Archive for the 'healthcare' Category


Women’s Health Series: Cloth Pads

When I heard about cloth pads I was pretty squicked – who really wants to deal with that? Ew, right? I’ve heard about them for years, some of my friends use them, and I have been told time and time again that I needed to change over to cloth.

As always, click the jump to read the rest of the article. Nothing explicit or gross, just wanting to cut this for uninterested readers.

Continue reading ‘Women’s Health Series: Cloth Pads’


AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline – free meds?

Does anyone have any proof, anywhere, that patients are actually enrolled in the free medication programs from the above mentioned manufacturers?

I am uninsured. I was also on medication that was extremely expensive ($280 and $160 a month). Since I am unemployed and well under the income limit, I decided to enroll in the programs for free medication from AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline.

I started enrollment in early December. Both enrollment programs said that I would have my medications in well under two weeks.

It’s January 27th, and I have yet to see any medications from either programs.

Both have told me I am enrolled and I am eligable. But here is where the nightmare begins.

Dealing with GlaxoSmithKline and their Bridges to Access program was a nightmare. The nurse from my doctors office worked very, very closely with me on enrolling and making sure I had extra meds. GlaxoSmithKline, though, does not know what in the hell they are doing.

My application was returned to me numerous times for “corrections”, although I didn’t need to really do anything. They have no records of when the doctors office call, they had trouble with my prescription, and furthermore, if something screwed up *no one knew what to do.* I was told to re-enroll, call back tomorrow, just wait (yes, just wait), and to call my doctors office, and to have my doctors office call them. (Although they had no idea when my doctors office called back.)

I finally gave up. I went off the medication, went through withdrawal for a couple of weeks, and was fine. Well, relatively.

With AstraZeneca and their AZ&Me program, they are having “problems receiving my prescription slips.” What this means, though, is that they are actually sending me the multiple prescription slips that they have “rejected because they were unsigned.” I have a stack of prescriptions here for Nexium. Complete with social security number, date of birth, address, and signed. Not stamped, AstraZeneca, because you keep telling me “Well, if it was signed it must have been stamped, and we can’t accept that.” But when I say “I am holding it IN MY HAND, there is no stamp” you say “Well, it needs to have this info on it..” and I say “Yup, it has that.” And this is the point where the representative starts stuttering around so I just say “Goodbye” and hang up.

The thing is, I can’t just give up on this one. My stomach issues insist that I use something for the GERD, and that happens to be Nexium. So every day I call AstraZeneca, I am told the same thing, and I call the doctors office, and the nurse patiently calls again.

Is anyone actually enrolled in this program? Do they give out free meds, or is this just a PR trip? I have been very, very diligent about this, and my doctors office is great, and they work with me. I would figure that if anyone was able to enroll in the program, it would be me, since I have been playing the medical ropes for a long, long time. But I’m finding it damn near impossible.


C’elle and Cryo-Cell and Cups

So, a few weeks ago a company called C’elle, a company who offers pricey stem cell harvesting and storage from menstrual blood, was offering free menstrual cups to those who signed up.

Today, this email from C’elle starts going around:

We sincerely appreciate your interest in completing the C’elle survey online. Due to overwhelming demand, however, the free “Go Green”gift set supply is no longer available and we apologize for any inconvenience. In appreciation of your interest in C’elle we would like to offer you one complimentary free year of C’elle annual storage valued at $99.

Absolutely everyone I know who signed up to get a free cup is getting this email. Is anyone getting their cups? We are leaning towards “No.”

I think most of us are leaning towards “scam” here, a way to get emails and set us up with a “$99 off” store stem cells. Let’s not even TOUCH on the fact it costs $499 (but that’s $200 off!) to harvest the said stem cells, and from what I heard they don’t even know what to do with them yet – does anyone have any info that says otherwise?

They also seem to be preying on a woman’s possible insecurities to care for herself and her loved ones:
Actually, the healthier you are when your cells are collected and preserved, the more viable the cells may be for future use. One smart move in the right direction is to collect and preserve your C’elle menstrual stem cells now, and on multiple occasions in the future as a potential safeguard for you and those you love.

This is just setting themselves up for awesome reviews. Screw a bunch of women over on menstrual cups, but wait! There’s more! – offer us a “deal” for a mere $99!

Just FYI – here is their facebook page. Feel free to leave them a note.

And edit: It was brought to my attention that this note was actually sent out on the “monthly newsletter” – which most of us explicitly remember NOT SIGNING UP FOR.

Son of edit: Now there is a C’elle Scammed Me group on Facebook!

Grandson of edit: Thank you, Martha, for the info on their BBB page – they have been around since 1989! Makes me wonder how they got their start? I have gotten info that there has been a very select few who have received their cups – but the number is low. Something isn’t meshing here – most sample sites have a program that halts sign ups for free samples when demand is met. You always stand a chance of notgetting the product – but usually most people receive one. Why the dis-proportion?


Had a blood test recently?

I was perusing Bloglines this morning, and I noticed that The Consumerist posted that Quest Diagnostics have messsed up nearly 10% of their Vitamin D blood tests. Apparently the machines were calibrated wrong, giving results that amount to very dangerous and incorrect treatment to the patients:

An erroneously high result may mean patients will not take vitamin D supplements when perhaps they should, doctors said. And an erroneously low test result might lead in rare instances to a toxic overdose of vitamin D. When the Quest tests have been inaccurate, the reading has typically been too high, although not in all cases.

I know that Quest is used for a massive amount of doctor’s offices and hospitals around Cincinnati – I have probably had twelve blood tests done by them in the past two years, including Vitamin D. They say that they are notifying patients if there is a chance that their test was processed incorrectly, but if you have had health issues it may be beneficial to take the reins yourself and give Quest a call. They are offering free tests to those affected.

What gets my goat, though, is a medical director from Quest said: “We are kind of being penalized for going the extra mile”, due to the fact they are alerting any possible patients of incorrect blood test results.

Penalized? Really? No shit, man. You charge huge amounts for basic blood tests and process them incorrectly, and then you get angry when your customer/patients get upset? I have a bill sitting on my desk for $1.397.25 due to Quest processing my new insurance information incorrectly. They want me to pay them nearly $1400, which to me would equal a “new” car (I am currently -ess), and they have the gall to suggest that the patients are out of line when we want something that we pay hundreds of dollars for to be done correctly? What type of society have we turned in to when seeing a doctor is more expensive than seeing most prostitutes and medications can equal one paycheck and we pay these costs in order to get incorrect test results? I have spent thousands of dollars over the past three years chasing down a diagnosis that the doctors immediately wanted to label “fibromyalgia”, but I don’t buy it one bit. And you know what? Chasing this diagnosis and taking care of the things that were causing the “fibromyalgia” versus just taking the expensive meds the doctors want to shove down my throat to cover the symptoms has been the absolute smartest thing I have ever done. I’m finding tangible, treatable problems, and Quest can be sure as holy hell that if they didn’t fill their end of the bargain, I am going to be pissed.

About Me

An always interesting but sometimes random blog of a 20-something just trying to save money in Cincinnati, Ohio. I am also a wanna-be foodie on a budget.

Likes: cats, pink alcoholic drinks, my KitchenAid mixer, knitting.
Dislikes: Our health care system, celery.

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About Me

An always interesting but sometimes foul-mouthed blog of a 20-something just trying to save money in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Likes: cats, pink alcoholic drinks, my KitchenAid mixer, knitting.
Dislikes: Our health care system, celery.

Social Networking Thingies