The hold music plays, sort of muffled as I have my face buried into a pillow. I already called the Pharmacy and they told me I have to get in touch with my doctor because I don’t have a refill listed.
Trying to quietly not go into a full-blown panic with crying, I keep thinking to myself “It’s going to be fine. Maybe she’ll say yes as long as you schedule an appointment.” The other voice in my head says “Yeah, but can you really afford that?” Both of the voices are shut up by me saying “I can’t but what choice do I have? I need it.”
This is the reality of many Americans. I may be “privileged” enough to not have a 9-5 grind in people’s minds, but what I do have is a 24/7 grind with an added dose of guilt trip if I even take time for myself for a moment, and a phone blowing up with “Where is my XYZ that you were working on?” Being a freelancer, there’s not a lot you can do unless you’re wealthy enough to pay out of pocket. And I’m not.
My prescriptions didn’t go up much as far as the cost, about $20 more for both my anxiety and depression pill, and $28 from the original “free” for my birth control when I had insurance. Of course, some people can live without birth control, but anxiety and depression medication is a different story. And for someone like me, who’s hyper-busy and an over-functioning, anxiety-ridden entrepreneur, I, of course, didn’t realize how long it had been since my last checkup.
“Please continue to hold, there’s a caller ahead of you.” *Click* I’ve been disconnected. I call again and go through the prompts, trying not to let the blood pressure spiking in my eyes effect my mood. A single tear rolls down my cheek.
Yes, the land of the (not so) free. Every six months, I am informed, do I need to go see a physician to get my mg’s, and while waiting in a stale room with vinyl chairs for 2 hours while Doctor Oz and Daytime TV plays, only to be seen for 4 minutes, just enough time to plug in my needs before she sends me on my “merry but soon to be medicated” way. And now, without insurance, I have to fork over hundreds of dollars, on top of paying for scripts.
“We’re not sure the doctor will approve you making a future appointment and give you the medication now. She’s out of the office today. Are you completely out.” “Yes, I’ve been out for two days.” “Oh, I see… Well, hopefully, she will get back to us tomorrow.” Thank goodness I’m not on the edge of hurting myself, or else this could have thrown me over the edge.
I press my hand into my forehead, thank the woman on the phone, because it’s not her fault. She’s just following the rules. Sobbing, I start digging through all of my backpacks in hopes there will be a pill that I left in there for safe keeping. I manage to find two, hastily pop 1 of them, and pray for it to kick in before I start thinking horrible thoughts and escape plans.
This is a reality for many individuals, and it’s important to note that you should never, under any circumstances, quit medication cold turkey, especially anxiety or depression medication. You may feel fine and feel that you can go off of it, but once the full withdrawal kicks in, you may experience overwhelming sadness or suicidal thoughts. Even though it sucks, do your best to make sure that your prescriptions are taken care of ahead of time, if you absolutely need them. Otherwise, there could be grave consequences.
For more truth-telling on what skipped medication does to a mind that needs it, read this story posted by the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention.
This post was originally written by ACRONYM and published on the former sister site AKRENIM.