Considering how many vaccinations we’ve had, I would have liked if they’d worked longer. They didn’t prevent us from getting it — though Garry is still negative — but they did keep us from getting really bad cases.

Everyone told me as soon as I showed positve on a test, call so I could get the special COVID antiviral medications. I’ve got a medical manual full of conditions that make those medications important and being old doesn’t help either.

Except no one mentioned “the hoops” you have to jump through to actually get the medications — and remember, you have a very limited amount of time in which to begin taking them. After a couple of days, it’s too late.

I take quite a few medications. One of them — a blood pressure pill — was on the “do not take this with Paxlovid” list. Instead, they wanted me to come into the hospital for three infusions. It’s a 22-mile drive each way and who knows if I’ll have veins when I get there? Negative test notwithstanding, Garry isn’t feeling well. The hospital also — for inexplicable reasons — refused to tell me which medication was the problem. Since all the rest of my meds were prescribed by my regular doctor, it had to be for blood pressure.

I called my cardiologist. We sorted it out, bless him and then he put it into my records that I could skip taking the offending medicaton for the duration while I was taking Paxlovid.

I called back the COVID center at the hospital. I said I’d talked to my cardiologist and he said I could skip the nefedepine temporarily. He has written it in my record and they could check. For some reason, this got everyone even more confused. Finally, they decided if the cardiologist was okay with it, they could let me have the pills. Time was running out

“Okay, you can have the medication. Just drive here and we’ll give it to you.”

“Why can’t you simply call my pharmacy? That way I have 3-mile drive instead of a 50-mile round trip drive plus a long hike and parking fees.”

“Oh,” she said. “You have a pharmacy?”

Someone fromm the COVID unit called and we sorted through all my medication, even though my own doctor had already done this. It turned out only one was a no-no. Everything else was either “You might want to cut it in half” or “take only if really necessary.” Hospitals — good ones — are bound up with rules and regulations. Despite the inconvenience, this is usually good. The rules are meant to protect us. They can also get in our way and make progress impossible.

I understood procedures. What I didn’t understand was why they couldn’t tell me which drug was the problem. Privacy is dandy, but I take this medication every day, so just tell me. It started to get a bit crazy. Ultimately, between the cardiologist, my doctor, the COVID unit and me getting seriously pissed off and completely losing my sense of humor and about half my temper, it got done. I’d been on the phone for hours. Sheesh.

Starting to take it as soon as possible makes a big difference in its efficacy. You have to begin within a couple of days of your first positive test. I’m not sure why it got this complicated or why my own doctor couldn’t just call the pharmacy, but I’m sure someone, somewhere has a reason.

Maybe in the infinite future, someone will explain those reasons.

Categories: Coronavirus - Covid 19, Heart, Hospital, Medical humor, medication, UMass Memorial

Tags: , , ,

6 replies

  1. I am glad you got it sorted in the end, Marilyn. Everything in your state sounds very cumbersome from a medical perspective.


  2. It’s good that you took the initiative to call your cardiologist. Hope you feel better soon


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