Normally my time would be spent talking about my elder care experiences and the craziness that is insurance, clothing, finances, people, food, and anything else in an ‘ordinary’ day. But caregiving, as I continue to find out, runs the gamut across all ages and time…for the caregiver, that is.
Yesterday, my 21 year-old daughter woke up with a pain in her eye.
“Mom, what does a scratched cornea feel like?”
“Well,” I said, “let me put it this way. I would rather go into labor 10 times with 10 babies 10 days in a row, than EVER have to feel a scratched cornea again.”
“Well, my eye hurts every time I close it, so I think I might have that.”
Since she wasn’t writhing on the ground in pain, screaming for an emergency room or an epidural, even though not pregnant, I was pretty sure it wasn’t a scratched cornea. But since she was leaving for college in 4 days, and I didn’t want to drive 5 hours in 5 days when she called me writhing in pain, I decided we should see if the eye doctor could squeeze us in. Of course, as with every one of my emergencies…this was a FRIDAY, so if not taken care of today, we would be in the emergency room tomorrow. Good, or tired, or worn-down caregivers learn to hate Friday NOT Monday.
After a thorough eye exam, the doctor tells us she has GPC. Weirdly, that’s a new one on me. I was pretty sure I could sit for a Medical Boards Exam by now. It’s a form of conjunctivitis that is not contagious, but must be medicated 5 times a day, then 4 times a day, etc. for a month. And you really should wear your glasses not your contacts because the medicine has to be put in without contact lenses in your eyes for at least 15 minutes each time. Well, you might as well have told this 21 year-old college girl to get a Cyclops eye, a Freddy Kruger mask and a mermaid tail to wear back to college. She does NOT have time for ugliness or inconvenience. Tough s***t, says mummy.
Now, before we even leave for the two prescriptions she must get in her EYES (yup, it’s in both eyes, the other done just didn’t hurt yet), we beg the eye doctor to send in our claim to insurance. We don’t have vision coverage, but this is a medical problem. So we will see. I know if I had taken her to the emergency room or the regular doctor, this would be covered. Call me crazy, but my doctor does not have all those zippity-do-dah eye machines to look into my daughter’s eyes and see what’s going on there. And I asked the doctor if we could see it ourselves, and she said, “not unless you have a microscope.” So I will keep you good readers informed about THAT insurance result. Can hardly wait.
After we leave, we need to go see “L” my brother-in-law who has MS and I care for, which, was the ONLY thing I had to do today. HAHAHA. But first I need to stop and get him a few things on his list. I need to call his caregivers to give me an extra hour tomorrow to dress him for a family party. I need to call my sister, who is picking him up. And, when I finally get to see him, I find that we need to change his password for his retirement fund and BTW his computer has crashed.
SO THEN, I finally get to the pharmacy, where, coincidentally they know me by sight, don’t even ask for my name and go right for the drugs that have been ordered for me or any family member.
“Sorry, Cathy” says Rich (yea me and the pharmy are on a first name basis), but I only have one of your scripts.”
He sees my face fall…because remember, the college girl is going back to far, far away college in 4 days.
“BUT,” he quickly adds, cause he has also seen me melt down on just such occasions as this before….because there have been MANY of them, ” you can go to the pharmacy down the road and I’ve already put your order in there, where it’s been filled.”
“Yay!, and thanks,” I say, so kindly and enthusiastic.
I drive the extra 20 minutes, go into the NEXT pharmacy, and enter a fiasco with another poor customer whose insurance company randomly cancels her son’s much needed insurance every 90 days. I feel so bad I want to pay the $70 for her medicine and I think I would have, but the pharmacist assures her she will be reimbursed, if she just pays for it now and comes back after a few phone calls. (More like 927 phone calls in my experience).
AND FINALLY WE GET THE MEDICINE AND IT’S ONLY THREE HOURS OUT OF MY DAY!
You just have to laugh…….