Medications, HIPAA and an Open Letter to Obnoxious Words With Frienders

13 Jan

Let me tell you how my life has been for the past month and a half…(feel free to stop reading now)

I have been working 50-55 hour weeks as it is the busiest time of the year for my line of business.  Thus, I have had some anxiety issues.  By issues, I mean I have three to four mild (jittery, numb, shortness of breath) to medium (shaking, little feeling in my extremities, tightness in my chest and slight hyperventilation) panic attacks a week at work.  I have been on medications to manage long-term and acute anxiety since I was 17.  This week found me completely out of one and running low on the other.

My doctor, though I like her very much, is a total flake.  I’ve never had a doctor cancel or reschedule to cancel more appointments in my life.  Get a new doctor?  I know.  I actually cancelled our last appointment because work has been so god damn busy.  I had a script for one of my medications from our last appointment dated 12/8/2011 (important later) which I had dropped off to Rite Aid a week and a half ago, and my doctor was nice enough to phone in a prescription for the other medication that I just switched to last month.

I left my office at 7:30 last night to drive to the pharmacy with the intent of filling both. I’m already pissed when I get there because I took the wrong exit off the highway and so added ten minutes to my already out-of-the-way trip. The pharmacist asked if I was waiting or dropping off.  I said I’d wait and then noticed that the other pharmacist working was a girl that I tried talking to months ago online dating (to no avail).  Awkward.  “Hey, just here to fill my crazy pills!  By the way, it is against HIPAA laws to not date a man because you know what medications he’s on.”  I shuffled over to the blood pressure lounge and waited.

A few minutes later, the first pharmacist came over.

Pharmacist:  “Uhh, I just checked with your insurance and they’re, um, not going to cover this one because they think it’s too new I guess.”

Me:  “O-okay.” (I forgot that the last time I saw my doctor, I started on a new med and she gave me a free month’s worth of samples.  Apparently my new SSRI is so hip that CDPHP hasn’t caught up yet…)

Pharmacist:  “They said it would be okay for me to give you this older medication that’s kind of similar, but…”

Me:  “What’s the medication?”

He tells me.

Me:  “Uh, no.  I used to take that in high school.” [It made me sweat uncontrollably, not to mention the fact that it caused my you know what to operate like a drinking bird toy]  “I’ll talk to my doctor and figure that one out. I’ll just pay for the other prescription and call her tomorrow.”

I pull out my wallet and the pharmacist goes back behind the counter.  He sighs and slumps his shoulders–I know that he can’t find my prescription.

Pharmacist:  “It must have been on the, um, rack too long, and so it got moved back to the shelves.”

I stare at him.

Pharmacist:  “But, I can like get it for you in just a few minutes.  It really shouldn’t take long.”

I thank him and go back to sit down.  I contemplate taking my blood pressure for fun and instead start a couple of games of Words With Friends to take my mind off of things.  The pharmacist returns a few moments later with the I hope I don’t get my head torn off by a closet Type A look.

Pharmacist:  “Well, uh, another problem *nervous laugh* the date on the prescription was actually, um, December 8th.  I can’t fill the prescription because the script is out of date.  It’s against New York State law.  I mean, I’m sorr…”

Me:  “The prescription was sitting on the rack two days ago.  I got an automated phone call from Rite Aid telling me so.”

Pharmacist:  “I know, but once it goes back on the racks, it, I mean we have to refer back to the date on the script and it’s past where we can fill it.”

Me:  “I.  Okay.  I’m sorry if I seem angry, it’s just been a long day and I understand that you have no control over the situation.  I’ll touch base with my doctor and I’ll be back .  Thank you.”

I buttonedmy coat, went outside, unlocked my car, shut the door and then punched the ever-loving shit out of my dashboard.

*     *     *

I turned the volume up on the music on the way home and revisited a number of the tracks that I’ve selected for the pending Top 51 Tracks of 2011 article that’s to be released shortly.  When I got inside my apartment, I took my coat off, told my cat to shut up and pulled my phone out to check messages.  One text, one email and Words With Friends alerts.

I took a year-long hiatus from Words With Friends.  I re-downloaded it two days ago at the request of my coworker.  It wasn’t the conventional gripes that caused me to resign:

1)  People playing words that they clearly have no idea as to the definition.  For instance, I’m supposed to believe that BluEydGurll knows that “lama” is a term for a high monk and not the mis-spelled “llama,” our snotting petting zoo creature?  Who cares?  It’s a level playing field, anybody can do it.

Sure, it’s a little annoying when people take an entire day to go through every permutation of their letters in order to determine the highest score possible.  As far as I am concerned, if you want to waste that much time, go ahead.  And if I get bored, I’ll start a game with somebody else.

2)  Late in the game go-to words.  (“What the fuck is “Za?”  I thought that’s how bros referred to pizza.  “Ae??” I wasn’t aware that Scrabble allowed unrecognized elements from the periodic table as words!  “Qi.”  Scrabble dabbles in ancient oriental medicine?  I had played Scrabulous on facebook for a few months and was privileged to the two-word key.  I was used to that bullshit.

Nope…aside from the fact that I was playing it way too much, the main reasons that I stopped playing were:

1)  Words With Friends stops recording your win-loss ratio after about 10-or-so games.  I am a total statistics shill.  I have a vague idea of my prior record. It was well above .500.  I had losses, but they were few and far between…and each loss stung my ego like a ground hornet.

2)  That was an issue too.  I’ve always considered Scrabble an “intelligent” game, meaning I am incredibly pissed if I lose.  As an English major  one would assume that I have an edge on my opponents.  Unfortunately, my vocabulary is at about a 5th grade reading level which I have come to realize at the hands of standardized testing.  I recently entered into a game with my girlfriend.  It is my sincere hope that our relationship doesn’t become subsequently dysfunctional.

3)  Points were not deducted at the end of games from the player still holding tiles like in real Scrabble.  I lost some close games because of that garbage.

Now I’m back on/off the wagon and things have changed…

1)  Time Expecations:  In my Words With Friends heyday I was involved in no less than 10 games concurrently, sometimes as many as 15.  You started a handful of games assuming that some people would resign after a couple of turns.  Players now have ridiculous time expecations.

I started three games at the pharmacy and then drove home after making three moves.  Two of the three random assholes that I got paired up with had messaged me to “hurry up” and “go faster!” respectively.  That’s rude.  The third messaged me a more polite “ur turn.”  No shit it’s my turn!  If you prefer a time limit, try making some actual friends and playing on a board.  I work a full-time job and try to spend my free time doign productive things.  Some of these people must just sit at home waiting for their Words With Friends phone siren to go off so that they can make their next CRUCIAL move.  The funny thing is I was crushing these three morons.  The score with one of them was already 70-something to like 23 after three moves a piece.

2)  Words With Friends: The Newest Social Network:  I’ve started a few more games since yesterday and people are prying me about personal information.  I know the name of the application is deceiving, but I’m not your friend if you’re a random opponent.  I suppose “A Scrabble-like Game With People That You May or May Not Know” didn’t have the same ring to it.

I’ve been getting “yo wuts ur name?”  My username is my name, shitbrick.  “were [mis-spelled] u from?”  Why, do you plan on stopping by?  Basically, I just want to play a game.  If you want to say “good game,” if and when it’s been a good game, fine.  I may even honor a rematch.

username: SelfHatingHipster

Challenge me.  I’m currently 2-o, make that 3-0, and I guarantee I retire again within three months due to losses and the inevitable “hurry up!!!…a/s/l??”  Hopefully I’ll at least have some medication to curb the anxiety by then.

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