Was my day off, but I ended up going to work for a little bit anyway. Before I went to work, Ken and I went to my doctor's office this morning and they trained him on how to give me the Procrit shot. Before he gave it to me, the nurse made him practice for 20 minutes on a little sponge using some saline. He perfected the technique in about 2 minutes but had to practice (to stave off boredom) for a little while until the nurse came back to check on us. I was quite impressed - he went through every step each time, even the alchol rub, to make sure he had it correct. We joked about the "dart" techique of sticking the needle in... maybe we should draw a bullseye on the target? (he'd love that... he'd probably put the 'target' right on my tushy) Finally the nurse came back in and asked if we were ready. Ken was very sweet about the whole thing, even though I got the giggles and his hands were shaking when he was trying to give it to me. It didn't even hurt and he did a great job! He said later he was worried about pushing it in too hard or too soft and had been concentrating on the exact amount of pressure needed. Now I won't have to worry about going to the doctor's office every week for the shot - Ken can just stab me for kicks and giggles. Someday soon I'll learn how to do it myself, when I'm ready.
I feel GREAT today!
I went back to the dermatologist this morning for the results of the tests they did last week to determine what my skin problem was. I have MRSA - Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus a.k.a. a Staph infection. No wonder its been going on so long and I couldn't make it go away. "Methicillin resistant" refers to the fact that this particular strain of staph is resistant to penicillin antibiotics and will require me to be on some pretty strong other medicines for a few weeks to get rid of it completely. I most likely got this infection for 2 reasons - first, because Alek had the same infection, in the form of an ear infection, around the end of April. Secondly, because I have a compromised immune system and am more prone to infections of all types. In April Alek's doctor determined that he most likely got it from some other child at his daycare. After 2 weeks of antibiotics he was fine. Right around the same time (beginning of May) was when I first started having problems with my skin. Initially I think the "outbreak" of boils/hives/bumps were my normal high-stress bumps that I often get when I'm under too much pressure. After that, they got infected with the staph and didn't go away. So now I know. Hey, families are supposed to share everything, right? Even germies :)
I give up. Completely. This whole process is beyond me. I've spent all day yesterday and today on the phone between the doctor, pharmacy and insurance company (including the 2 sub-contracted companies who handle the insurance's prescription drug benefits) trying to figure out this Procrit/Epogen thing. The Procrit is now covered. It's not supposed to be covered through the mail order pharmacy, but it magically is. *Poof* $9 for a 3 month supply. Who knows, maybe I'll end up getting the bill later. The doctor called in the Rx and it's being filled and mailed to me. Nine bucks. It's also covered at the pharmacy now. $9 for a one-month supply. The doctor also called in the Rx and I'm picking it up tonight. Nine bucks for one month. Bada bing bada boom, wham bam thank you mam. I've talked to: Tricare benefits coordinator Tricare claims (2 different #'s) Tricare pharmacy hotline Tricare CHCBP program coordinator Tricare regional office Medco Health (mail order pharmacy company) DMDC (retail pharmacy company) The doctor's office The pharmacy Each one of these people I've talked to at LEAST twice and gotten at LEAST two different answers from them each time (except for the dr's office- they're caught in the middle just like me) Some of them say it is covered. Some say its not. Some say pay up front, some say I only pay a co-pay. Some say I have no mail-order-pharmacy benefits. The mail order pharmacy begs to differ. The only one undisputed thing is that the AUTHORIZATION for me to get the Procrit went through without a hitch. The hard parts been who pays for what. Who cares. If someone says its covered, and the cash register rings up $9 then I'm taking it. I'm not asking any more questions because maybe someone will figure out they messed up and I should be paying $860. We'll see how long this lasts... but at least, as far as the Procrit goes, I'm good for about 4 months. Unless something changes tomorrow, which at this point is just about as possible as pigs not flying.