Thursday, January 20, 2011

Baby, It's Cold Outside

The baby is still alive and kicking.  Q was not able to come to today's appointment and I went alone rather than change it to another day.  It was extremely nerve-wracking in those first few moments after the ultrasound began.  This time, it was just a small bedside ultrasound machine, so the screen was very small and the picture was poor.  I saw the baby but not any movement at first.  Then the nurse pointed out the heartbeat and my own heart started beating again!  I was able to see some kicking as well.  It was very quick and not nearly as satisfying as last week's ultrasound, but I'm thankful to have some reassurance. 

This past week was good and went by fairly quickly.  The only issue has been acquiring a fresh supply of Lovenox.  For some reason, it just never works out smoothly.  Weeks ago my new insurer told me that my only option is to get it through a mail-order pharmacy.  I told them the sad tale of how last month's Lovenox shipment from a different pharmacy was exposed to extreme cold and how $1000 worth of drugs were wasted.  The new pharmacy assured me that they use special packaging to protect the medication, which is supposed to stay at room temperature.  "Yes, but I live in Minnesota," I said.  "It's COLD here."  No problem, they said, we have special packaging:

Special Packaging = Not Good Enough

Even if they used Extra-Special Packaging =
STILL Not Good Enough for January in Minnesota

You've no doubt guessed how this turned out.  The package arrived - a 90 day supply ($3,000!) - and although it was delivered directly to me instead of being left on the doorstep, I noticed that the package was cold.  VERY cold.  I asked the UPS guy if the truck was temperature controlled at all.  No.  It was subzero outside and the package had been in the truck for hours.  Who knows what conditions it was transported in before that.  The meds were not frozen, but they were way below room temperature.

I called around to see if this was OK.  Pharmacy said:  "YES, this drug is stable between 29 degrees and 104 degrees."  Hmmm, then why does it say store at 68-77 degrees on the box?  Called the manufacturer: "Sorry, we can't guarantee that it is fine."  And remember that last month's pharmacy also said having it at cold temps is not fine.  After such a long hard fight to even get pregnant, I am not prepared to accept "The drugs should be fine" as an answer, especially when only the pharmacy that stands to lose money here is saying that it's OK. 

For now, my insurer allowed me to get a 14-day supply at a retail pharmacy while I duke it out with the mail-order folks.  My insurer also told me that I DON'T have to get this through mail-order at all and that the three people who told me this previously are all wrong.  I've mentioned before that I hate my new insurer, but it bears repeating.  I HATE THEM!!  I've spent hours on the phone and it's not over yet, but I do realize how lucky I am to be dealing with this instead of continued infertility.  This I can handle.


Jeanne said...


I'm so sorry about the stress with the medication shipping issues! :(

Hopefully it will all get sorted out quickly and smoothly going forward.

I'm glad the ultrasound went well!


Anonymous said...

These american insurance companies sound brutal? Why is this such a drama? Why cant you get the drugs wherever you want? Why are there differences in prices? (drugs are one price here if they are on the PBS - pharmaceutical benefits scheme) and the govt pays through medicare for most of it, for instance, Clexane (Lovenox to you) $37 for a months supply for me. The govt pays the remaining $90 or so dollars for the months supply. Something needs to be done about your system!
Sorry its such a drama for you, glad that you didnt take their word for it - I wouldnt either and GLAD you have reason to have this problem! Best wishes to you in this journey!

Oak said...

Weird, I look JUST LIKE your box of drugs this week and I'm STILL cold! I'm glad the U/S went well and wish you luck on your battle with the insurance company/pharmacy. What a pain in the arse.

Alex said...

That sucks about your meds!!! How frustrating! Very glad your U/S went well.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog. Gah how frustrating about getting your meds. I hope you get things sorted out and can get it locally. Love the picture where you dressed up your drugs box! haha!

Mrs. Gamgee said...

Thanks for stopping by my hobbit-hole!

I'm sorry for all the angst with the meds! I love how people just sort of shrug and give the 'meh, maybe' answers to our most important questions.

Jana said...

sorry to hear about the stress with the meds and insurance company. i don't get why the pharmacy won't refund the money if they didn't ship it correctly.

glad the U/S went well. that would be a bit nerve wracking to go alone.

Just me said...

I now hate going to u/s appointments without my husband. Every bad news appointment, with the exception of the last which was sort of expected, I was by myself. I don't know what was worse- hearing the news, or having to call him and break the news to him.

I'm glad your u/s went well- I have one tomorrow and have my fingers crossed that it has the same outcome!

Thanks for visiting my blog!


Lori said...

Annie...just stopping by to say hello and check in on the little one! Glad all seems the medicine debacle, and continuing to keep you in my prayers!!!!!