Saturday, May 28, 2016

A little chaos

I took the kids swimming on Tuesday afternoon. Andrew texted to say that he was leaving campus about ten minutes before I happened to check my phone for the time (because the clock at the pool has been broken for at least a year now). I texted back that we were "pooling," and made the mistake of not saying "but we'll be leaving soon."

I gave the kids five minutes and then we packed up to head home, where I figured we'd have a quick spaghetti dinner since it was getting rather late. The kids wanted to wait for Daddy outside, though, so I threw on a pot of water to boil and went outside to supervise.

Side note: Zoë can open our storm door, so that's interesting. She let herself outside today while I was helping Benjamin in the bathroom. She and I have opposite opinions on this newly acquired skill.

Anyway, Andrew didn't come and didn't come and didn't come until finally he did come and we went inside and saw that it was nearly 7:00 (he figured that if we were having fun at the pool he'd just stay on campus to get some things done and I didn't get his "keep on pooling" text until after he got home). I was rather relieved when he finally pulled up on his scooter.

"I was thinking make-your-own dinner tonight. We can use stuff from the freezer and leftovers and..." He paused, noticing the pot of boiling water on the stove. "That is unless you had plans."

"Make-your-own is fine," I said, turning off the burner. "It's late, we've got to get the kids to bed; we can do spaghetti tomorrow."

Miriam woke up complaining of an ear ache on Wednesday morning, but she didn't have a fever. I said it was probably just a little swimmer's ear (I was a little chagrined that it would happen this early in the swimming season, but whatever) and Andrew managed to convince her to go to school, though I had my reservations about this. I texted her TA to explain that Miriam had an ear ache (no fever) and wanted to try for a full school day, but that I would come and get her if there were any problems.

At 9:07 I got a text asking me to pick Miriam up from school. She lasted all of seven minutes before calling it quits.

"Mr. A doesn't think it's swimmer's ear because we went swimming Tuesday afternoon and my ear started hurting Tuesday morning," she informed me when I picked her up.

If I had known about Tuesday's ear ache I probably wouldn't have let her go swimming!

She was fine for a couple of hours at home until, right in the middle of lunch, she spiked a fever, pushed her plate away from herself, and marched off to bed. She slept for hours until I had to wake her.

"K, leaving now," Andrew texted at 5:11. "FOR RILS."

So I filled a pot with water and set it on the stove to boil. About ten minutes later, however, I got another text from Andrew.

"Possible emergency," he said. "I can't find my scooter key. It must have fallen out of my pocket!"

I turned off the stove and started getting the kids ready to rescue Daddy. All we had to do was bring him a spare key but it took us about half an hour (and so many tears (mostly Miriam's)) to get loaded up. By the time we made it home, Rachel barely had time to throw together a sandwich before she and Andrew had to leave again (Benjamin and I had sandwiches, too; Miriam had bedtime) for Activity Days/secretarial duties.

Soon I got another text: "BAD KEY DAY!! I forgot the keys to the church!"

Fortunately there were others around with keys, so it wasn't a huge deal. He's still trying to figure out all this secretarial stuff (weird, since he's had this calling for all of six days now). I keep receiving messages like, "Only three families in the ward have five kids. Guess!" or "You've only given one talk in this ward."

"Ummm...two," I said.

"Inaccurate records here, then," Andrew said.

"These things happen," I said.

But who should Andrew believe? It was my word against the record.

"I spoke soon after moving in, but I spoke more recently, too. I think I have an email about it," I said.

"I have 3/31/2013 for you and 2/24/2013 for me. Nothing after that," he said.

I found the email asking me to speak (8/30/2015) and forwarded it to Andrew.

"Look at that," I said. "Solid evidence I spoke in August. Boom. Mic drop."

"I control the list," he said. "I can rewrite history."

"Then do," I demanded (lovingly) before throwing out more lines from Hamilton. "Put me back in the narrative!"

Yesterday morning the lost key to Andrew's scooter was sitting on his desk when he went to his office. He'd put an announcement out to his program listserv about it and someone on that list had found the key in a hallway and picked it up. We were quite happy to have it back!

Around 5:00 yesterday afternoon Andrew texted to say he was leaving "oh, so soon."

"For realsies?" I asked.

