Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Vacation That Keeps on Giving

Apparently, I brought back an additional souvenir from Mexico. A little bacterial stowaway in my digestive system.

I don't know why this surprised me, exactly. I'm certainly not the first person to come back from Mexico with this particular malady. What I did not know, however, is that it can't be cured with the usual stuff one takes to deal with these symptoms. One needs a prescription antibiotic.

Keeping things really exciting, one actually needs the prescription antibiotic to which I am allergic. My doctor was just about to write the prescription for it when I reminded him of this fact. ("Can't believe I forgot that," he says, "You're my only patient with this allergy.") This sent him out of the exam room and into his office for a little research.

Ah, there's nothing like presenting a challenge to your medical professional.

Took him a good fifteen minutes to come up with "plan B" and the assurance that there's no indication of cross-allergies between this drug and the one to which I had reacted badly. I'm actually pretty lucky in this regard, as this here other antibiotic is fairly new and is supposed to be even better than the standard treatment.

I very nearly asked why, if it is better, it isn't the "go to" antibiotic. I didn't ask. I got my answer at the pharmacy, in the form of a $45 copay. My doctor, bless his heart, wrote the prescription for the generic version of the drug, but this one is so new that it isn't generic yet -- meaning that I have to have the brand name version, and my health plan (in its attempt to steer me toward generic alternatives) charges me $45 for it.

(If I'd had the foresight to ask my doctor for a letter documenting the necessity of this drug over the other, I could submit it to my health plan and, if approved, could get a $15 refund. My health plan has also made the refund amount just small enough that the expense in time and effort of entering the "appeal process" and getting one's doctor to write the necessary letter outweighs the amount of the refund. Sneaky little bastards, aren't they?)

So, now I have this shiny new top-of-the-line antibiotic, to kick the ass of my run-of-the-mill Mexican bacteria. Hopefully, the little bug won't stand a chance.

1 comment:

cw2smom said...

Oh how I can relate!! I had that when I returned from Mexican Cruise about 5 years ago! It was awful...and I spent many hours in the cabin on the way home, then headed straight to the doctor! Hope you feel better soon! Lisa