Box Canyon

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Header Photo: On the road again, to where the weather suits my blue genes and shorts :)

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Sunday, April 2, 2017

Reality Bites: A Tough Reentry

This is my surreal front yard on a good day, which, unfortunately, today is not. So I hunker down in Western Utah's Camp Fairytale whilst a gale wind shudders Goldie's aluminum skin and rattles her Imax "sliders," now mucked by a recipe of one part spits of rain, two parts atomized red dirt.

I tend to get a little edgy when pinned indoors by wind. Clouds I can deal with, rain, even, heat, to some extent, snow for a little while, but not wind. But there's more at work sharpening my "edge" than a tempest of horizontal dirt and filthy windows. Hang around, there are a couple of morals to this sad but true fable.

Two things are in play here, both of which are beyond my control... and you know how humans love to think they are in control. First, the infernal gale that rages, in denial of NOAA meteorologists who only yesterday promised that winds would soon abate. Growing up I learned that "soon" is a rather manipulative term used by people with authority; they dangle then postpone rewards. "But when, Mom?" Soon. What "soon" really means is that your request will be granted somewhere between "when pigs fly" and "in your next life," the latter of which requires belief in reincarnation, which is contradictory to teachings (brainwashings) at summer Bible Camps.

But its the second thing that erects the hair on my back, and I know of no other way to say it than to speak the truth as it unfolded for your's truly. It has to do with frustration (lack of control) with the monumental levels of incompetence and indifference one must face when trying to correct any kind of "glitch" that happens within the medical/pharmaceutical bureaucracy, particularly when it comes to Govie's bloated Medicaid and Medicare programs, those highly scammed boondoggles that have outgrown their capacity to be policed or audited. If you think Verizon is bad, try undoing a medical/pharmaceutical misunderstanding between two doctors, their office staffs, Wally World pharmacy-techs, and a co-pay insurance company.

In the ineffable, but infinitely shallow, words of Sheryl Crow, all I want to do is have some fun. I've got better things to do than spend 10 days re-explaining a problem on a phone that routinely drops calls like Trump drops wives. It's too much to expect, apparently, my attempt to reprise last year's epic Klondike experience. Aw, six weeks of living in the present, grinding up and flying down a glorious maze of single-track, totally focused and self-absorbed with utter disregard for world atrocities, Beltway absurdities, and personal medical maladies. All I need done in order to pull it off again is to get a prescription refilled. Enter the villain, Bureaucratic quicksand that gnaws at both my patience and the gears of efficiency like so much red sand that now abrades Goldie's sun-bleached broadside. Houston, we have a problem. Time and pills are running out. I resort to prayer.

Oh Father who art in Heaven, if you are real, here's Your chance to nip my growing agnosticism in the bud. Would You Pa-lease work a miracle, rescue my Eliquis prescription from the jaws of ineptitude, so that I might have at least two more weeks of Klondike...reveling in celebratory post-ride beer-buzzes and sore muscles head to toe. I need this time to myself, and lord knows Bobbie needs a break from me. What else am I to do to kill time while winter melts in Lovely Ouray? 

Reality bites, Man, sometimes the world just won't go away. It  spins further into chaos, war, and destruction. Our country teeters on the verge of a Trumpocracy, and the head Humpty Dumpty wants to build walls. Just two more weeks, Lord, please, then I'll get back to responsible citizenry, shoveling snow, doing dishes, and posting funny things on Facebook to relieve some of the stress on the Left. Amen.

Well, just as I expected, there is no God. April Fools, dude! 
I'm home, finishing this post slumped in my recliner-by-the-hearth. Lovely Ouray looks dirty and sad. Winter clings to her like some two-year old brat that just fell in a mud puddle clings to his mummy. It's cold, damp, and snowing, and I'm as pissed off as a school yard bully at being forced off my playground into detention.

It's brought to bear, believe it or not, by sheer medical incompetence and indifference. It's a hellish place, with pothole medigaps, outrageous deductibles, and donut holes bigger than the Lincolns driven by lawyers... the one's who lobbied said loopholes into law so pharmaceutical companies can continue to extort money from unlucky human beings who need their products in order to stay alive. It's seems so simple, fill a prescription. But I tried and tried and failed and failed to get it done from Klondike. No one cared that I was out of meds, there was no tone of empathy... just the sound of impatience and the feeling that I was a big bother. So I came home. Maybe if I put a "face" to the misery, get the right hand talking to the left. 

Three pills left, still, they show no mercy. I'm caught between glaze-eyed office-nazis who take out their low pay, overwork, and personal problems on me, the Wally World Pharmacy Techs, and two dueling Doctors who refuse to renew my prescription. I'm tied to the whipping post. What are they afraid of? That I'm some double dipping guy trying to blackmarket my drug? HELLO! It's Eliquis, not Oxycontin. I'm not hanging out at school yards and selling it to children; there's no "street value;" you can't get stoned on it. Will somebody please step up to the plate, break the stalemate, and communicate so I can live to fight you another day? 

to be discontinued...

