by Patricia Roop Hollinger
“It’s time to get my prescription filled,” I said.
The refill would run out in a month and I would be near the pharmacy today so I dutifully followed the protocol of entering the script number, pushing number one to indicate that was my only refill, and being told electronically that I could pick this up at 1:00 p.m. Isn’t technology wonderful, I thought.
The other errand was accomplished by noon: I needed some grocery items in light of the predicted hurricane Joaquin heading for Maryland. Rain was already pelting down at a steady pace. I approached the pharmacy to inquire if, just possibly, my script had been filled.
“What’s your name?” the pharmacist inquired.
“Hollinger,” I said.
“Your birthday is 1/18?”
“No, my birthday is 2/28/39,” I replied.
“We have no record that you called Mrs. Hollinger.”
By now I am becoming a tad annoyed. “I did because I recall distinctly pushing number one and being told the script would be ready by 1:00 p.m.” I pause while they look.
“Oh yes, we found it, however your insurance is rejecting coverage.”
“I don’t understand, it always has paid in the past.”
I was shown a printout from my insurance company which indicated that the prescribing M.D. did not have the proper credentials to prescribe this drug.
“That’s bullshit,” I said. “The doctor is the medical director of a psychiatric hospital. He writes scripts for these drugs daily.”
“Well, you know, some doctors forget to renew their license to dispense these drugs,” she replied very authoritatively.
“This doctor would not maintain his status as medical director if he did not renew,” I stated in my own authoritarian voice.
The drug in question was Valium, which I take infrequently, but by now I was ready to swallow the whole script as my anxiety mounted.
“Do you want me to call your insurance company?” she asked.
“Would you please?” I responded firmly.
Minutes later her co-worker came to tell me that the error was one made by their computer. I paid $3.80 instead of the $11.00 quoted when told my insurance company would not pay.
I paddled home in my Honda FIT feeling triumphant and no, I didn’t even need to take the anti-anxiety medication from the prescription that had just been filled.
Patricia Roop Hollinger is exploring her writing skills after retiring as a Pastoral Counselor, Chaplain and LCPC from same hospital where the prescribing doctor is medical director. She is an avid reader, musician, and lover of her cat Spunky.