So today I took Alex for a checkup. Her outrageously expensive asthma medication runs out next week and we needed a doctor's order to renew the prescription. There's a new general practitioner in the small town nearby, and we've been looking for a GP closer to home, so I took Alex there today, figuring we'd give the guy a try.
He was wonderful. At nine, Alex is at the age where she's a bit more body conscious, and he put her at ease during the examination by talking to her about her hobbies. He pronounced her healthy afterwards and then he and I began discussing her history of asthma.
The doctor decided, based on Alex's records, that renewing the prescription was warranted. As he jotted down the order in his doctor's scrawl, I commented on how expensive the Advair was, and how I felt fortunate to be able to scrape together the $150 a month it took to purchase the medicine. I told him I'd gone on the GlaxoSmithKline website and found that Advair wasn't one of the medications listed in the free-or-reduced-cost drug programs the company offers to the uninsured.
The doctor rolled his eyes and said that was because drug companies were greedy.
Excuse me? Did I hear right? A doctor criticizing drug companies? Of course, I asked him to elaborate and he told me that the reason Advair wasn't offered through the programs is because there' s no competing generic. With no compeitition, GlaxoSmithKline can charge whatever they bloody well please.
I asked him what uninsured people who couldn't afford the medicine did. He shook his head sadly and said they either took half the prescribed dose or risked going without. I told him I hoped I'd never have to make that choice, but as a freelancer I know how work can be there one day and not the next.
"Hold on a sec," he said, and left the room. A few minutes later he came back with four samples of Advair - a four month supply. I was stunned.
"In case you run out of work," he said. "You seem like a really caring mother. I'd hate to see you have to make that kind of choice."
I almost wanted to cry, but managed a smile and a 'thank-you' instead. I paid my $93 bill and walked out with my $300 worth of medicine for my little girl. My faith in the medical profession has been restored, and we have a new family doctor.
My concerns prior to the visit weren't completely unfounded. My editing work has dried up, I've finished my lucrative summer screenplay project - and used the money to renovate my house and purchase a much needed laptop and professional grade camera. Not a whole lot of money is left over. And not a whole lot of work was on the horizon.
Then within an hour - via cellphone - I'd gotten two great assignments and learned a payment I'd been hoping would arrive had done just that.
Life is funny. Just when you think you need to worry - a futile thing to do - something happens and you find some little glimmer of hope. And hope, today, was just what the doctor ordered.
Hillary Clinton's new book discusses her campaign, her time on the debate stage, and the fact that Donald Trump is a creep. - I don't typically like to post videos from Morning Joe, but this is the best reporting on this book that I could find online. Here is what WaPo had to add...
4 hours ago