September 4, 2017
Several months ago I was hospitalized for a bone marrow transplant to treat cancer. Fortunately, all went as well as can be expected for a very aggressive procedure. During that time I kept learning/ re-learning how essential it is to read any product labels that are available to patients and to check/re-check all medications that are handed to you BEFORE you ingest them. Although not always easy to do when you’re an inpatient, it’s most important to do everywhere – in the pharmacy, in the doctor’s office or in the hospital. If you’re unable to ask about medications yourself because you’re too ill, your hearing/sight is impaired or you have difficulty with English, please ask a friend/family member to ask the questions for you.
Because my GI system doesn’t love dairy I do my best to stay away from it. My appetite, as with most transplant patients, was pretty non-existent during my hospitalization. So, it was suggested I try the newest supportive product called Ensure Clear to provide some much needed calories. I assumed it was dairy free, but when I read the label, I found it had whey protein that comes from milk. Uh oh. The dietary staff in the hospital kept sending it up to me and I kept returning it explaining Ensure Clear was actually a dairy product. Glad I read the label!
Additionally, whenever I was presented with a paper cup filled with medication I asked the nurse what was in it! As I always do, I ask the nurse if he/she wouldn’t mind telling me the name of each drug and it’s intended purpose. So far, I’ve never had a nurse get annoyed with my question. Most nurses believe double checking on medications is a very good idea.
In order to be an effective healthcare advocate you’ve got to read labels and ask for help in identifying a drug and it’s intended use. As I’ve said before, this drug is going into your most precious possession – your very, own body. Don’t be shy. It’s worth remembering that medical professionals are educators as well as practitioners and therefore, it’s always more than okay to ask questions about a drug BEFORE you take it! #askforwhatyouneed #trustyourdoctorbutnotthatmuch #whywaitreina #becomeyourownbesthealthcareadvocate
May 11, 2017
Have you ever had your prescription transmitted electronically? Most likely, you have. That’s the quickest, easiest and most efficient method to order medications for patients today. If you use two different pharmacies – a mail order one and a local pharmacy – your script can mistakenly be sent to one you don’t want it to.
That’s what happened to me the other day. My prescription for an antibiotic was transmitted with the speed of light to my mail order pharmacy. Oops! Needed it at my local one. I didn’t know there was a problem until I began getting texts that my script was “delayed.” Then a text informed me they couldn’t fill it because it just recently had been filled! Really? A quick call to the doctor’s office straightened the problem out in no time. A very efficient nurse called the mail order pharmacy, the local pharmacy and my insurance company. She was able to clear up the misunderstanding in just a few short minutes.
And then there was the issue of price. Because my mail order pharmacy, which is an arm of my insurance company, had been informed I wasn’t covered (due to the mix-up) priced the drug at $68. I knew that couldn’t be right. Most of my co-pays were about $3. I shared the pricing information with my doctor’s office as well. Fortunately, the nurse had covered that as well. Now my prescription cost $3 not $68! Whew. What a difference.
The take home message is clear: If something doesn’t seem right, or the cost is far above what you normally pay, ask why. Still don’t have an answer that makes sense to you? Ask again until it does. Saving $65 was great, but far more importantly, I was able to get what I needed quickly – a script to clear up my problem. Wasn’t that the whole reason I went to the doctor in the first place. #trustyourdoctorbutnotthatmuch #becomeyourownbesthealthcareadvocate #askforwhatyouneed #whywaitReina
April 13, 2017
My girlfriend, Carolyn, is a creative and a do-it-yourself woman. She’s always working on something in her home or just for fun in someone else’s. I’ve seen her up on a ladder creating gorgeous faux painting, installing a new toilet in her powder room and watched as she created the most beautifully decorated Xmas tree. All the while that Carolyn is busy with her projects, she’s in her home alone.
Several weeks ago while she was up on a ladder “creating” she had an epiphany. “What if I fall in my home while I’m alone? There will be no one here to help me. They’ll only know I’ve fallen, banged my head and died when the neighbors detect a strange odor!”
She’s not ready for the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” button to wear on a chain around her neck, but there is something she can do to feel safer – keep her cell phone on her when she’s working around her home alone with tools, ladders, shovels, rakes inside or outside her home. Anyone working by themselves can stick their cell phone in their pocket, tuck it into her bra or waistband of her pants. In 2017 we would be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t have a cell phone between the ages of 5-100! I’ve seen kids so little they’re still in strollers playing on their mom’s cell phone while she shops!
Young or old we all “speak” cell phone and carry them with us as if we were expecting a call from the president. Best use to of that device would be to keep it on us whenever we’re working on a project and there’s no one else around. Or, you can get that “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” button. Nah! I don’t think so.
#whywaitThursday #haveyourcellonyouwhenclimbingthatladder #Trustyourdoctorbutnotthatmuch #askforwhatyouneed #DIYkeepyourphoneonyou