August 8, 2017 (by Angela)
I’m frustrated. As I sit here and wait on a return call from the nurse at our Primary Care Physician’s office (PCP) – the same one with whom Jim spoke yesterday about 8 a.m., I decided I’d funnel my frustration into a post about some of the difficulties of life on the road in an RV. Probably the number one frustration for me is getting medications refilled in between the bi-annual visits we make to our PCP’s office. For 4 weeks we’ve been trying to get one of Jim’s meds re-filled (which means he’s missed it for 3 weeks), and each time something has kept us from doing so. First, we know now, the lady in Rapid City entered a number incorrectly. In North Dakota, Wal-Mart’s do not have pharmacies in the stores there unless the pharmacist owns 51% of the pharmacy. If that doesn’t happen, then there is no pharmacy. The Wal-Mart in Bismarck doesn’t have a pharmacy. In Minnesota, there was a wonderful lady working in the Owatonna Wal-Mart. She figured out the incorrectly entered number and got everything ready for him to get the medication needed. Our PCP’s office took two days to send documentation needed; it took the lady a full day to figure out the other issues. Then, the medication was not in stock, so it had to be ordered. By the time it would have arrived, we’d be gone. We were told it would be easy when we got to the next place. NOPE! These are all interconnected Wal-Mart pharmacies, so it should be easy, right? No. We had to start over again, and I’ve just discovered that once more, our PCP’s office has not sent over the documentation to the pharmacy as they told Jim they would do yesterday morning.
It’s not just this one medication. Jim has another that he has taken for years without any change in dosage. At some point between March and now, a pharmacist (or assistant) has messed up the dosage instructions. We think it happened at the Paducah Kroger. I caught them in an error on one of my prescriptions, but Jim didn’t catch it on his at that time. Anyway, because of the error someone made, he is only getting half of the dosage per day he is supposed to get when filled. Hence, he is running out halfway between refills. This is something else the PCP’s office was to correct for us yesterday, and they have not. (We usually prefer to use Kroger pharmacies; Wal-Mart is our back up when there are no Kroger stores – but I’m thinking of changing to Walgreen’s for all of the time)
Other things that can be challenging on the road are getting items needed to do your own RV repairs, or someone you can trust to do repairs for you if you do not feel you have the skills needed. One example is that while we were driving to Bismarck, I saw something fall from up high on the camper and then I noticed that the awning shield on the big slide was flapping in the wind. It turns out a bolt had worked loose and fell out. Lucky for us, it was the back bolt, so the wind did not catch it and rip the whole thing off. It only took two stops to find the correct bolt to repair it, but we were lucky since we were in a bigger town. If we can’t get home to see our dentist or optometrist (or they can’t work us in when we are home), then Jim and I also have to find folks on the road to see us on a one-time basis. Unless parked for months at a time, it is difficult to find and go to the same person for haircuts, and Chewie may not see the same groomer one month to the next. Then, of course, mail gets to us more slowly, but getting our mail has been less difficult since we switched our address from Nashville to Savannah, Tennessee.
While frustrating, these are things that we either accept as part of the trade-off for getting to live this lifestyle, or we have to find a way to work around the issues. When we are back home next month and have our check-ups with our PCP, I’m hoping we can discuss a better way to deal with medication refills. They know we travel and told us they would work with us – that it would not be a problem. It has been a problem the last month, so hopefully we’ll get it resolved soon.
Though traveling in our home on the roam is not always roses and sunshine, it is worth it, even if it can be frustrating at times.