Prescriptions annoy me. First of all, because I think it’s a bit of a liberty to have to pay for them every month when you have an incurable and chronic illness (hello, I didn’t ask to be sick, why charge me for it?) but secondly because for something that should be so straightforward, they are so bloody difficult.
Since I was put onto Azathioprine back at the start of 2017, I have been flung from pillar to post a little bit regarding who is authorised to prescribe me the medication. To my knowledge, the first three months were monitored very strictly by the Hospital, and I was not allowed to have it unless I was completing my fortnightly blood tests. After this time, I was presented my ‘Medical Monitoring Booklet’ which should authorise me to obtain prescriptions from my regular GP, as long as the booklet was completed with all my latest blood results.
However, last month when I was down to my last few tablets, it was not that straightforward. I’ll admit, I’m pretty disorganised when it comes to things like this – I’ll realise about a week in advance that I’m running low but will still never think to sort it out until the very last moment…
It was when I had completely run out, that I managed to call the GP to ask if I could come in and collect my prescription. Weirdly, they said it wasn’t on their system and so they would speak to the team and call me back when they had it. I waited a few days, and never heard anything, so I called again. I was passed on again, telling me that they would look into it and call back tomorrow. I did – this time, there was still nothing, so I decided to go into the surgery myself.
When I got there, I was told that it wasn’t on the system and that I would need to come back tomorrow. I explained the situation and they apologised and said it would be available tomorrow, once the GP had authorised it. When I returned the following morning, I was sent away again and told to come back that evening. I did, at which point, they said they still can’t give it to me. I asked why, and they said that it was the Hospital’s job, not theirs. A senior GP then looked at the screen and without even acknowledging me said – ‘Yeah, we can’t give that to her’ and walked off. I stood there and cried, explaining that it had been a week since I’ve been on my medication and that I desperately needed it. They told me there was nothing they could do and to call my Pharmacist at the Hospital.
I urgently called my IBD Nurse and Pharmacist and explained the situation. She said it was outrageous and gave me a load of forms etc and confirmation email to ask to prescribe it to me. The following day, however, I moved house, and so not only had no time but also realised I would soon be at a new GP. I officially moved on Tuesday, registered at the new GP on Friday and had a Doctors appointment booked on the following Tuesday.
When I arrived for my appointment, it had been 14 days since I had last taken Azathioprine. I was starting to feel a bit ropey and knew that if I didn’t get it, then I would be losing my shit, big time! As soon as I got into the room and explained, my new Doctor said that my old surgery had not sent over any of my records, so not was she unaware that I even had Crohn’s Disease, but she was also unable to do me a prescription without any evidence. I showed her my booklet, my email and forms and she said she would talk to the Head GP and see what she could do (as I was crying, again).
Luckily, she worked some sort of magic, and came back with a prescription – alongside a list of blood test forms and a reminder that I would need to come back again next month for a formal appointment to assess me and hopefully then be able to start a repeat prescription.
Never in my life have I had so much drama…
Moral of the story? Stay on top of your mediation and be organised.