This is another post in the WEGO Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge. Today’s prompt:
Stream of Consciousness Day. Just write, don’t stop, don’t edit. Post!
I’m writing now because I’m off of work for Good Friday. Or rather, I am “non-contract day”ed (furloughed) on a day that happens to be Good Friday. I am not sure whether this is their sneaky attempt to disguise a furlough day as a holiday or to disguise a (religious) holiday as a furlough day. Given that the salary reduction has already been spread throughout all my paychecks, by this point, I really do not care which it is. I am just happy for the day off.
By my calculation, it is my last day off until the end of the school year. This is when I start my running countdown of Days to the End, right? It’s like its own special teacher Advent calendar, only it happens in April and May. (And/or May and June for teachers elsewhere in the country, depending on specific last days of school.)
So I’m drinking my coffee and kind of glaring at my birth control pill pack. I’ve restarted new medication yet again. It’s Ortho Tri Cyclen this time. Like I told my NP, I’m pretty sure this is one I was on once before but not since I was nineteen or possibly even fifteen. There were a couple of rounds in there, each with basically disastrous results — though my results tend to be less disastrous with synthetic estrogen and progestins now. But this is what’s it’s basically come down to for the endo: retrying treatments that have already shown themselves not to work for me.
And of course my treatment options are much more constrained by cost now than they were when I was growing up. I mean, I can say I have good insurance — and I do, and I’m damned privileged and fortunate to have it. But the fact remains that “good insurance” today in a union- and labor-hostile state means something different than “good insurance” fifteen years ago in a state with a much stronger unionized labor presence.
I’m sure I got my love and loyalty for generics from my mom. She was always thrilled whenever a prescribed medication had a generic form. However, I also know for a fact I tried no fewer than five name brands of birth control over those years — without my mom stressing about cost. (I know my parents would have paid for them for me even if the cost had made them stress. But I was also old enough during that time that they would have discussed said cost of medication with me had it been an issue.) Paying for brand name medications was inconvenient but not prohibitive. Now, however, if it’s not Tier 1 on my insurance plan, it’s not an option. Or rather, it could maybe be an option if I was 100% certain this was the Drug That Would Work — because then I would ostensibly be paying much less for pain meds each month — but brand names are simply too expensive for the cynical guess-and-check game I’m playing.
Same with doctors. There are a fair amount of people who tell me I “should” be seeing a specialist for my endo. Except, of course, that a specialist copay costs twices what a primary care copay does for me. Also, I’ve already run the (admittedly small) circuit of “these are the people you see for endo” in my city. At this point, most of them do not know more about my endo than I do and would at best be doing the same kinds of things as my NP. I could, I suppose, widen the search. But that would mean going to the next big city a hundred miles away, visiting provider after provider, possibly only to have them each say, “Gosh, we don’t know what to do with you.” Since I can already hear that closer to home and more cheaply, that is what I stick with.
Think I will try a new yoga download/video before going for a run later today.