Vaginal Discourse

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.

My collection of prescription bottles

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.

  • Gabrielle

    I horde insulin like whoa. Sometimes I feel that I am being paranoid, then I remember all the times that new insurance companies refuse to cover it (this has happened every single time I have changed insurers in my life, even in my childhood) and the dreadful dawning realizations that I simply could not afford one more bottle until X date, therefore I had to start rationing myself.

    So I can really understand the urge to horde, the uncertainty of not knowing that the meds will be there for when you need them. Its fucking shitty. We could so easily spare everyone that feeling by implementing universal healthcare. But I guess we missed our once-in-a-generation chance in 2009.

  • Agent_J

    My drawer looks similar. My doctors fail to see the problem in allowing me to run out of my HRT, even for reasons like they wanted to see me in three months so wrote the prescription for exactly that, but the first appointment available in their schedule was just a few days short of four months away, even when booked as I’m checking out after the current appointment.

    Oh to have doctors who would Just Get It.

  • Kittens & Butterflies

    I’m another pill hoarder. I don’t use up Ritalin fast enough, but since doctors write the RX for a specific length of time (controlled substance and all) I don’t want to risk missing a single pill that I am entitled to simply because I showed up late to the pharmacy. Since I’m a pharmacy tech, I see patients run into that very problem all the time, especially with as-needed medication like anxiety or insomnia pills. I am lucky to be Canadian and on my provincial drug plan, at least.