Brock: Like Kayla, I’m from the deep South, but you may have gathered that our family lives outside of the United States. I can’t say where, but let’s just say that it’s a place that takes bureaucracy to a new level. I just got back from picking up Lesley’s prescription. I’m stunned because I actually have a 3 month supply. The way prescriptions work here is usually — we see the locally born doctor who is approaching retirement. He clucks and can’t believe Lesley’s not put on weight. (Evidently the study of genetics never enters his mind.) He’ll ask a few questions — he can’t understand Lesley. Then I’ll re-state what she’s said, but mostly he just doesn’t get us.
He’ll prescribe one month’s worth of medicine. Before you know it, we’re out — and then the renewal process begins. I call. No one answers the phone. This may go on for a day until I wise up and try again at strategically different times. Then the receptionist will tell me I should try another number — which I know from experience has no voice mail or anyone who’ll answer the phone. After telling her I’ve had bad experiences with that number (which I have, believe me) she’ll reluctantly take our employee number, Lesley’s name, the doctor’s name and our prescription renewal request. Another day passes. I drive to the doctor’s office and pick up the paper prescription. Because this is from the psych. dept., nothing is done electronically.
My next step is to tightly clutch my prescription and drive from the psych dept. to the clinic’s pharmacy. I stand in line, the only western customer around. Eventually, the que shortens, and it’s my turn. Once I relinquish my precious prescription paper, I’m given a sticker with a number on it. 192.
I glance to the board where these words are being run across the top: “Average waiting time is 15 minutes.” The most recent number is 188. Sounds promising, but I’m not so easily duped. This time I have a book to read.
20 minutes pass. I glance at the board…and the sequence is 188, 189, 190, 191, 193, 194, 195, 196.
I think it’s time to ask a polite question. I stand in line to do that. “I’m just checking. I’ve been here about 25 minutes and there are other prescriptions ready that came after mine.”
He’s scanning a computer screen. I offer, “It’s for Lesley Myers….” and I name the doctor.
“What’s the medicine,” he asks.
“Concerta” (Is there no information on that computer screen???)
More waiting, but it paid off. I got 6 little bottles of 30 18 mg. Concerta tablets. SIX. If she takes 2 a day (which she hasn’t been lately), that’s a 3-month supply. I’m simply stunned.
The difference? We had a different doctor today.
He was young — meaning younger than I am. He was polite, businesslike, and he understood Lesley perfectly. We told him about the panic attack, and he didn’t flinch. (The other doctor would’ve clucked, I just know it.) He asked specific questions to clarify various things we were telling him — an active listener — imagine!
“How is your sleep pattern affected?”
“How long does it take to do homework on average?”
“What extracurricular activities are you involved in?”
We told him how she had been taking 18 mg rather than 36 for the past couple weeks. He asked her how she decided when to take 18 and when to take 36 and what she felt was the difference.
He encouraged the lower dosage; however, he told us he would prescribe enough 18 mg. that she can double the dose as she feels she needs it. We were in and out of his office in record time — and felt like we’d had a better 2-way conversation than we’ve ever had in that building. He wants Lesley to come back in and weigh in before she goes on summer vacation. He noticed that Lesley didn’t gain any weight over last summer when she was completely off the medicine.
I’m truly marveling at the whole incident, one of our “God-sightings” for the day.