I think it would be fair to say that I’m ambivalent about all the medications that I take. From thyroid medication to depression and anxiety medications to sleep medication, I sometimes feel like an utter failure. Some days I just want to wake up and not have to take a pill. I want to be normal.
Of all the medications I take, my sleep medication is the most important to me. A combination of anxiety, menopause, and side effects from other meds makes sleeping a challenge. Until I got pregnant, I had always been the sort of person who could sleep at the drop of a hat. And, sleep is my god.
Lately, I sleep no more than three hours at a time even when I’m taking both anxiety medication and sleep medication at bedtime. Most mornings I’m awake by 4:30 or 5, having slept for three hours and then for 1 1/2 or 2 hours. It’s been hard to focus and concentrate and cope.
When I go to the pharmacy and come home with a full bottle of sleep meds, I feel at peace. I know I have the golden elixir that will let me sleep at least for a few hours each night.
That’s how I felt last Sunday. My prescription was refilled with no problems, and I’d be ready to go for Tuesday when my prescription ran out.
Except I put the pharmacy bag on the floor next to my bed without removing the prescription. On Tuesday morning I used the bag to get all the litter from my room and took it down to the trash cans on the curb. The garbage truck came right on time. My prescription left with the trash.
This is what I learned:
- Losing my sleep meds is a trigger for a panic attack, full on can’t breathe, can’t stop crying panic. I have to ride these out, try to breathe. On Tuesday I decided to clean my house like a maniac, vacuuming, mopping, all the hard stuff. It’s calming and tiring, and the house looked good too.
- I’m so privileged to have insurance that I didn’t understand I could get my prescription refilled even if insurance wouldn’t pay for it. Somehow I thought I’d be marked as an addict, assumed to be pretending to lose my meds in order to get more. I expected that I’d not be able to get a refill until 30 days. But, the pharmacy had no trouble refilling the prescription and the pharmacist actually was empathetic.
- When you don’t have insurance and you need to refill a prescription, you can find discount drug coupons online. I found a coupon for my medication for just about half of what it would cost me full price. I found mine at GoodRx. I’m sure there are other sites, too. This site claims that its coupons can beat the price you pay through insurance in some cases.
- My doctor’s front office staff suck. I left a message with the receptionist and never heard back, despite the fact that I was crying when I left the message. I really could have used a conversation with my doctor. Reassurance and concern would have gone a long way.
When I got the refill of my prescription, I took the bottle out of the bag and put it in a safe place immediately. I have to wonder if a part of me threw away the prescription intentionally because of ambivalence. I’d love to wake up tomorrow and feel normal or at least wake up accepting that for now I need these meds.
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