Wednesday, March 16, 2011

just another vignette about healthcare in Walkerville

Waiting for my doc’s office to approve a refill on my migraine medication, so the email I got from the Walgreen’s automated system lists the full price before insurance: $360 for 27 tabs.
Maxalt, the medication I take, is really only effective if you take it immediately upon the onset of any symptoms (if then).  My migraine symptoms are kind of variable and I still have trouble recognizing the BEGINNING of a migraine because for me it’s usually nausea, which can have a lot of other causes, or light sensitivity that I only realize was abnormally strong in retrospect.
Imagine that you take this stuff and you don’t have insurance.  You’re making a $13.33 bet every time you take a tab that this definitely IS a migraine coming on—or you wait too long and straight up waste $13.33 by taking the tab when it’s almost certainly too late to help.  Or you just give up on trying to even pay for it in the first place because it’s migraine meds or food, and hey, if you have a migraine you can’t really eat anyway.  Savings!
I had a migraine this past week that I didn’t recognize in time, and it severely limited my productivity for three days.  That’s how long I was nauseated and light-sensitive and intermittently experiencing stabbing pain in my head.  Good thing it’s spring break!  I would have gone in to teach, sure, but I’m not exactly at my most effective on Day 3 of a migraine.  If I held a job that involved any kind of loud noises, forget it; I wouldn’t have been able to do it at all.  Lack of medical treatment hurts workers, and by extension, the entire economy.
You know what sometimes helps with migraines, which are disproportionately suffered by women?  Hormonal birth control, the availability of which Walker has also just drastically cut, especially for low-income women.
It’s all connected.