At the Bottom of the Pill Bottle

Not sure how to write about this eloquently, I’m frustrated and ridden with anxiety. I feel really helpless, too.

I’ve run out of a medication that I take regularly for anxiety. It is also something I take, as needed, in an emergency kind of situation…if the anxiety were to get really out of control. Even during times when I have not been taking it regularly, I keep it around, it’s my mental health security blanket.

I tried to refill my prescription before it ran out, I went and dropped it off at the pharmacy beforehand, but the actual prescription had expired. I don’t go through it very fast, so I had not needed a refill in the time since I last saw my doctor. The pharmacy sent the good doctor a refill request form and although no one contacted me to let me know, I found out when I went to pick up the prescription this morning that he had denied it.

I called his office right away, since it was prior to office hours, I left a voicemail message (I promise it was a nice one!). I didn’t hear back, so I called the office and scheduled my appointment.  After that, I was transferred to his voicemail again so that I could let him know and talk to him about the refill. I left a second message, feeling rather ridiculous at this point.

This evening, it was approaching quitin’ time and I had not heard from him yet… so I reluctantly called the office again, knowing that I would have to face a second night without the medication if I did not get the issue resolved. I left him a third message, now feeling really ridiculous and as anxious as can be.

Here I sit, no return call from the doctor and the anxiety is riding high… what to do? I feel completely lost and unsafe, knowing that my own doctor has not taken the matter seriously enough to address it personally. I’m sure I’m over-reacting to some degree… because of the fear of an anxiety attack and the symptoms of withdrawal. But it all feels very urgent in my mind. It feels very frightening.

I wonder if physicians understand how it feels to be in this position, to feel so vulnerable and at the mercy of a medication…to be at the bottom of the pill bottle…

I would never wish anxiety, anxiety attacks, or panic attacks even on my worst enemy. Nothing is more terrifying in my experience. If I could be so selfish, I simply pray for my own peace of mind tonight.

Update: I made it through the night, albeit with little sleep. My doctor called first thing in the morning and called in a refill. I am grateful. I have to be sure to take into account that if I had kept up on my appointments, (I did not miss any scheduled appointments, just have not been in for a med check for quite some time.) this whole situation would not have happened. I still believe that I could have been communicated with in a different/better way. Being without important medications is scary, and doctors need to know it is a very vulnerable place to be. That said, I am glad to have my “security blanket” back, even if it is one that I need to learn to let go of. The comments on this post helped me a great deal last night, knowing others understand and feeling empowered to make sure I am making wise choices in my health care really felt good. Thank you so very much for your comments and support!

10 thoughts on “At the Bottom of the Pill Bottle

  1. So sorry your “health care professional” is so careless Amy.

    I hope you can breathe your way through this and get another “doctor”

    Maybe a bunch of us could call the office and ask a few questions!

    much love from your friends downunder


  2. Sometimes I think it’s a case of the doctor’s staff not getting the message passed along and addressed. Other times I really do think they could care less what a bad position this puts us in. I’ve had the same problem with my Tramadol. It’s ridiculous. I have to take it daily and regularly to keep my head above water. I can’t function without it. So a few days without it sets me back horribly! I really do relate to your situation and how stressful it is. (((hugs)))

    • It is so nice to know that others understand! The worst feeling is to feel that hint of shame or judgment, as if someone might think I am misusing the medication when it couldn’t be further from the truth. I think I am almost “paranoid” (I use that word loosely and not to be inconsiderate of those who experience paranoia) about that because I know that this medication can be misused easily. Perhaps you experience some of the same feelings with the tramadol?

      At any rate, I really appreciate the words and hugs, Diana!

  3. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

    I don’t know what I’d do in a situation like this, particularly at this time of year when panic attacks peak for me. I’d probably launch into a panic attack, easily. I did when I hit insurance woes when I went back on an anti-depressant/anti-anxiety med last year. Totally, completely sucks.


    Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

  4. I went through several psychiatrists before finding one that suited my personality. Don’t settle. This person plays such a huge role in your life you need to look for one that seems to understand you.

    Having said that, I also suffer from extreme anxiety. It’s a horrible feeling that lots of people don’t understand because they’ve never experienced it. Even some health care professionals are not very understanding. I had to go to the ER about a week ago because my blood pressure was scarily high. The doctor asks, “Do you have chest pains, nausea, et al…” Well, duh. I get those with a panic attack. “Calm down,” he says, “You’re overreacting.” No kidding. I’m pretty sure that’s the core of panic disorder.

    Keep telling yourself over and over that it will pass. They always do. You won’t die from a panic attack. My blood pressure on the other hand…

  5. I’m so glad I discovered your blog! It’s great reading.

    Good luck with the medication issue–I can’t believe he’s not returning your call. Maybe you can go to someone else? When I was going through a period of intense anxiety I remember what a terrible feeling not having the pills was (like when I forgot them on a trip). That itself causes anxiety! I finally got to a place where I can live without them, but they are very necessary for mainting functionality when you are suffering from a period of severe anxiety. Maybe a friend has some?

  6. I share Tony’s sentiments! I would consider finding another physician.Making patients wait like that without a word is unacceptable!! I had a similar experience of sorts very recently: My doctor QUIT and moved out of town, not even telling his OWN staff(or so I was told!). I was without my Xanax for about 4 days.I have since left that medical group altogether!!

  7. I would agree with Judy here, maybe another physician is the best choice for you. I really hope you’re doing ok at the moment, and that everything is going to work out.
    Its not right when something like this happens in my views, doctor skips out on a patient in need. I just doesn’t seem moral to me.
    Best wishes!

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