Subtitle: How I became the proud owner of six years worth of prescription painkillers that I neither want nor need.
I try to follow the rules. I swear I do! But as usual, following the rules bit me right in the ass. All I wanted to do was refill a 30-pill prescription for painkillers for the horrific headaches that I occasionally (more like rarely) suffer . Thirty pills lasts me a year, and that includes sharing with Jeff when he strains his back. I normally get a 30-pill prescription at my annual doctor's appointment and take it to the Target by my office and I'm all set for 12 months. I've been doing it for years.
Over the summer I received a letter from my insurance company informing me that I could no longer take my prescriptions to a local pharmacy and that I would now be required to use their mail order program for all prescriptions in order to get full coverage and the best price. Whatever. I use the mail order pharmacy for a prescription antacid that I take every day, so I already had an account set up.
When it came time to refill my painkillers, I called my doctor and asked them for a new prescription. The prescription was for 30 pills and read "Take one pill twice daily as needed." That's exactly what my prescription has always said. I sent it in to the mail-order pharmacy and a few days later I received an e-mail from them requesting permission to contact my doctor because the prescription wasn't written in the correct format for their service. I told them that was fine.
Three days later I received my prescription in the mail. The package contained 180 pills. ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY. Who do they think I am? Courtney Love? I called the mail-order pharmacy and they said "We only fill 90-day prescriptions and your doctor wrote the prescription for 2 pills a day. That's 180 pills. We contacted your doctor and they approved the larger quantity." Apparently "twice a day as needed" means something different in the world of mail-order pharmacies. Jeff took one look at the bottle and said "I'm going to have to get you out on the street with that. Show me the money!" I'm pretty sure he was kidding. I hope.
Don't get me wrong, 15 years ago my best pal Suzy and I could have run through 180 painkillers over a long weekend in Miami. But I'm older now and these days I get my high from stress, alcohol and lack of sleep. Like a grown up.
On the bright side, they only charged me $20 for the prescription. Anyone need a pill?