Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Return

2 years and Six Months Post Total Thyroidectomy
I have not posted on my blog for a very long time. Over two years now. I want to catch up, but I am not really sure where to start. My sister has a friend that was recently diagnosed with thyroid cancer. When she told me this, it brought back a lot of memories for me. My tumor was found to be benign, but I remember the agony and worry of waiting to hear that fabulous word. It made me read my blog again, and I found that I missed it. For those of you out there, facing a thyroidectomy, I know you have been searching for a similar story, or pictures of scars, or resources. It has been 2 years and 6 months (tomorrow) that I had my butterfly (thyroid) removed. It has been a roller coaster, but I think that maybe I have finally gotten off the ride. However, there are new hiccups.

In January, my employer changed insurance companies. Anyone with a chronic disease will tell you that a new insurance carrier can be scary. For the most part, the changes have been good. There is a higher deductible now, but covered services are paid at 90%!!!! That alone is pretty incredble. The only snag that I have found so far is the increased cost of my medication. My last insurance plan paid for 3 months of Levoxyl at a time and only cost me a copay of $20 total. My new insurance plan only pays for 1 month at a time and my copay for that one month is $20! So, I now have to pay triple the cost. For some people, this might not seem like a big deal. However, you must remember that this is only one of several prescriptions that I will be taking for the rest of my life.

At my last check up in April, I asked my endocrinologist  if I could switch to a generic formula. However, being the good doctor that she is, she said that she truly believes that there is a HUGE difference with thyroid replacement brands vs. generics. I was very disappointed, but I have to admit I was glad she was doing what she felt was right. She excused herself for a moment and returned with great news. She compared the active ingredients of Levoxyl to Snythroid and found the differences to be slight enough that she was comfortable with it. She offered to try changing brands for me from Levoxyl to Snythroid. The reason she did this? She was able to provide me SIX MONTHS of free trial pills in my prescription level. How cool is that?

I am now on Snythroid 137 and I can't really tell a difference. I go for my next check up in October, when they will do all my usual blood tests: T3, T4, TSH, Calcium, Vitamin D, etc. and see how my body likes the new drug. I really really hope my body cooperates with this. I am not sure how my pocketbook will hold up otherwise.

I am bad at math, so please forgive me if my calculations are wrong, but this is what I figure: My prescription increase is $160 more per year. Assuming a miracle happens and that price does not go up ever (yeah, right) and I live to be 86 years old, my total additional cost for this one drug is $4,800. But I have to assume the cost will rise and that I will need additional prescriptions as I age. I also have to assume that at some point I will not be able to work and my income will be very limited. It's an alarming thought.

BODY: Pretty pretty please like this new drug. I have been nice to you, especially these last 2 years. I eat healthy and exercise regularly. I don't smoke and drink only a little. So, please pay me back for all my good deeds. Thank you!

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