To celebrate our anniversary, I take Guido to the doctor — sorry. I mean, “Primary Caregiver” — because she is coughing like a coal miner, running a fever, and shaking like she’s being audited by IRS/ISIS for about a week, now. We try everything and nothing helps. I even offered to change our anniversary date.
The PG (13?) spends about as much time examining her as it takes to light a fart. “Bronchitis,” he says, and writes a ‘scrip for some fine kickapoo joy juice cough syrup and an antibiotic. The front office factotum faxes the antibiotic order over to the Walgreen pharmacy in our neighborhood (Open 24 Hours! In case you need a beach chair, can of whipped cream, or a corduroy rubber for a groovy kind of love at 2 AM), but for some odd reason we need to actually hand the ‘scrip for the moonshine to the drug dealer in person.
I’m sure there’s a good reason. This is America.
They tell us at the Drive-In Window — say, I wonder if I get a sixpack and a sleeve of delicious salt-free Pringles without going inside? — it’ll be about 30 minutes, so we go home and wait for them to call. Exhausted from all this activity, Guido goes to bed, taking a cat or two.
Not long after the phone rings and I get a recorded message to the effect that one ‘scrip is ready, but the other ran into some “insurance issues” which delays the process. But not to worry, they’re working on it and will notify me when everything’s cool.
“Not to worry.” Because, what could go wrong?
Two hours later I call them, get past the idiotic recording (which again assures me that if I’m waiting for a ‘scrip to be filled, they’re already on it and I can hang up now) then get past the moron who answers, and finally get the pharmacist who tells me:
- The antibiotic is ready, but the cough syrup isn’t covered by insurance.
- When this happens, they send a fax to the doctor and ask if he’d like to prescribe something else.
- If Yes, they re-start the process. If No, they advise the patient.
- Best part: They give the doctor 72 hours to respond.
Naturally, I ask pharmabitch what the doctor advises. She says they haven’t sent him the fax yet. Already agitated, I ask when they intend to do that. She asks when I drop off the ‘scrip. I tell her 2 hours ago. She is surprised I’m so impatient. And that’s when I lose it.
I explain in polite, four-letter words that my wife is 7 days into sleepless nights, continuous painful coughing, and fluctuating fever. She is losing not just sleep, but weight, business, and sanity. I have no idea that their fucking policy is to do jack-shit for 3 days while the doctor gets around to attending to his faxes — and that’s after Failgreen gets around to even sending it — and the message I am given from Walgrunt leads me to believe they’re actually doing something, not waiting for something to happen.
When she takes umbrage at my characterization of their policy as anti-consumer, bureaucratic ass-coverage, I tell her to shut the fuck up and send the goddam fax and I’ll call the fucking doctor myself to light a fire under his sallow ass. Again. I don’t give a shit about their (or my) fucking insurance or 3-day policy; I have a very sick spouse who needs medical attention, not paperwork, and while they’re dicking around she’s in extreme discomfort waiting for relief from the cornholing medical profession to which we pay ridiculous sums in which to participate.
“Yessir,” she send, through gritted teeth. “I just sent the fax.”
I call the doctor’s office, wait minutes listening to horrible hold-button music (“Waiting for the King of Hearts…..”) and then tell a receptionist what my problem is. She says the doctor has already gone to lunch, but I should leave a message for his nurse. I ask if it would be helpful if I show up in person wearing camouflage and brandishing weapons, trash the office, and threaten to behead the staff. She says a message on the answering service would be more effective.
So I leave a message, and of course, it is neither acknowledged nor returned.
Which is exactly what I expect so I drive back to Walgreen$ and pick up both ‘scrips, explaining to Phramafiend I don’t give a rat’s ass about the insurance, just fucking give me the product and here’s my fucking credit card. She tells me there’s no need to be rude or obscene. I tell her nicely I will attend to my needs myself, fuck you very much, just do your fucking job and save the moral advice for your two-headed children who love you twice as much. Hey, it works for Donald Trump, and we have about the same hairline if not income.
The moonshine works wonders — Guido finally gets some uninterrupted sleep, and feels better within an hour. Tomorrow I will call the doctor’s office and ask why I never get a response to my message. My intention is to fucking ream and scream and demand to speak to the goddam doctor to register my displeasure (again). Last time I do this he apologizes profusely — but I subsequently learn he specialized and has an advanced degree in Apologetics.
Greatest health care on the planet, they told us. The envy of the world.