I have Graves’ disease. While that sounds dire, I assure you it’s not. It’s a hyperactive thyroid, nothing more. I take a pill every day. Or did until I ran out. My fine doctor, an endocrinologist, refuses to renew the prescription until I submit to yet another blood test ($166) and appear for an office visit ($216). This could be a money grab or could be an ego thing; I am a difficult patient, meaning I’m not awed by their stupendous greatness.
Stunts like this post won’t win me any friends, either. Noses will get out of joint and offense taken. Boo hoo, blame it on my newly unleashed thyroid activity.
I’ve been on the same medication, at the same dosage, for more than three years. My ‘condition’ is stable. I had a blood test and the mandatory office visit in April, a short six months ago. Why do I need such close monitoring? Well, she wants to keep her license. Balls. The American Medical Association, rapacious as they are, doesn’t demand an airtight number of office visits. Perhaps her banker does.
She can make a case for the blood test, sure. It’s better to be safe than sorry, I get that, and things can turn ugly fast. So fine. Wouldn’t the blood test satisfy any questions. Oh, no. No, no. I need to be seen, in person, in her office. For four minutes (at a rate of $54 / min.) so she can grope my neck and ask insipid questions such as do you have any pain?
I can’t afford the cost and I don’t like being bullied. I spoke with an urgent care provider, a doc-in-the-box, but they don’t prescribe routine medications. Not even with a blood test. I called a nurse hotline, bupkis, no joy there. Their keen recommendation? The ER. And that, boys and girls, is why we need our modern medical professionals — we wouldn’t have spotted a $2,000 expense as a practical option to a $400 outlay.
So, in the end, I have no medication and no hope of getting a prescription. The irony is I could score some cocaine, or maybe a little Vicodin, in a flash. But can’t for the life of me lay my hands on Levothyroxine.
Ergo, my thyroid runs amok, erasing all the slow, hard progress of the last three years. For that and so much more I’d like to thank the medical professionals for creating their vast, unresponsive system of bureaucratic indifference. Job well done.
Clearly, that ‘do no harm’ business in the Hippocratic oath is passé, too. Kind of like Hippocrates, himself.
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