Utah... how I miss thee...



  1. I woke up this morning wondering about an April Fool's post from you. I remember your post from last year. Great post here. Prescription refills are a pain (haha) while traveling. Been there done that while camping out at KOFA. It surely is no fun. We also are now home from the desert. Snowing, bones aching, crashed my bike yesterday. At the age of 67, maybe I shouldn't be out crashing on a bicycle? But oh, the fun and freedom of riding and hiking; aching bones and all. Great post today! Great pictures!

  2. Geesh! Poor, poor Bobbie. Want me to send you a reserve supply of pills from Mexico? ;-)

  3. Sorry you're getting the run-around. If the US Med system can't get its head out of its ass, perhaps turn to a Mexican online pharmacy? I only have experience with retail & hospital pharmacies in Mexico, but they offered the same drugs as the US (and most don't require a Dr RX). The USD exchange rate is still great, so even out of pocket costs might be less than your US co-pay. Worth a look at least! Mexico healthcare saved my life this past winter-- they're much better than many Americans think.

  4. I too had to get my second month supply of Eliquis yesterday, Well my new insurance does not cover it and Costco wants $450 for a one month supply. I end up at Walmart with a coupon for $367 for a one month supply.........yep I have to get it only in New Mexico and I am spending the summer in Oregon. Our medical insurance is SOOOOOO broken thanks to all the folks that voted for this and they still get great healthcare for themselves. I am scrambling to figure out a cheaper way to get my meds now. I had a second PE a month ago and now life has changed...........I was the picture of health!

  5. No one does frustration with quite the eloquence that you do, Mark. No one!! Favorite line, ( a two year old in a mud puddle...). So grateful that I don't have to do any meds, not real ones at least. Thyroid, and so far the system hasn't hassled me too much for that one, and if they do, I will just skip it for awhile. Not life threatening. Hang in there, friend.

  6. You and I both know that the GOP would prefer that you get no financial assistance with your meds. Still can't figure out why W promoted that but glad he did. Bottom line is if we are going to do this we need single payer. Insurers need to be removed from the equation. Of course, your situation sounds more complicated.

    Early last week I went to my online pharmacies site, OptumRX and changed my shipping address to our current location. Gave it a day to be sure of no issue and ordered my Eliquis. Next morning get an email that they can't process the order. I call and they just wanted confirmation that the shipping address was correct. I confirmed it and then they shipped it to my billing address over 2,000 miles away. This is typical of Optum which is owned by United Healthcare, whose CEO made $14,500,000.00 for 2015. I don't know about everyone else but my interactions with the corporations in this country don't leave me with the feeling that the free market works all that well except for the executives of those companies.


    1. Dear Blood Clot Brother... NOBODY is worth 14 million bucks a year! Not professional athletes, the President, or Gawd Almighty...should He exist.
      And yes, it's those "little" snafus that cause the biggest headaches. Hopefully you will have better luck getting your drugs than you did getting your camera back from repair.

  7. I have checked prices for Eliquis with Canadian online pharmacies and it seems a 90 day supply is around $600 which is just over half the cost in the U.S. so, not worth it if you have an RX plan.

    However, we have been ordering Restasis from them. Cost for 4 months $200 vs $1,200 in the U.S. and this for a drug that has been on the market since 2002. No generics in site.

    Jim, BCB

    1. I bought my Mom a year's supply of Patanol eye meds in Mexico...made by Alcon in the US. It cost her $250 a bottle in the US, but only $29 here in MX. No generic yet. (This is the healthcare forum, right??)

  8. I agree with everyone who mentioned Mexico. Health care is a disaster in this country. Many people rely on being able to their scripts filled from our neighbors to south. Might be worth a look. Looking forward to seeing you guys soon. Love CJ

  9. Enjoyed your rants :) you're crafty with words!

  10. Two thumbs up for moving our drug purchases to Mexico. We didn't get any super great deal on our insulin -- aside from buy 3 and get one FREE -- but we did get a crown, a fairly involved rework of an old filling *and* two cleanings for $200US all in at San Luis Rio Colorado. While there we celebrated our anniversary with two gourmet dishes (we took pictures!) and two rounds of fancy margaritas. With a generous tip, it was $25US total and they treated us like rock stars. Viva La Mexico! (Long Live Mexico!)

  11. I am so sorry that lack of medication has forced you out of Utah. In November I start Medicare and I am not looking forward to it. Currently my insurance works well, drugs go to South Dakota and then to me, and there have been no screw ups for years. November will probably be a very trying time for all. Hang in there, maybe a miracle will occur.

  12. We have had amazing luck with medicare UNLESS doctors or their staffs don't do their jobs. This is absolutely the best job of putting frustration "down on paper" that I have ever read. It's palpable. Do you need a totally new doctor who can write this script rather than argue about it?

  13. Mark, this post is so good I had to read it licking the bowl of my favorite ice cream. A true wordsmith. Know the feeling though, more in these times than ever before. Wish I had a pill that took me back to the 60' mind...


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