"Yup. I just have to finish laying out this index."

He's getting laid off from his typesetting job at the end of this month. Apparently you're not supposed to still be hired as a research assistant four years after you graduate from your school and move out of the state. Who knew, right? I mean, I guess it makes sense, but it would have been nice if they could have discovered this a year from now because it's been nice to have that extra source of income. They don't really want to let him go, either, but they have to. He agreed to finish up the last few books he's been working and has been scrambling a bit to do that, which means working late into the night working on books rather than working on his dissertation. But I suppose it also means that when he's finished with these projects he will, in theory, have more time to devote to his dissertation and maybe won't have to keep such ungodly hours.

"K, done," he texted ten minutes later.

Miriam wanted chicken soup for dinner, so I got out the Instant Pot and set to work fixing some soup, determined to have dinner ready when Andrew came home. Unfortunately, instead of using the individually frozen chicken breasts from Costco I used some chicken that my in-laws had chopped up and frozen in a ziplock bag for us. It was a solid block of chicken but I figured it would thaw out and drift apart and still cook relatively quickly because pressure cooker, but I was wrong. It stayed in one big lump, so when Andrew came home and I was finally able to check on dinner (that's the one thing that bothers me about pressure cookers—you can't really "check" the progress of your meal once you get the lid sealed) I found out that dinner wasn't ready! And Andrew had another meeting to be to that night! So he made himself a sandwich and the kids and I waited for the chicken to finish cooking (Andrew doesn't like chicken anyway, so he didn't think it was too much of a loss).

Miriam was still miserable and feverish so I made an appointment for her on Friday afternoon, hoping to avoid a trip to the urgent care or ER if things got worse this weekend instead of better.

So that brings us to today; her appointment went well. Her doctor diagnosed her with swimmer's ear and gave us a prescription for antibacterial ear drops since her ear canal was so filled with pus and grossness that he couldn't even see her ear drum (lovely). I was hoping to avoid antibiotics (Andrew sent me this article this week)* but waiting out this ear ache simply hasn't been working. We've all been almost run off our feet warming up rice sacks for her sore ear! (That might be a bit of a hyperbole, but honestly...we've been warming up compresses for her ear a lot the past few days).

I missed a phone call from the pharmacy around 2:00, but they didn't leave a message so I figured it was just to inform me that her prescription was ready. I'd just filled a prescription for Zoë on Monday (for a completely different (diaper zone) issue) and had had a similar thing happen with the pharmacy. Poor Miriam was so miserable being out and about, so I asked Andrew to pick the prescription up on his way home. Miriam was counting the minutes to the start of her treatment. The poor girl has hardly been able to sit up (or lie down, really) without crying. Let's just say she's split her time between crying and sleeping since Wednesday and has apparently been in pain since Tuesday.

Unfortunately I got a text from Andrew at 5:20: "No insurance authorization yet."

"What?" I asked.

"Probably won't happen until Tuesday or Wednesday," he said.

"Unacceptable," I said.

"The insurance has to contact the doctor who has to sign off on it," he said.

"Isn't that the nature of a prescription in the first place?" I asked. "What are we supposed to do with our sick child the whole weekend?"

"Weekend plus Labour Day," Andrew pointed out.

"This is why I went in today!" I said.

"CVS has no authorization from the insurance. It's in the doctor's court, apparently."

"I'm calling the nurse hotline right now," I said.

Andrew offered to pick up a pizza while I sorted things out (and that's how we botched an entire week's worth of dinners all in one go; meal planning is for wimps).

I spent the next two hours on the phone and, boy, was I getting short fused. I was asking to speak to managers and everything. I found out that I could pay for this prescription out-of-pocket and waited while they looked up the cost.

"Oh, it's pricy" they said. "$106! Now let me see if we have it in stock."

Do you think they had it in stock? No, they did not. They kept me on hold while they checked with other CVS stores. No one had any in stock. They asked if they could check around with other stores to see if anyone had any and then call me back. While I was giving them my phone number (which they have on record) my call-waiting started beeping, which was interrupting my connection so they kept asking me to repeat myself until I missed my call, right after I said, "I think I have the nurse on the other line. I have to go!"

So I finally hung up with the pharmacy and called the number that the nurse left on my voicemail, which only put me back at the end of the call-back line.

