Guest Blogs
Return to A 30-Day Supply of Parental Agony

A 30-Day Supply of Parental Agony

Prescription management is basically my part-time job as the father of three kids with ADHD diagnoses. Keeping at-home and at-school medicines current and full, while avoiding panicked voice mails to our pediatrician, is quickly becoming my specialty.

11 Comments: A 30-Day Supply of Parental Agony

  1. The joy in my life living with Adult ADHD, is when I call in to have my pending prescription filled, they ask, “what time would you like to pick it up?” I tell them I’ll pick it up on my way to work, (I work for the sister of the superstore), about noon”. They say great we’ll see you then.
    I arrive only to be told they are out of stock for my medication! Wait? What?! I cashed you said it would be ready! They say their story they didn’t treat realize it was out of stock. You don’t check before you tell me it’s going to be ready?
    I ask when it will be in, they reply they cannot give me the answer to that.
    I ask, “why? Don’t you know when your shipments are coming?” They say, “it’s a controlled substance so we can’t divulge when the arrival is scheduled for”. I tell them I don’t want the time of arrival, just tell me, later today, tomorrow, next week, next month, never?
    The wrong tell me. This happens every other month and sometimes I have to wait up to a week! Three months ago I had to go without it for 3 solid weeks!
    The last time this happened, I got a bit heated, and told the girl that maybe they should look to see if it’s in stock so I don’t get blind sided later! She looks at me, leans back a little and says, “well it’s not like it’s a life saving medication is it? You’ll live”. Oh my God I was so angry!
    Fortunately the pharmacist heard her say that to me and he walks over, (i know him he was the pharmacist where I work next door before he transferred to our big sister), he admonishes the girl and said she knows very well they are supposed to look at the stock level when a patient calls.

    He walks out with me because I’m near tears at being treated like an addict and like I was exaggerating the necessity of my meds. He told me to hang loose, he was going to cash another store and see if they have it. I told him I don’t have a car I can’t go to another store. He said don’t worry it can be delivered FedEx. Two hours later I’m going on first break and i get a text that my medication was waiting for pick up.
    Now, it did take a long time to follow the proper protocol of transferring the insurance payment to the other store, getting authorization for that, a fax from my Dr with my record is proof of diagnosis and continuing therapy, and the reason for the transfer + delivery of a controlled medication. That took about an hour. Thank goodness my supervisors know of my ADHD and are very understanding and said no worries get back to work.

    I’m expecting it to happen again soon. It seems about every other month to three months they will be out of my meds. It’s getting close to that now.
    It’s horrible, but the worst is being treated like I don’t really even need it. I’m 61! I was diagnosed nearly 14 years ago, and it was like day and night after I was out on meds. I never want to go back to being like I am without my focus. Sometimes I’m forced to. Again, I’m lucky I have great bosses, they work with me.

  2. Billy, where do you live that you don’t have to pick up a “hard copy,” or paper prescriptions for your children? I have ADD and take both Adderall IR & XR, and my son has ADHD and takes Vyvanse. So I have three controlled substance prescriptions that I have to pick up in person from the doctor’s office.

    I will tell you what has worked for me to ease the process and decrease anxiety. We go to the same psychiatrist, and I schedule our appointments back to back. Because my son is only 6, he doesn’t have to be present at every appointment. Because we get our prescriptions on the same day and from the same doctor, I take all three ADHD medications (and my other controlled substance prescription) to the pharmacy on the same day.

    We go to the same Walgreens every month. They know us and our prescriptions, so they make sure to have them in stock for us every month. I schedule appointments exactly every four weeks (28 days). That way, we always have two extra pills per month that I store for emergencies, such as spontaneous vacations or when my son gets mad and throws his cup of medicine. We dissolve his Vyvanse in Root Beer because he can’t swallow pills (don’t judge 😉), and once he threw it three times! This is why it’s integral that we save the extras.

    We are trying the patch next month, so hopefully this will work better. Please let me know if anyone has a positive or negative experience with the patch. I think it’s a Ritalin based drug. We are also starting EMPower Plus supplements too, with hopes of getting off stimulants for good, or at least having weekend breaks for my child.

    Prior to both of us seeing my psychiatrist, my son was being treated by his pediatrician. It got to the point where I felt like I knew more than her about ADHD medications, so I decided it was time to send him to the big gun, my amazing psychiatrist! Seeing the same doctor has saved us a lot of time, not to mention the fact that I can go in for both of us on most occasions. Also, sometimes I need to say things about my son that I don’t want him to hear, such as explaining to her about his angry outbursts when the Vyvanse wears off in the evening or before it kicks in in the morning. My son still has check ups with his pediatrician every few months to monitor growth progress. It’s more expensive because my psychiatrist doesn’t take insurance (as with most good ones), but it’s worth it to know my “baby” is in excellent hands. Plus I can text her any time necessary.

