one woman’s journey to refill her birth control

“Oh shiiiiiit is she about to get political?” Nope. Calm thyself. It’s just storytime, that’s all. Take from it what you will.

Capture

A woman’s journey to refill her birth control**

**a pill used for preventing pregnancy, helping get rid of acne, having fewer periods, and providing relief for many health conditions such as Endometriosis, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, and painful cramps

Day 1, Hour 1

I leave a phone message at Walmart’s pharmacy. “Hi, I’d like to refill my birth control prescription.”

Day 1, Hour 5

Walmart calls back. “You have no more refills. Please make an appointment with your primary care physician to get a prescription.”

Day 1, Hour 6

I make an appointment for three days later with my primary care physician.

Day 4, Hour 1

I go see my primary care physician. I pay a $20 copay. I see my physician for 20 minutes and receive my prescription refill. She tells me she thinks it will be cheaper at Walgreens so she gives me a paper prescription so I can take it there.

Day 4, Hour 2

I arrive at Walgreens. I wait in line for five minutes while an elderly couple complains that their flu shot has taken so long/  “Sam’s Club would have never taken that long.”  I go to the counter and hand them my prescription. The pharmacist informs me that they don’t have my brand at that particular location but insists that she has one that “is pretty much the same thing.” Any woman who has been on birth control knows that each and every pill has TOTALLY different side effects so I call bullshit. I’m not going to gain 15 pounds or get permanent acne scars on my face again like what happened when they put me on Yaz. I’m hesitant but feel uncomfortable because I’m holding up the line with this very public conversation and the pharmacist is very insistent that she can give me a good alternative. I make the decision to leave and try Walmart.

Day 4, Hour 3

I call Walmart from my car on the drive over. They have what I need but by the time I get there the pharmacist will be at lunch so I have to wait.

Day 4, Hour 4

I’m told that they only have one pack’s worth of my birth control but I’m more than welcome to pick that up today and come back on Friday for the next two packs. Another hoop to jump through but I’m just grateful that they have what I need. I decide to just leave and pick them all up on Friday because I’m almost late for work.

Day 6, Hour 1

I pick up my birth control. Thanks to good insurance I only pay $27.

So six days, many hours and almost $50 later, my birth control is finally in my hand. Lucky girl!

A man’s journey getting birth control**

**used solely for preventing pregnancy and STDs

Man walks into Walgreens. Man selects from dozens of condoms. Man walks up to counter. “That’ll be $10. Have a nice day.”

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29 comments

  1. This line right here–“Any woman who has been on birth control knows that each and every pill has TOTALLY different side effects so I call bullshit.” YES, YES, and YES! Could not agree with you more! This whole shenanigan you seemed to have sounds exactly like a similar experience I’ve had recently with trying to get the right birth control (THE brand I was originally taking NOT a generic) from either Walgreens or Walmart because both were giving me issues. One of the best “True Life” stories I’ve seen on a blog to date that I could relate to.

    1. ugh I understand that pharmacists go to school and know what they’re doing, but as a woman I should be allowed to be loyal to a brand and stick with it – because the risks of switching and things going south far outweigh the idea that I should just trust someone else blindly because they know the textbook stuff better. No one knows my body better than ME!

      Haha True Life: Being a Woman is Hard

  2. Here’s the super-fun thought that crosses my mind after stuff like this happens (and it happens to me EVERY year when I’m like “oh yea, I have to get a prescription for this crap”. WHY CAN’T I PLAN AHEAD?!?): Won’t it be really annoying to find out when I do try to have kids that I’m infertile, and I was spending all this money and time on something I only needed for cramps (which I don’t get as badly now that I exercise so much)?

    Sigh.

    First world girl problems (unless you live somewhere with excellent health care, like the UK). Rant complete. 🙂

  3. I don’t know how to adequately say this, but what you’ve written is excellent comedic writing. This is the sort of dry humor that publications crave and you shouldn’t discount your ability to write like this. Your subject was weighty but your delivery was funny! I once wrote to the Chicago Tribune during a year when the Milwaukee Brewers were doing very well, that in that year, “Haley’s Comet comes around every 79 years, the cicadas come around every seven years but the Cubs never seem to come around.” The Tribune printed it. You have your father’s sarcastic humor. Well done.

  4. I was thinking the other day about how it is super sexist and unbelievably disgusting for people to assume it must be ‘my time of the month’ if I’m pissed about something. But if I was pissed just because it was my time of the month, that would be COMPLETELY JUSTIFIED. It is a very unpleasant experience losing blood uncontrollably for a week straight. We don’t even need to discuss all the other symptoms that happen. Anyone who that is happening to should have the right to be extremely angry, so yeah. On top of that you need to work this crazy system in order to just get your correct pills on time (sorry you had to deal with that circus lol).

    I try my very hardest to remember that even though childbirth someday is going to BLOW, I at least get to grow a child in me and then give life to him or her, and that’s pretty badass???? ….the silver lining.

    Being a woman sucks in so many ways haha but hey at least we get to wear pretty things and play with boobs whenever we want

    Thank you and goodbye

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