"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. " -Helen Keller

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Advocating for Yourself

You are your own best champion.  Repeat after me...YOU ARE YOUR OWN BEST CHAMPION. Those of us in the ALI community, especially need to subscribe to this belief. Doctors, officials, or people with an alphabet soup after their name are not infallible and can make mistakes. I was lucky when I was going through my IF journey. My doctor and his wife had been IF patients themselves and this made him very willing to listen to suggestions and ideas for treatment.  In my case, I was the one who found the article in a medical journal that supported the need for lovenox in my case. Never hesitate to research your treatment or question a doctor if something doesn't feel or seem right.

Advocating for yourself can and does extend into other areas of your life. In our case, we recently had to advocate for ourselves with our pharmacy.  For many, many years, we had our prescriptions at CVS Pharmacy. Up until 2 yrs ago, we never had any problems with them.  In fact, up until 2 yrs ago, I would have recommended them to anyone. But, it went downhill 2 yrs ago and never recovered. Despite our telling them a million times that we did not want to fill our prescription for 3 months at a time, they did it every time forcing us to wait while they repackaged things. Then there were times that they didn't contact our doctor when they should have which meant extensive delays in filling Vic's meds...and you just can't do that with diabetes meds. But, the fatal blow to our relations ship with CVS pharmacy was when they tried to give us less and less medicine despite Vic's dosages staying the same and our insurance coverage staying the same. For example, until this crap started happening, one of Vic's insulin prescriptions would net him 5 boxes of medicine. Well, out of the blue, without warning, CVS gave us 3 boxes when we filled the prescription. Vic's dosage had NOT gone down. His doc had not changed his prescription. When we asked CVS about it, they blamed it on the insurance company. This is where we had to advocate for ourselves. We had to be our own champions. Many people would have just accepted that at face value and bitched and groused about those damned insurance companies. Since we knew when the insurance coverage had been updated, we knew this SHOULD NOT be the problem.  We checked with human resources at Vic's work and they confirmed that our insurance coverage hadn't changed so that shouldn't be causing problems with filling the meds. So, that meant someone at CVS was either totally incompetent or was completely dishonest and was ripping us off. Vic's endocrinologist was so incensed by what was happening that he said he was going to report CVS to the state pharmacy board. I don't know if it was just the store we went to or if it is the whole pharmacy chain but something was definitely rotten in Denmark and CVS lost some faithful customers. We've moved all our prescriptions to Walgreens and it is so nice to pick up Vic's meds and have everything be perfectly correct...all the meds present and accounted for and the price correct.

The moral of all this is...know your rights, know your coverage, research your situation, and stand up for what is right.


Another Dreamer said...

Amen to that. If there's valuable I've learned in the last few years it's that. Glad you switched pharmacies and were able to get the meds filled with no issues!

Mrs. Gamgee said...

Amen! You are your own best advocate... Docs and pharmacists are people too, and they make mistakes (not that what happened to you guys was just a mistake... more like gross negligence). We have to ask questions, get clarification, and push to get what we need when we need it.

Alana said...

Kudos to you and Vic for being so on top of things!

areyoukiddingme said...

It really bugs me now, when I hear people say "Oh, the doctor said this, and that's what I'm going to do" when it's clearly a questionable recommendation. Or the opposite "Well, cancer is caused by all the processed foods you've been eating. If you just eat organic, you'll be fine." Do your research, and don't just buy into whatever someone else tells you!

Sorry to hear that the pharmacy gave you such problems. I don't understand it when pharmacists/techs insert themselves into your business. That can be dangerous - especially for a diabetic. They could open themselves up to a major lawsuit if someone's health were to be adversely affected.

The Maven said...

So, so true. My PCOS was discovered thanks to my insistence on certain tests. Our second child was conceived thanks to my insistence on exploring all the options. My gluten intolerance was discovered because I did the research and figured it out. And, most importantly, our firstborn's "ADHD" was found out to be hearing loss because we pushed for testing while they were pushing for drugs, instead. Being your own advocate is so crucial. Nobody knows us (and our kids) better than we do.