The pharmacy called back to say that no one anywhere had any of this medicine and that it has actually been discontinued so finding it will be really hard. I'd need a revised prescription, which only the doctor who wrote the prescription can do, or I'd have to go to urgent care or the ER to get a new prescription (also, they could get insurance approval over the weekend for an ER or urgent care visit, but not for a non-emergency visit to a doctor's office).

I'd already sent my doctor and email (I kind of love the myChart system they have out here) but hadn't heard back, so I didn't know what to do next, but I did know that I was upset.

"I missed a call from the pharmacy this afternoon but whoever called didn't leave a message. Why wouldn't they leave a message to say that there was a problem with the prescription or the insurance or anything?"

"I'm not really sure," I was told.

I simply don't understand why the pharmacy wasn't trying to fix this problem before I started hounding them about it. I mean, it took me over an hour to get them to figure out that they don't even have my prescription in the city! They probably could have figured that out around 2:00 when they had my prescription in their hot little hands, right?

I stewed about this while I ate my pizza (Andrew, by this time was home with the pizza, and had spent about an hour calling different pharmacies himself...he might have been the one to discover the medicine was discontinued, actually) and soon the phone rang. This time it was the nurse, who helped me try to figure out what we could do to fix things.

"Why don't you let me call the pharmacy and I'll talk to them," she said, "And I'll call you right back."

And call right back she did.

"They said they have a substitute prescription that's been sitting ready for you for about half an hour now," she informed me.

"Are you serious?!" I asked.

"That's what they said," she confirmed.

I called the pharmacy to ask if I had a prescription ready for pick up. And I did! Our doctor had called in a new prescription (he must have seen the message I sent him about it (I don't care what France does; today I say "Hurrah for after-hours email!")) and it was one that our insurance didn't care about getting pre-approval for, so billing was all worked out, too.

I'm still a little bothered by the whole ordeal because I don't think it's my job to figure out whether medications are stocked on the pharmacy shelves or not...and I also feel like if they know a medicine needs pre-approval and it's a Friday and that they can't get medicines pre-approved over the weekend that, perhaps, that should be someone's Very Important Task at work on Friday afternoons so you don't tell a crying child, "Too bad, so sad. Try to hang in there until...Tuesday or Wednesday." Because, again, how am I supposed to know whether medications need pre-approval or not?

And I already felt like a whiner this week because I had some issues with Zoë's vaccinations on Monday that still aren't quite resolved (but I feel comfortable putting that off until after the long weekend) and then I had to get all assertive (and bordering on aggressive to get Miriam's prescription sorted out).

Boy, am I ever ready for a Saturday! Maybe we'll even manage to cook and eat a decent meal together! (And maybe I'll leave sick Miriam at home and take the other kids swimming because there may have been tears and tantrums Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday when I had to explain that going to the pool was not an option right now).

*We made it three whole days without running for antibiotics. Quick, science people, save the future!


  1. I'm so glad she got her meds! If I had to guess that whole burst ear drum and swimming was a recipe for disaster! Ouch!!!!! I'm not sure why they didn't leave a message but it might have been a hippa thing. I had to sign a whole paper allowing my doctors office to leave info about my medical care on the machine because heaven forbid someone hear about it. Jason says they could have sent a compliant message but who knows with these people.... So here is my pharmacy story. I buy my progesterone five doses at a time from a pharmacy half an hour away because they can mix it there. I pay for out of pocket because while my insurance company would "cover it" from another pharmacy I have a 3,0000 personal deductible, 6,000 family and it is actually cheaper getting it here, but last night Jason was doing my forth dose of supposably five and it was short. I am freaking 1 1/2 doses short, whcih really just does not inspire confidence in me that they mixed the dose right :-/ Hope Miriam feels better soon!

  2. I hope Miriam is feeling much better this week. Poor thing! I can't believe the doctor didn't know he prescribed a discontinued medicine, but maybe doctors don't keep up with what meds are out there. Glad they found something for Miriam finally, but how annoying that you had to waste so much of your life doing other peoples' jobs. :(

    Did you ever have spaghetti? :)

    Oh, I kind of remember your doing at least two talks, too, because you posted them on your blog. I'm glad Andrew could fix The Record.