Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Life Altering

So much has changed since my last entry.

I am now residing in Anchorage, Alaska.  Fate stepped in and made it happen....there are a lot of circumstances surrounding the move, but it is all for the best and I am happy.

Most of you know that I've filled the role of my grandma's caretaker for quite a while.  For the last 20 years, I've cared for her in some capacity....moral support, seeing her through many medical issues, taking care of her home, etc.  Yes, she's helped me out immensely too, mostly financially....but her help came with a huge cost.  She became mostly incapacitated around 2006, and since then I did all her cleaning, bill paying, doctor's appointments, pharmacy dealings, and grocery shopping.  As dementia took more of a toll on her mental health, she became extremely emotionally abusive.  The last two years have been absolute hell.  She has said things to me and told family secrets that hurt desperately.  I'm convinced that if I hadn't had to endure that abuse, I could have handled my own mental health issues much better.

When I met Richard, we fell in love very quickly.  I knew from the first few times we spoke that I wanted to spend my life with him.  He asked me to move to Alaska within a month.  Originally, we planned for quite a few months in the future....but that changed when grandma basically flipped her wig.

Unbeknownst to me, a distant cousin had been communicating with grandma on the sly and planting ideas in her head that I was taking advantage of her and not caring for her well enough.  In her demented state, grandma believed her and the two of them planned to remove me from grandma's care and as executor of her estate.  Thanksgiving day, she broke the news that she would no longer be helping me financially, and that this cousin would be moving there to care for her.  This was all I needed to decide to move to Alaska and be with Richard.  Faith backed up the decision....she was also tired of the abuse at grandma's hands.

So....we left.  She has no idea where we are, and that is for the best....When I moved away in 2000 to try to get away from her, she followed me within a year.  Now that she has a caretaker and cut me off so rudely, I see no reason to let her know where we are.  We need to move on with our lives, and I want my relationship with Richard to be successful.  He is an amazing man, and I love him more than I've ever loved anyone (besides Faith, of course).

As I sit here and type, a soft snow is falling, adding to the foot+ that is already on the ground.  I am safe and warm and comfortable in a beautiful condo, with everything I need provided for me.  You all know how independent I am, but it's nice to know I can rebuild our lives without having to suffer as before.  My life is so full of happiness right now that it almost feels surreal.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Cost Splitting

Every month, I get a prescription for Lexapro; one of the higher-priced SSRI antidepressants.  My doctor prescribes 20 mg tablets, and I'm to take 1/2 a tablet daily.  Puzzling, right?  Why not one whole 10 mg tablet once daily?

Well, here's the thing.  A 30-count bottle of 10 mg Lexapro retails for roughly $125.  A 30-count bottle of 20 mg Lexapro is the same price, but lasts 60 days instead of 30.  So, obviously the larger dose prescribed at 1/2 the strength makes more sense, right?

Sure, if you're thinking from a financial standpoint only.  It is impossible for the manufacturer to distribute the medication equally between two halves of a tablet.  So, cutting a pill in half means your dose will be unstable.  In a medication like Lexapro, that means I will receive inconsistent relief from my symptoms of anxiety and depression.  In a medication that helps regulate your heart rate or blood pressure, it could be much more serious.

I've tried several types of cutters with very little success.  They either crumble the pill, or cut them in uneven pieces.  The best option I've found so far is a plain razorblade - I set it exactly on the cutting line and rock the blade back and forth while exerting more and more pressure until it breaks through.  It still creates powdery residue, and there's still the potential for uneven sizes.  I just cut this month's supply, and several came out with broken pieces.  It's very frustrating.

I'm going to request that my doctor prescribe the 10 mg tablets from now on and deal with the cost.  Inconsistent doses and frustration over cutting the pills isn't worth the money saved, IMHO.