishes my friends!
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