Thursday, May 1, 2008

On the Juice

Just five miles tonight, the first time I’ve run since Sunday. I took it easy and had my favorite running partner with me – sorry Micah. We had plenty of stops to pee, to sniff things out and to of course – chase squirrels.

And I have good news – I’m not sick – I just have CRAZY allergies.

And pardon me while I rant about my health insurance company. So, I’ve had allergies since I was a kid – like 9 years old, which really sucked while growing up on a farm – but it did get me out of picking tomatoes. Yes, I am allergic to tomato plants – my hands break out in blisters – the same thing with cats if I pet them and don’t wash my hands right afterwards.

I used to get allergy shots as a kid and they really helped. But, as an adult, I really don’t have the time to take 3 hours out of my day once a week to go get a shot. I’ve relied on medication to help control my allergies – which mostly works well. BUT, now that my work has switched health care companies – to United Health Care – they won’t cover my allergy medicine – Allegra D. They say, take something over the counter, like Claritin D, but that doesn’t work for me.

I had United Health Care when I worked in DC for Democracy Data & Communications. I went through the same thing, but they finally did relent and cover my Allegra D. About 6 weeks ago, I finally went back into my doctor to deal with my chronic cough and runny nose and she sad it was allergies and tried to prescribe me the Allegra D – but my insurance company again refused to cover it. So, without a choice I tried a different over-the-counter medication, which has yet to work any wonders.

Last week, when I was at my parents I started sneezing, nasal drip and a cough. I thought for sure I was getting sick again. I mean – I was taking two different allergy medications – couldn’t be allergies.

Finally, yesterday I relented and went to the doctors because how I’ve been feeling has made it impossible to run and barely possible for me to even go to work. My co-workers thought I had the “plague” again. My doctor said I was not sick – it was allergies. I explained to him that I was running in the Cincinnati Marathon this weekend and needed to feel better. (For those of you who don’t know, I’m running half of the Flying Pig Marathon with my friend, Lauren). And he was great about it and gave me a steroid shot (aka the juice as I’m calling it) and I feel like a new woman today. Plus, he gave me some more Allegra D samples…which should last me 5 days.

This whole process if very frustrating…I’m wondering how much it cost my insurance company for me to go to the doctor, get the shot, etc. They could have avoided this – and the initial doctor’s appointment if they just would cover my damn Allegra D.

Now, I know I’m lucky that I even have insurance. But, the last time I checked – insurance companies aren’t doctors and they shouldn’t be making decisions that have an ill affect on my health – but they are. All for some crazy bottom line that someone believes is there by telling people to buy their allergy medication over-the-counter. Medications react differently with different people. Anyone with a little common sense can tell you that. Okay – enough of my rant. I’ll be back on the phone tomorrow with United Health Care trying to get coverage for my Allegra D.

And if not, I'll be asking folks for a Canadian hook up.

1 comment:

A DC Tri-ing Athlete said...

Hmm - maybe next time you go back to this doctor, you should mention how you feel sluggish and lethargic and he'll give you some EPO! Then you'll really be doping and will run super fast. Good luck with the race this weekend!