The other week I was looking at my medicine drawer. Certainly, I’m quite privileged in that I’ve had not one, but two different insurance plans in the past year.
I’m not posting this to play Drug Olympics (certainly not on a weekday). What gave me pause was that all these bottles represent just five prescriptions– three anti-depressants (go team!), estradiol, and a testosterone blocker.
It took me close to a year to find a doctor that would prescribe me hormones. Eventually, I decided to drive to Chicago (150 miles away) to get my script. When I moved to Upstate New York, it also took me a while to get settled in with a new doctor.
Basically, I’m paranoid (or justifiably anxious) about losing access to my medication. Maybe I won’t be able to find a doctor to write a prescription. Maybe my insurance company will decide to stop paying for my hormones. Perhaps there’ll be conscience clauses.
I subconsciously hoard pills. As soon I’m eligible to refill an order, if I can afford it, I do it (hooray for tax returns!). Over time, that can lead to quite a surplus. I hold on to old pill bottles just in case I ever need to prove to a pharmacist that back in ought-eight such-and-such doctor wrote a certain prescription. I’m not sure what sort of situation would lead me to desperately whip out a four-year-old prescription bottle. I guess it’s best to be prepared.
Every day I hear of more and more laws that chip away at bodily autonomy. The less privileged the person, the higher the likelihood of finding oneself without healthcare. I’m worried that in one of the most affluent nations on Earth, hoarding and scarcity will increasing define our experience with medicine.