Monday, August 29, 2016

She's My Daughter She's My Sister

Some of you may remember the iconic movie China Town which was a fictionalized account of how water was gotten from the Owens Valley to supply the growing metropolis of Los Angeles. That was the subplot. The main plot involved an investigation into the murder of an engineer married to the local power broker's daughter, Evelyn Mulray, by private eye J.J. Gittes, played by Jack Nicholson. All this was part and parcel to the subplot of stealing water from the Owens Valley.
Somewhere along the line J.J., confused but smelling a rat, tries to get the truth out of Evelyn, played by Faye Dunaway, and he slaps her as she says, "She's my daughter. (slap) "She's my sister". Finally, breaking down, "She's my daughter AND my sister".  It turns out that the power broker, Noah Cross, played by John Huston, molested his daughter and a child was the result.

My recent turmoil of not being able to get my Valley Fever medication - Itraconazole, it controls the spores in my lungs, keeps them from taking over - felt just like China Town.  In a moment you'll see why. But first let me preface it by saying three months ago I found out my meds were not going to cost $100 a month any more but over $400. $424 to be exact. Humana, the health coverage, couldn't/wouldn't help.

I went into hyper-drive to find a solution, calling internet help sites but none of them covered my weird medication. Would something else work? No, I patiently explained. We've been through that. The cheap meds give me excruciating joint pain.
Finally, I contacted the pharmaceutical and my Madera primary care doctor. Both my PCP and I made application to Johnson & Johnson to their Patient Assistance Program. I made application, too, because I didn't trust my doctor to make the application in a timely manner. I only knew her for a couple months and I wasn't sure if she had True Grit.
Two days before I was going to run out I got word from J&J that they denied my application.

I then went on GoFundMe to get by with a little help from my friends (I was desperate) and sure enough my friends were my friends and I was able to get a month's supply. Whew. Now I had 30 days to keep working on it. I then saw Dr. Thompson, my Valley Fever doctor,  who has been with me since 2012. I told him what was going on and he said we'll get the UC Davis Infectious Disease Pharmacy working on it. Now we were getting somewhere.
The very next day I got a call from my Primary Care doctor saying that J&J had called them and had approved assistance after all and that they would be sending a retail card*. This was two weeks after I would have run out had my friends not helped out.

A week later I got a letter from Humana saying they would help, too. Actually, it was a letter (and I was copied) to my Valley Fever doctor Dr. Thompson.

I don't understand how this "system" works.
I think I could call this blog The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease but She's My Daughter is what it feels like.
* a retail card means I get my medication free for a year! Yippee!


  1. Glad to hear it's turning out better than you may even have hoped! Go, squeaky wheel!

    1. It was not for lack of effort so I'm glad there was a positive outcome. Very glad and full of gratitude!

  2. Good to hear you got things sorted out!
    Gotta love Big Pharma and their stooges. As long as you pay....

    1. yeah well I got more plaque in my arteries because of the increased cortisol from stress. But I live to see another day. In some ways I wish I could get a job there so I could find out what really goes on behind closed doors. But then.... naaaaah!

  3. Hurrah! Moving weekend for us. Wow, we've got alot of stuff!

    1. Let us know how it all works out. Yeah, it's incredible how little stuff looks like when it's all spread out in the house/barn and how much it looks like when it's piled up for the moving truck. It magically quadruples.