I cried in front of the pharmacist today. They told me they couldn’t renew my prescription for estrogen patches because insurance company wouldn’t allow them to refill it until Tuesday — the day after I need them. The nurses at Cornell want me to apply two new patches every other day, and my next scheduled change is set for Monday. At this point, I have only one patch left.
I’m not even clear what the estrogen patches do. All I know is if Cornell wants me to put them on, there must be a reason. I can already hear the embryo inside me gasping for estrogen. He’s saying, “We’re running on vapors here.”
I tried to plead my case to the insurance company. I told the man in Wichita the truth: that I was 46 years old, I’d been trying to have a baby for three years, unsuccessfully, and that I may finally be pregnant. But the baby needs estrogen patches, and I’m going to run out of them tomorrow night. Without them, the baby will surely die.
“M’am, I completely understand what you’re saying. And I want to do everything I possibly can to help you,” he said.
“Great,” I said. “So can you let me renew the prescription tomorrow instead of Tuesday?”
“M’am, I want to help you. Really I do. But I don’t want to say something that wouldn’t be true,” he said.
“Well, we wouldn’t want that. So….can you refill it?”
“You’re going to have to have your pharmacist call our help line. I’m sure they can assist you,” he said.
“Will the help line let me get the patches a day early?” I said.
“M’am, I can’t make you any guarantees. If you—”
Blah, blah, blah. Not sure what else he said. I stopped listening. My pharmacist had already called the help line and was told my plan had no “over-rides” — not for vacations, when you need a prescription refilled early before you go away, so you don’t run out while you’re out of town. Not even if I was on my death bed, and my doctor was trying to increase the dosage of my medication. No overrides, they had told her.
I wished I could stand behind the insurance man and sereptitously slap about six estrogen patches on him so that slowly, over time, he’d develop man boobs and a vagina, like those salmon off the coast of Maryland that have male and female body parts because they swim in waters that contain birth control pills and Viagra. And then one day, after he’s had surgery to remove the female body parts, he’ll have to start taking testosterone pills in order to get back his manly ways. Except that he’ll have lost a bottle of the pills because his wife thought they were her Vicodin prescription, and she inadvertently threw them out. And so he’ll have to call up the pharmacy for a refill. I only hope that by then, I’ll be working for the insurance company.