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Sorry, all out of Nitro!

My medication to keep my vessels open and ease the tension, literally, on my heart is called Nitro. Lovingly it is also known as my BFF and many others that continually need high doses of it call it the same. Just as a diabetic needs insulin, an Epileptic needs seizure medicine and a cancer patient needs chemo this is how I look at Nitro. The right amount and that it is available at all times is so very vital in my day to day life.

I take Nitro in many different forms. One is a long acting pill I take morning and night. The next is a patch that has time released Nitro in it, I wear 6 of these (no not a normal dose). Another is called a sub lingual, it goes under my tongue to give me a punch of Nitro quickly. The last of my heavy hitters while outside the hospital is Nitro paste, it is measured out and sits on your skin giving you a punch of Nitro for a few hours instead of minutes with the sub lingual. My last chance if those don't work is to be admitted for IV Nitro. This is always my last choice if pain, fatigue, shortness of breath and other symptoms persist.

With a little bit of background on my short list of heart medications I take take a walk with me to the pharmacy. At fist they look at you and ask if the medication you are asking for matches what the doctor explained to me. I'm sure they have already called the doctors office to re check if the doses and frequency of the Nitro was skewed or they read the doctors hand writing wrong. Alas they finally get that I'm for real and start the process of ordering. I assure you no pharmacy carries as much Nitro that I need. The pharmacy I go to has worked with me for 6 years of this odd medication regime. There isn't much question asking now and it seems like things are running smoothly behind the curtains.

This month is different though the prescription for my patches was called in and when my husband went to pick it up the pharmacy didn't have my whole order. They actually couldn't order any more. The distributor of this life altering drug I'm on is putting their Nitro patches on hold. The pharmacy was nice enough to call every other pharmacy in town and run my insurance through. One pharmacy won't take my insurance and for the amount of patches they had, about 2 weeks worth, they will charge me $400. The only other pharmacy that had any patches in did luckily take my insurance. They told us they had 5 units in. I get my patches in boxes of 30 so I thought that was a good amount to start with. When my husband got there today to pick them up they had 5 patches, not boxes, that isn't even enough to sustain me one day.

My cardiologist is willing to call my prescription in anywhere and they can mail it. So I feel like a sniper taking out everyone's Nitro supply one by one. My home town is out so now I expand. Luckily I have my heart family spread all over the world. Some of them are running into the same problem I am some of them aren't on the patches. They were all very helpful though and offering to pick up any prescription and mail it to me. I am very lucky to have such a network of friends to go through this journey with.

I also have noticed certain drugs being raised in prices that are so high people can't afford them. So when they need them they end up in the hospital and accrue an even bigger bill. The hospital is where I will be forced to go if this issue isn't resolved. Hopefully in the time I have until my low supply runs out I will be ordering more patches in another town or state.

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