Drugs in my Pocket Book

There are three people in my home. Me and my two daughters.

There is only one person in my house that is covered for any health care expense, including prescriptions, that’s my youngest.  My youngest has Lupus. If you’re not sure what Lupus is, or you’ve never heard of it, you can check out the Lupus Foundation of Canada’s website here.

She has a mild case. I’ve seen many kids who don’t have it as easy as she does. She’s enjoying particularly good health over the last number of months.  We’ve certainly endured a number of particularly bad spells in the past.

Yesterday, she had a routine visit with her specialist. Lupus can affect people very differently. One of the symptoms that my daughter suffers with is joint pain and swelling, like arthritis. This isn’t entirely under control yet.

This means that somedays she can’t pick up her pen at school to take notes, because her hand won’t close around the pen. It may mean that it’s difficult to open the jar of peanut butter, or even grab it off the shelf. Somedays, she can’t tie her own shoes or do up her own coat. There’s been days on end when I’ve had to carry her down the stairs because she’s unable to walk.

Her specialist has suggested a new drug to try, which he hopes will keep her joint pain at a minimum and make her more comfortable. This new wonder drug is $700 a month!  That’s an additional $700 on top of the four other prescription drugs that she takes daily, as well as supplements like folic acid, vitamin d and calcium.

The day before yesterday, I’d already dropped $300 in prescriptions for my eldest daughter, who is a type 1 diabetic.

I’m particularly thankful that the daughter with the heaviest prescription costs has some coverage. Still, we have outstanding needs that aren’t covered. One of my new goals this month will be to look into prescription coverage for my eldest daughter. Anything I’ve looked into requires a health questionnaire. I would imagine as soon as any insurance company realizes she’s on two different types of insulin, they’ll make the rates high enough that could make any benefit a wash.

With only one week of April under our belts, we’ve spent $1300 in total on medical needs this month. That’s likely it for the month (knock on wood). Of that, $700 will be reimbursed. I certainly need to revisit my medical budget, and jack it up a bit.

Our medical needs are now officially bigger than our grocery budget.  We took a bad card on the genetic poker game. Still, because I spend a fair bit of time in major health care institutions, I see an awful lot of families with far bigger issues than we deal with. The diseases in my house are under control and my kids are happy and totally functional in their day-to-day life.

We’ll just always have a particularly good relationship with our local pharmacist.


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