What I learned this week: One big thing, one small thing, and one in-between


Big thing: I do daily injections to help manage my MS. It's an expensive medication, and I'm very fortunate to have insurance that covers the majority of it. Despite that good fortune, I regularly complain about having to pay my portion of the co-pay — even after co-pay assistance.

A few days ago, my prescription for the medication was called into Walgreens by my new neurologist (see below). For the past five years that I've been shooting up with the stuff, the prescription has been filled by a "specialty pharmacy," not the local Walgreens. The new nurse who called in the Rx didn't realize this, though, and erroneously sent it to Walgreens... who soon contacted me to let me know there will be a bit of a delay while they await delivery of the meds and that my cost for the 30-day supply of injections will be $6000.09.

Yes, you read that right: SIX THOUSAND DOLLARS and NINE CENTS!

I about died. Then I immediately thanked my lucky stars — and God, too — for my insurance. And for specialty pharmacies. Then I canceled the Walgreens order.

Lesson learned: In mere seconds, I realized the importance of shutting up about my measly $35 co-pay portion when I could be paying $6000.09 per month. Or going without. I guarantee I'd be going without, if not for the insurance. 

Small thing: Speaking of my MS — which I really hate to focus on but this is indeed what I learned this week — I met with a new neurologist the other day. I'd been seeing the same one since being diagnosed in 1992. He was (is) an old, old man who finally, after practicing longer than I've been alive, chose to retire a few months ago. We had our last annual appointment a year ago. He told me then (his exact words), "You are a miracle, Lisa. You are one of the few who have figured out the mind/body connection. You are truly a miracle." That was the last time I saw him. Considering his advanced age, I took his exclamations with a grain of salt.

Fast forward to my appointment this week with my new neurologist, a young gal from India (whom, maybe this is crazy to admit, I chose from the list of local board-certified neurologists mostly because she reminded me of my friend Vidya from India). After discussing this and that, my new neuro had me run through a few physical tests. Her response: "You are strong!" Then she had me walk across the room. Her eyes grew big, a smile crossed her face, and she exclaimed, "You are a miracle, girl!"

I couldn't believe it. Very same words from the young neuro as had been uttered by the old neuro.

Lesson learned: I'm a miracle... at least in the eyes of my neurologists.

young brothers

The one in-between: Yesterday my grandsons and I read one of my recent picture book acquisitions while on Facetime. Well, I read it to Bubby. Mac preferred roaming the house and finding a bone for Roxy while I read. Meh... he's two.

Our Facetime session was short, but just the sort of thing I need now and then to carry me through til I hug Bubby and Mac again. I like to think it's the sort of thing they need, too — even if treating the dog to a bone takes priority.

Lesson learned: Though it usually feels akin to pulling teeth to get myself added to my grandsons' busy schedule while 800+ miles away, it's worth it. For all of us, I hope. So I'll keep pursuing Facetime opportunities. Perhaps some Skype or Google+ time will eventually follow.

That, folks, is what I learned this week — though I've not yet fully committed to the "big, small, in-between" designation I've assigned each. Depending on the hour and my mood, the order certainly could be flipped, flopped, turned inside out. Still, those are my lessons, and I'm sticking to it.

As I mentioned last week, I'll be offline Saturday and Sunday, for the most part. I hope to see you back here Monday!

Wishing you a most marvelous weekend! Cheers!

Today's question:

What did you learn this week?