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Prescription Pain

July 14, 2005

"If I'm curt with you, it's because time is a factor here."
-Winston Wolf

It took years of doctors visits and a battery of tests, but earlier this year my headache problems were finally diagnosed correctly: they are migraines. My newest doctor put me on a drug called Imitrex, and let me tell you, that stuff WORKS. It's amazing. Imitrex is a life-saver. It's expensive as hell, but my insurance covers the $160+, minus the $25 I have to cover. But I gladly make that co-pay.

The only downside is that Imitrex comes in something that looks like a sample box more than a prescription pill bottle: you get nine pills for your money. No more, no less. So if you have more than nine headaches in a month, guess what? You need another Imitrex box.

My doctor suggested I try Imitrex initially by splitting the pill in half, but that didn't quite work for me. The instructions said not to do it, but I'll take my doctor's advice over the drug company's suggestions. But it takes a full Imitrex to actually knock out the migraine.

On Saturday I went in to pick up a refill while Melissa and I were en route to St. Pete Beach, since I had taken my last one the night before. All was well, until the woman at Walgreen's who doesn't speak English very well pointed at the price -- it was the full amount! I balked at the price. She called over the pharmacist, who spoke English just fine, and he explained how most insurance companies will only cover the cost for one box per month. Lovely. I had the money to cover it, but I was so angry about it at the time that I decided not to go through with the transaction. I mean, that's $160+ for something that normally is $25. Melissa suggested I try BC powder, which I remembered having seen in ads in Nashville for years. They had it, and it actually came in handy later on that day when, surprise surprise, another migraine came on. The powder tasted horrible, but two doses of that did the trick.

The BC powder got me by through the weekend and Monday, and on Tuesday and yesterday I was actually headache-free. A rarity! But this morning I woke up at 7:15 out of my sleep to a mega-headache. Two BC powders... no effect. Three Bayer stress headaches... again nothing but pain. I waited two hours, then took two more BC powders (they come individually wrapped) and three more Bayer pills. Finally the medicine overkill worked, though I imagine it ate through my stomach lining or something. Fun stuff, huh? But at least the throbbing pain went away.

I can't get the Imitrex refilled on the insurance tab until 7/23, but I don't want to go through another morning like this morning again. So I might have to bite the bullet, pay up the big price, and then see if I can get my doctor to prescribe me a second migraine drug similar to Imitrex that my insurance company would also cover. It's crazy, I tell you. And it's not like Imitrex is something that gives you a buzz or anything -- it just makes the headaches go away. And that's all I want...

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