It seems the older I become, the fewer exciting things there are to write about and the more doctor visits I have to go to. Pitiful when the most exciting thing in your life is the doctor you last went to see.
As those of you who read my column on a regular basis know, I have seasonal allergies and the congestion and sneezing that go with it. It’s not something that people die of, only something that can make you so miserable you wish you were dead.
I received one of those periodic reminders from the doctor that said it was time for my annual check-up. Nothing had changed. I was no better or worse. But doctors have to make a living too, I suppose, so I called for my appointment.
When I arrived, the office was nearly empty. Who wants to go to the doctor when there are so many other things to do and so much traffic to fight doing them? But, at least he wouldn’t be in a hurry, I thought.
He was especially spiffy for a doctor, sporting a large bowtie along with the usual white jacket. He was rather proud of his tie, telling me his wife had invested in several new ties for him. Apparently, it doesn’t take much to make a boring doctor happy. He is somewhat of a nerd, but there are not that many allergy specialists around and he came highly recommended. I suppose you wouldn’t want a jock for a doctor anyhow.
He asked the usual questions and said that I had the usual symptoms, which I already knew about before I paid him to tell me.
Since my last visit, a popular allergy medicine had gone “over-the-counter.” I hate it when things go over-the-counter as that means insurance will no longer pay and the price of the medicine is usually more than the co-pay was.
“Are you doing okay with buying your med over the counter?” the doctor asked. Some patients have difficulty affording high-priced meds and end up not taking them.
I was forced to tell the doctor about the way I procure it for nearly nothing with extra bucks. My pharmacy has an incentive whereby they refund a small percentage of the amount you spend. They call this refund “extra bucks.” How do you explain extra bucks to a doctor? “You have to play their games,” I said, or you end up losing money.
Periodically, I get $10 or whatever in extra bucks, which I can spend in the drugstore, but not for prescriptions, a sneaky way to get you started shopping. As soon as I find out I have extra bucks, I run to the counter and spend all the extra bucks on allergy medicine.
The last time I had extra bucks, it was buy two-get-one-free, so I stocked up. I was pretty well set with a 90 day supply for the price of one bottle. How humiliating to let the doctor know you are so cheap you even squeeze extra bucks.
He laughed, but thought it was just fine and even told me the name of a few other places that patients said they could get the medicine cheap. I’m on my third bottle now, so they better give me some extra bucks soon, or I will be forced to abandon CVS and go to one of the cheaper places. I suppose I could afford to pay the higher prices, but “why” when there are generics and extra bucks?
I wonder if doctors pay more or if they spend extra bucks too?
Copyright 2011 Sheila Moss