Wednesday, October 29, 2014


The jury is still partially out, but unless there is a gigantic miraculous reversal, it appears I have a lifelong incurable autoimmune disease.1

It's not the worst incurable disease one can get; certainly better than cancer or its ilk, but it's certainly not something I'd describe as "comfortable" or "enjoyable" or "allowing me to travel far from refrigerated medicine" or "providing me a life free of invasive procedures in awkward places".

That said, the most hellish part of the lifelong component of this disease is the sinking feeling that I am doomed to interact with pharmacies on a regular basis for the rest of my life.2

Pharmacies are bastions of inefficiency in a technocratic age. The answer is never, "we have that ready for you right now, here you go". There are two modes of pharmaceutical operation: please wait an hour, or please wait an hour and then we'll tell you we don't have it. We recently had the most amount of fun with our former pharmacy, as they played the game of if you call, we'll tell you it's ready, and if you come in, we'll tell you it doesn't exist in the state of California.

I've tried every pharmacy within five miles of our house, and this type of interaction is obviously enshrined in the state constitution.

The usual pharmacy experience goes something like this:

Beg your wife call to renew your prescription, asking very nicely and mentioning your incurable disease as leverage.

If your wife isn't around, try renewing by email, because the pharmacy just emailed you saying you can.

Get the email back from the pharmacy saying you can't renew by email.

Bite the bullet.

Wait an unspecified time period, usually somewhere between one hour and six months.

Go to the pharmacy. Avoid the glaring homeless people outside (there are ALWAYS glaring homeless people outside of a pharmacy. This is another state law.)

Stand in line with the cast of The Walking Dead.

Die of natural causes.

Get to the front of the line. Wait for the pharmacist to literally check every single storage area for your prescription, and ask every single other employee where it is3 while the ex-cons behind you get impatient.

Get your prescription renewal.

Go home and discover it's a "partial" renewal, and you have to go back again in another unspecified time period: between one and twenty-one fortnights.

If you're going to incur a lifelong illness, might I recommend one that can be treated with over-the-counter medication.

1. Two older siblings have various other autoimmune diseases that onset about the same time of life, so I should have predicted this, but unfortunately foresight is not my forte.
2. Not really hellish, but annoying: my insurance's suspiciously timed recent increase in co-pays for medication treating chronic conditions.
3. This is no lie. Every time.


drfindley said...

At least you get to go to the pharmacy, I have to go to music stores to fill my prescriptions. For more cowbell.

LRH said...

Welcome to the club. Mine is hereditary too.

J J Perry MD said...

I gave you intelligence and a sense of humor.
I gave you music, both in talent and lessons.
I taught you camping in searing heat, in alpine rain forest, in bitter cold and clouds of mosquitos. (Perhaps not the blessing you were looking for.... This gave you character.
I gave you challenges to your paradigms which in turn gave you wisdom.
You had to get something not so good from me, the yin for the yang. So I made you ugly. Except your mother made you handsome, so all in all, your looks are just fine.
The auto-immune disease? I don't have one so I couldn't give it to even I wanted to punish you for going to BYU. So, as much as I would like to take the blame, as I am wont to do, I can't. Forget that. Yeah, it's my fault. All mine.


brittney perry said...

I'm sorry I left you to the drug wolves...