Two months ago I ran out of one of my prescriptions while on the road to Vermont. I covered those adventures in an earlier blog titled Drug Dealings.

I was able to get the medicine I needed at a national chain store in Albany, New York. I thought that was going to be the end of that story. Well…

Two weeks ago, my cell phone rang. The display showed a number I was not familiar with most noticeably, an area code I did not recognize. Being on a family cell phone plan with measured minutes, I let the call go to voice mail.

Later, I listened to the voice mail that resulted. I was amused since it was from that chain store in Albany. A pleasant female voice wanted to know if the pharmacy could contact my doctor to continue my prescription. Did they not notice they were calling a number with an out of state area code? How far did they think I was going to travel for my drugs?

I did not return the call, figuring my silence would be their answer.

But, a week later I was in The Container Store in Nashville, TN when again a strange number called my cell. One more time I let it go to voice mail. Again the Albany pharmacy. I returned this call.

Instead of the female who left the message, I talked to a polite man who understood the drive from Urbana, Ohio to Albany, New York might be a tad excessive and promised to remove my number from their call list.

Move ahead six days.The following Wednesday, I wake up in my own bed and start my “breakfast before breakfast” routine (taking my medications). As I take the last of the prescription that I had left home in April, I questioned why “my” pharmacy had not called to let me know my automatic script filling had been filled. Was I out and needed to see the doctor? I checked the empty bottle. The expiration date was not until September.

I called the pharmacy and was told they needed to call my doctor since the script had expired. I told her that the bottle showed a September date and then gave her the numbers of the scripts.

I heard keystrokes over the phone before she said, “Oh, that’s the prescription we transferred to Albany. I’ll just call them and get them to transfer it back here.”

“O.K., thanks. I’ll pick it up when I bring Son to work.”

Hours later I arrived at the pharmacy counter to learn there was no prescription for me. Now it was time to panic (or I would if I didn’t get this script).

The pharmacist explained that she had called the store in Albany and was told that in the state of New York, a prescription could only be transferred once and my once was transferring the script TO Albany. Albany could not send it back home.

The pharmacist added that Ohio used to have a similar law, but it only lasted a short period of time. She would call my doctor to get a new script.

I caught my breath at this news since I have been putting the doctor off until we have health insurance again at the beginning of next month.

The trick then became the fact that this was Wednesday. My physician only worked a half day. In addition, their phone lines was perennially busy, but the pharmacy would continue to try. I would stop back when it was time to pick up Son from work.

Four hours later, still no script. The doctor’s office did not return the call. The pharmacist loaned me a few pills to get me through the next day.

The next day, I took Son to work, stopped at the pharmacy. Kim, today’s pharmacist, had not heard from the doctor’s office. She would try to call. I said, “Would you like me to call?” And dialed on my cell phone.

Kim was concerned the line would be busy again, but Marcia picked up quickly. She knew nothing about a prescription for me. I handed the phone to Kim who got the information she needed.

After the call, Kim showed me the post-it note left for her about my situation. It started “LM doctor.” I looked puzzled until Kim said, “left message doctor.” OH! I thought they were using my initials – Linda Marie.

A few hours later my prescription was filled, but should two little pills be giving me this much story? Again, I’m glad they were not for my blood pressure.

That story is next time.

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