Wednesday, May 04, 2005

I have been running out of my favorite non-steroid inhaler (Serevent*) during the past couple weeks, meaning I've been reduced to digging out some shoulda-been-thrown-out-last-year canisters.

If I weren't singing in that wedding this weekend, I probably would have temporarily gone back to the steroid inhaler. But it messes with my voice in the way that running over a saxophone with a car does. Sound still comes out, but the range and quality are severely affected, and it takes more effort to even get sound to come out. It feels uncomfortable. (And I'm sure as heck not going to use steroids long-term, considering the associated bone density problems and low birth-weight concerns.)

So I grudgingly (it costs about $100) came to the conclusion that I will have to get a refill on the Serevent, because my lungs aren't better enough yet to entirely do without.

I called the University Health Center and left a message asking if I could get any samples of Serevent, or if I needed to actually get the scrip filled. I asked about the samples because I had gotten samples of some other meds earlier this year (steroid inhaler, Singulair), although I knew that I had used up my quota for those particular things. Therefore I wondered if I still could get samples of Serevent, or if it was a blanket moratorium on all meds.

So the nurse returned my call an hour or so later.

"It says here," she began normally enough, "that you want samples of Serevent."

"I also see on your chart," (here she began scolding me outright,) "that in February of this year we told you that you could no longer get samples--"

(--here I tried to interject that I knew I had no more samples of those other meds and simply wondered if that also applied to meds of which I had not yet gotten samples, but she overrode me--)

"--and also that We discontinued you on the the Serevent."

"We" did?? Huh.

From what I remember, and I remember a lot, what actually happened was that the student-docs and their supervisor tried to convince me that it was in my best interest to basically use steroids forever, and I disagreed, although I was certainly willing to use them in a crisis. This does not mean that "We" mutually came to a health-care plan that excluded Serevent.

And this nurse wasn't even present for those visits. How presumptuous of her to take absolute ownership of my health care (or should I say "symptom care") in such a way. I'm thirty-seven years old, for Pete's sake, not a teenage freshman.

And how dare she treat me like I was trying to pull some kind of scam for simply asking if I was allowed to get Serevent samples! Dang.

I bet she goes home and bosses people around and they resent her for it.

At least, I hope they do.

At least the pharmacy still had my prescription when I called them.

*Apparently I've gotten over the whole thing where Serevent has been shown to cause asthma deaths.

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