Thursday, December 11, 2008

Pharmacies, Paranoia, and Progesterone, Oh My!

So, here I am in H.ong Ko.ng! Kind of wild to be on the other side of the world. So far, it's been really fun. I'll write about our trip itself another time--this is more of a hormone levels/travel paranoia/pharmacy nightmare post.

I tend to be a fairly paranoid traveler (I read all the warnings about infectious diseases before I travel to any other country, I drink bottled water, I won't eat salads, all of that stuff). I got myself fairly worked up about insect repellent, of all things, before we left (there were something like 30 cases of dengue fever here . . . one year . . . out of 7 million residents), and ended up bringing stuff with DEET to spray on my clothes, and stuff with citronella only to put on exposed skin. Even though the stuff I've found hasn't found any negative effects on babies, I still didn't want to put DEET on my skin. So, yeah. It's the driest month of the year hear. I have seen--literally--two insects in the four days we've been here. Two. A bee and a gnat. I used the citronella the first day, but the DEET will probably make it home unopened.

And I ended up cancelling that ultrasound before we left. The doctor said the ultrasound wasn't needed, and I had really good progesterone results from my Tuesday blood draw! My progesterone was up to 27! It started at 13 four weeks before, rose to 18 two weeks later, and then jumped to 27! I was so thrilled! I feel like my body's doing something it's supposed to do. I walked around thanking God with a big goofy smile on my face for the rest of the day. And this also means that I can go down from two enormous progesterone injections twice a week, plus prometrium every night, to one enormous progesterone injection twice a week and no prometrium! Thank goodness! I think I'm actually a bit less nervous this time around. I know that, last time, I did everything in my power, but ultimately, it's all up to God. This time, I'll do everything I can, but it's still up to God. I can ask for ultrasounds every week if I want to, but what difference will that make? We're already doing everything we can. So, I felt good about cancelling the ultrasound. I'm trying to let go a little bit of the illusion of control.

Oh, and speaking of injections, here's the latest in my weird pharmacy experiences! I went in last Friday to get refills before the trip. The pharmacy had ordered in the progesterone, so I knew those would be in. But I also need 18-gauge needles (huge ones that look like roofing nails, for drawing up the oil into the syringe) and 22-gauge needles (less huge ones that look like the roofing nail's little sisters) for actually injecting the stuff into my behind. Last time, they had both, no problem. So, I walked up to the counter, told the woman at the register which prescriptions I needed refilled, and she insisted that the 18-gauge needles weren't in my record. I had walked in the prescription from my doctor--on paper--and they had filled it less than three weeks before. I asked whether they would still have the paper copy and she said "no, we don't have those. They're filed somewhere else." She implied that maybe the pharmacist would have access to more information in my records that would include the big needles.

So I waited, they filled my prescription, and I went up to get it. 22-gauge needles, and the dinky hCG syringes, which I had told her were not the right ones. She brought the pharmacist over, I explained the situation, and she said "Oh, we stopped carrying the 18-gauge needles, so last time, they probably just gave you the ones we had left, but they didn't put them in your record. You'll have to have your doctor write you a script for them." I said "He already did, and I brought it here three weeks ago!" She stepped over to the next bay and came back 20 seconds later with the paper copy of my prescription in her hand! So much for "we don't keep those here"! Then she said I'd have to have another pharmacy call over to transfer the prescription.

By now, the pharmacy was closing in 8 minutes and I was leaving the country the next day. And I was mad! So, I decided I wasn't going to leave until I found a local pharmacy that had them in stock and could call over. I called the local Wal.greens, and they didn't have them and "couldn't" check any other locations. So, I marched back up to the counter and begged the pharmacist to let me take the paper prescription and shop it around to find a pharmacy with the needles in stock. I told her I was leaving the country. She walked back and conferred with the other pharmacists, and I heard someone said "just give them to her." She came back to the counter, carrying a huge box full of 18-gauge needles! They had them the whole time, but they "don't sell them anymore"! She just handed me the box, with a "don't bother me anymore, lady" kind of attitude, and said that these would probably cover at least all of the refills I have on my current prescription.

Ultimately, it was really nice of her to do that, but why make me jump through all the hoops? Seriously! I was proud of myself for sticking it out, but I'm going to have to find a new branch of the pharmacy soon. This one has gone downhill and I've annoyed pretty much every employee at this point (I'm not rude, but I'm persistent, and I let them know if I'm not happy).

Well, we're going to take the ferry today and check out the markets on the other side of the harbor, so I should probably get a move on! I'll post later about our delayed flight (22 hours! And they kept our checked luggage overnight while we were still on the ground! Never flying U.n.i.t.e.d again!), the wild commuter escalator, authentic dim sum, and such!

2 comments:

allyouwhohope said...

Yay for the good results! That is such good news! And can I just say that you have an amazing attitude right now? It's really inspirational. I imagine that I would be a really worried pregnant woman, so if I am every lucky enough to be any kind of pregnant woman, I'll have to take your example.

And you seem to have really bad pharmacy experiences! Nothing's easy, though, is it? Good for you for being persistent. You need to be your own advocate because no one else is!

And, wow! You're a legitimate world traveler! I feel cool for just reading your post from Hong Kong! I hope you post pictures!

This_Cross_I_Embrace said...

Sheesh! I can't believe they made you go through all that!! What do they think you're a pg IV drug user or something??!
I'm glad you were finally able to get them, and that you are in Hong Kong safe and sound! Can't wait to see pics and hear more about the sightseeing!

 

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