• Dr. Stefan


Saturday August 7th, 2021: 1154 Pe'ahi, Maui, Hawai'i

I had an experience yesterday that perfectly illustrated greed-culture versus positive self-care. Having gone through a giant hassle to get my Primary Care Physician (from the VA, so there's the first clue) to prescribe a medication for me over the phone (the diagnosis confirmed by my podiatrist that same day). I had had STAT labs drawn that morning that supported the diagnosis. I got the the pharmacy, fully intending to pay out-of-pocket (I am a 100% Service-Connected PTSD vet and normally get my meds from the VA (7-10 day wait via USPS). When the woman at the counter said "It's free." I was in pain and delighted. I did not take the time to look at the bottle inside the stapled bag until I got home. I looked in the bottle and saw only six (6) capsules (whereas the written protocol from the Rx printed on the label clearly described thirteen (13) doses. When I called the pharmacy, the technician said, "Oh! Most vets only the part of the Rx that's free! So we only gave you the six!" I sputtered, almost overwhelmed by how ridiculous that was. The full regimen clinical dose was clearly thirteen to heal my inflammation, yet the technician's thinking was I would rather save a few dollars than heal my health issue! I was flabbergasted and told her that spending a few dollars out-of-pocket to heal this issue was far more important than having to drive in again (one hour round trip) to get the rest of my Rx. I called this morning to affirm this with the Pharmacist (at least in part to avoid standing in line to ask for my meds, and then waiting until it was filled and then standing in line again to pick them up--especially when it was inflammation in my foot that made standing quite painful! I am laughing today as I write this because I have experienced such a perfectly illustrative example of the all-pervasive greed that surrounds us. This is yet another story I can put into my repertoire, another tale from the raconteur's collection.

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