The medical establishment sux

Written by The Thyroid Chronicles on February 10, 2010 – 11:56 am -

I’ve just had the most disturbing phone call – a cliche, really.  The epitome of the life with someone with Hashimoto’s.

After my beloved Armour was reformulated, then backordered, myself and thousands of other patients were left scrambling.  I tried to go raw and take various tinctures to get well, which was a dismal, and nearly mortal, failure.

I waddled into the Westside Family Health Center in Santa Monica and got a renewed prescription for Armour that I was able to have compounded at Advanced Compounding Pharmacy in North Hollywood.  I was certain I would finally come out of the tunnel, but after a month, I still felt and looked awful.  I had to fight the Clinic to get the proper blood tests, and, of course, the bloodwork proved me right and my dosage was increased.

Still, I felt awful.

I contacted my pharmacy to see if I could get the medicine in a different medium; it is possible that the gelatin capsule was hindering my absorption, but the same medication in liquid or lozenge form may do the trick.

It’s the same medication in the same dosage, so that shouldn’t be a problem, right? But nothing in this saga can ever be easy.  TJ, the pharmacist, told me that any change has to be approved by the doctor, even one as innocuous as simply changing the vehicle to get the prescribed medicine into my body.  TJ said he would call my doctor.  It seemed to me like a simple request and I hoped for the best, but I’ve learned not to expect anything good from WFHC – the aforementioned acquiring of prescription and drug tests took three visits and at least twenty phone calls over the course of three to four months. Not surprisingly, I heard nothing after several days.  I followed up with TJ, who said he’d left two messages already and was soon to leave another.  In addition, I had left two messages myself.

Still, silence. I called again and left a message for the doctor, stating that I was out of medication and needed a simple change that would not effect the dosage or type of medicine, just the method of absorption, and it would only take a minute. I finally got a phone call in return, and it was exactly what I expected from this draconian institution. Dr. Archana Kulkarni, who would do well with a second career in voiceovers as a shriveled black widow spider queen,

evil doctor's real form

Dr. Archana Kulkarni

said I could not just call every few days for a prescription change.  I said she didn’t return any of my or my pharmacist’s calls, so really, it was just one call gone unreturned, repeatedly.  She said I needed to come in and have more blood tests, after which time she’d increase the medication, if need be, but would not change the vehicle of absorption.  I told her I needed a benchmark for the tests and wondered if they were just trying to suck more money out of me by having me repeat tests that would still show I was low – after $200 in useless tests, I was not in a hurry to repeat them and get the same result.  She said the cost was my fault, with the ordering of the newfangled T3 and T4 tests I demanded, rather than just TSH.  I said TSH is a pituitary hormone and only tangentally related to thyroid, while T3 and T4 are the very least that need to be done.  Anyway, the whole point was moot if they would not change the vehicle of absorption.  Then she espoused the typical uneducated line: that Armour is an “old” drug, not standardized in dosage, and they only prescribe synthetics, because they are “more reliable”.  My explanation that this is a common misperception  and she only believes that because the synthetics have better lobbyists fell on deaf ears.

money=medical expert?

The dictators of medical policy

She said my needs go beyond what the clinic provides and she would have to refer me to UCLA Harbor.  I said fine, who do I talk to, I’ve got the pen ready.  She said it wasn’t that easy, that she’d request the change but they might not contact me for months  Then she changed her tune and said she wouldn’t put in for a transfer for me unless I made an appointment, came in, waited three hours, paid the fee to see her and asked her nicely then.

You can imagine that the conversation devolved quickly from there.

So here I am again, chubby, tired, and dejected.  I reflected upon the good old days – those two years when I was able to get Armour and it worked and I was in love with life.  How could I get back to that place?  I’d never been able to get through before, but I decided to give Forest Laboratories, the makers of Armour, another call.  At long last, I spoke with a human in customer service, who transferred me to another human in quality control, who took all my information and my comments on the reduced efficacy of the Armour reformulation.

Anywho, why don’t you guys in the same boat give Forest Labs a call?  The number is 866-927-3260.  I spoke with Alisha.  She was quite pleasant.  I told her I knew of many patients for whom the reformulation was not working as well and she said to give them the number and have them call.  So there you have it.  Tell them. Until then, I don’t see much reason to pay $40 for compounded medicine that’s not working, so I’m gonna try this:

Wish me luck!

Posted in Armour, health, Thyroid | 1 Comment »

One Comment to “The medical establishment sux”

  1. linda dalton Says:

    I hear you sister! I applaud your attitude! I think the medical establishment is geared toward KILLING us, instead of helping us! If you have thyroid problems, well, get ready to fight for your life because the entire ‘medical machine’ is set up to rob you of your hard earned money, mostly for tests that don’t show what is going on with your body. Right now I feel as if I am far better off NOT seeing a doctor.

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