I don’t like to take medicine. Or vitamins. I was never a good pill swallower and I think my mom was still crushing up St. Joseph’s aspirin for children in applesauce when I was twelve. (A little off-topic, but I’ve always sort of liked the way that particular brand of children’s aspirin tastes.) Anyway, I take my medications reluctantly. Sometimes I get a prescription filled and never take it at all. If John lays out the calcium and vitamin pills, I’ll get to them, although I might postpone it by a day. He always praises me after I choke them down. Yeah, I still need positive re-enforcement when it comes to pills.

Today, I had a positive medication experience. I have been wheezing now for a little over a month. Mostly I’ve just been waiting for the asthma to go away. It comes in the fall with the change of weather and sometimes it goes away by itself. So, as a stubbornly non-medication taker, I do not want to use the little inhalers that wheezy people use. Well, I’ve decided that breathing may be a good thing and I’m tired of people treating me like I’m about to infect them with something awful. But all my prescriptions are too old! And I like going to the doctor less than I like taking pills. Enter the internet.

No, this isn’t about how I found a drugstore online or bought drugs from Canada. As a member of Kaiser Permanente I have access to the members-only section of their website. Scrolling through the choices this morning, I see that I can send a note to my service provider. So I write and say that I need new prescriptions. In less than 2 hours he write backs to me that he’s sent the prescription along to the pharmacy, that I should call him if I don’t get better or have to use the inhaler too much and tells me to take care. He also uses “Hi, Mary” as a salutation and signs the note “BB.” It’s like my doctor, who really wouldn’t recognize me on the street, is my friend!

I didn’t have to go to doctor and pay the copay. I didn’t have to wait endlessly on hold to talk to someone. Better still, I didn’t have to talk to anyone. (I don’t like talking on the phone.) I got a fast, personal response. So, yay, for Big Health Care. It’s not your friendly old family physician but it worked really well for me.

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