You know those ridiculous little yellowish bottles with the white caps and labels that medications come in? You’d think that those bottles were made of gold, with all the hoops that I have had to jump through to obtain one – an empty one at that! Last August, the office that I worked at had a bed bug incident. According to my boss back then, one of the ways to kill bed bugs is to spray your belongings with alcohol. I sprayed my purse both inside and out with the rubbing alcohol the office kindly provided. There was only one problem with that solution: the rubbing alcohol made the ink on the label of my prescription disappear.
Like any good sick person, I carry my prescriptions with me at all times. As anyone else with fibromyalgia will attest, having my pain medication on me is a necessity. All I need is to over do it even the smallest bit and it is a slippery slope to spending the next few days as a breathing couch pillow. While pain medication doesn’t fix that, it does help prevent a full fall-out. A lot of how pain and fibromyalgia gets to you, I have found, is how you experience it. Without heavy pain-killer, at least for me, the pain leaves me dis-functional.
From the age of 17, I have had a prescription for Hydrocodone. I started out at 175 mg and now I am up to 500 mg just for the medication to work. For me, it is only ‘as-needed,’ but I know some of my fellow fibro-fighters are on a much more intensive regiment. Lucky for me, I don’t need it very frequently – maybe 3 times a week, less than 18 times a month. Also lucky for me, I don’t have an addictive personality. But regardless, the tolerance I have accumulated scares me. So I avoid taking it when possible. This means that while a taking a pill would allow me to go about my day, I will often opt for taking a nap or watching reruns of South Park. I like my liver. And I like my independence.
Last year I received two prescriptions of Hydrocodone. Awesome enough, one was a un-requested refill that just showed up. I still have 30 of those pills left. From September. But I don’t have a bottle with a label. This hasn’t been a problem until now. See, Oz and I are traveling across the country to visit Seattle (my favorite place in the world). We are going to be (hopefully, if both of our healths allow it) doing a lot of things on this trip. Taking into account the stress, the cramped seating of an airplane, and jet lag, it can all lead to a rough few days for me if I am not prepared. I visited Ireland last summer. I know how to handle my health: tons of vitamins, stretching, and Hydrocodone just in case.
This is Oz’s first time flying. I had him double and triple check the hoops he would have to jump through to get his diabetic supplies secured on the plane without scarring him for life. I tried to do my part too. I called my mail-order pharmacy to get a new bottle or label for my Hydrocodone (it is a controlled substance, needing the prescription number very clearly on the bottle). I spoke to two people, who told me it would be out in a few days. Then I get a phone call saying this isn’t possible to do, the pharmacy won’t allow it. So I sternly insisted to be connected to a manager or supervisor. This mana-viser woman was seemingly awesome. I explained the situation, she rectified it. I explained the complication I encountered, she spoke to two of her bosses to make sure it would go through and they insisted that it would be okay, given my circumstances. I called to check on the order a few days later to receive the following, “Well our supervisor tried to call you and tell you that it would be against federal law to get you a new empty bottle.”
I get it and I appreciate the lengths they are going through to prevent any legal issues. But I didn’t receive a call from a supervisor. Seriously?! Get it together. Yes or no. Just let me know.
So if you have had to jump through some seriously stupid hoops lately like me, if you are going through final exams like Oz, or muddling through spring allergies, these next few pictures are to cheer you up.