    I totally feel for you though, I cannot imagine what it would be like juggling multiple children with ADHD. At least you don’t have it, LOL. Our house sometimes looks like a scene out of movie/book Running with Scissors! Good luck to you!

  3. I can totally commiserate, as my son and I both take controlled substances. He has two different doses, one for morning and one for afternoon. I take 1 1/2 pills 3 times a day and have reminders on my phone so I don’t forget at work. They sometimes go off during meetings or when I am away from my desk. Basically every week I find my keys to unlock the storage box, and refill our pill containers. I swear by pill containers that are marked for each day, so my son and I know whether he has taken his meds or not. He will say he has taken them when he hasn’t, and vice versa. Typical ADHD, my telling him once to go take his meds doesn’t mean it happens. 🙂 With the pill container I can check and prove to him and to myself that he did, or didn’t.

    I am trying to develop a system to keep notes on how many are left and when refills will be needed. I glue colored paper on the tops of the bottles (blue for him and pink for me) where I keep these notes and see them every time I touch the bottles. I also keep it written on my calendar when school will need more pills, and it is difficult with 30-day prescriptions to have enough “buffer” of meds at school and at home to get us through to the next prescription. Luckily our doses have been the same long enough that our doctors will now write 90-day prescriptions (we both see psychiatrists rather than family doctors). The downside to that is that 90 days can be a long time to remember when we are at the doctor, whether we need a new prescription or not!

    I am also on other medications as well, so managing my four prescriptions and my son’s 3 prescriptions is quite a task! It was nice to see that I am not the only one.

    1. This is good practice for later in life when you will be taking 6 or 7. Luckily my pharmacy keeps track on their website and lets me know if they can send a refill or i have to drop by the docs office to update the script. They will even contact him to refill some of the controlled substances. A godsend as memory doesnt get better with age.

    2. Where do you live that you can get a 90 day prescription for a controlled substance? You can only get 30 days worth at a time in the US.

      1. I know this is several months later, but I’m replying in case anyone else comes across this and has the same question. You actually can get a 90-day supply in the US, but it might depend on which state you live in and how comfortable your doctor feels with writing the prescription. I’m in NC, and I was able to switch from 30-day to 90-day prescriptions once I got to a dose that worked.

  4. I too have 5 meds between 3 family members to fill each month. I have to pick up paper forms for 2 of the “controlled substance” meds from the pediatrician, drive them to the pharmacy, and return to pick up the med. I find this an insane requirement of the federal govt. It has made me in favor of legalizing ALL substances, just as most other countries allow meds without a prescription. Our govt goes out of its way to make life as difficult as possible!

    1. The reason they require you to pick up the prescriptions is because people used to steal doctors pads from offices and write prescriptions. I know of sucks, but it’s for a good purpose. And ADHD drugs (stimulants) and drugs of abuse. When I was in college, people used to go to my bathroom and steal my Adderall out of my bottle. I wouldn’t notice it until the end of the month when I was short. After that, I had to get a safe and keep all my medications in there. That is still what I do to this day. I know it’s a pain in the butt to have to drive to the doctors office, but it is worth it to keep drugs off the street. I am more of a libertarian and I think there should be less laws, but as far as the controlled substance act goes, I do agree with that logic and reasoning.

  5. PS They come in clear, pink and Blue for multiple family members. I will try to find a webpage picture link to leave on here.

  6. I am here to commiserate and tell you it doesnt get better…..for your meds. I have been on one adhd and two other controlled meds for several months. In addition I have 5 other prescribed medications plus 81mg asprin and a vitamin everyday. Thankfully i have been able to cut back on all of hem to only one a day . This is near average for seniors my age. 7 prescriptions.
    What saves me each time are two things. First the pharmacy phones the physician. And secondly i have a set of daily pill dispensors that have 4 compartments for each day…breakfast lunch dinner and Bedtime. Better still these are a separate plastic tray with the day of the week on the front edge. The seven trays slide into a clear plastic container llike dresser drawer. Much smaller than it sounds .
    They are absolutely indispensible as they not only tell me which day it is ( just kidding) but also whether i have missed a med. they are particularly helpful when travelling. They also are great at reminding me to reorder anytime there is less than a weeks supply of
    any med because i cant fill the tray..oh and it also helps to be retired and on my own and not caring for muliple family members and a
    Good luck and i hope this will give you some ideas that are useful.

Leave a Reply