Saturday, May 21, 2011

Caveat Emptor!

I took Amirah to the doctor on Friday afternoon after she got much worse and we came home with five medications for her. I rushed through the drive-through at the pharmacy and exclaimed at the very high bill ($110!), and the cashier said it was xyz medication, but I wasn't even sure what that was. I was in such a rush to get home so savta could meet the realtor and so I could go pick up Dean at work that I didn't pause to reflect on the bill.

Woe was me, since I quickly realized that the $60 medication was a topical analgesic for ear pain. I had been using tylenol and the doctor said ibuprofen would be more effective, so they dosed her with that at the doctor's office. (And ibuprofen worked just fine!) The $33 medication was albuterol and I had NEVER paid so much for albuterol in my life! We had paid for it many times when she was much younger since she a couple of years of asthma. The others were more normally priced - just some oral antibiotics and some antibiotics to go right in the ear. B"H I had turned down the spacer the doctor had prescribed for the inhalers. Very young children might need such a thing since they don't always keep their mouth closed after inhaling, but an eight-year-old????? I was very upset with all the prescriptions. They had been faxed directly to the pharmacy so I didn't even know what had been ordered, and at the drive-through I just didn't have the wherewithal to cross-examine everything.

After picking up DH, we decided to make a pit stop at the doctor's office to talk with her and to find out if all of these medications were really necessary. I talked through an intermediary who walked back and forth with our questions. She admitted the ear painkiller was unnecessary if we were getting enough relief with the ibuprofen, and she gave us a free sample of the albuterol (equal to the size that was prescribed). Unfortunately, once you walk out with prescriptions that's pretty much it - you can't return them. The total bill could have been $170. B"H by turning down the spacer it was "only" $140, but the depressing part is that it could have been $50 if I had been on my toes. Aargh. Lesson learned. I think I'll no longer have prescriptions faxed unless I review the list with the doctor first, and I'll certainly be extra careful before I drive away with them.

Shabbos was just at home. Everyone has some form of this bug, hopefully much more mildly than Amirah had it!! Poor savta, having come 3,000 miles just to spend time with all these sick, cooped-up kids. But we've had a good time regardless, and she's gotten to see (and help a TON!) with some of the vicissitudes and seeing us when we're not really at our best. I'm really hoping, please, Hashem, that we can get out to the bamboo test gardens tomorrow (we'd love to maybe see samples of ebony bamboo, something we're hoping to put near the sidewalk on the side of our house). We're also going to a look at a house that ima may be interested in buying, and then, PLEASE, HASHEM!, go to a lag b'omer barbecue at shul. We'll see!

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