Monday, April 26, 2010


Let's go back in time to 1991, when an eleven-year-old boy noticed a strange rash growing on his stomach. Not sure what it was, he went to his doctor, who explained that our hero had shingles. "The same virus that causes chicken pox," the doctor said.

"But I already had chicken pox," the boy replied. "How can I get them again?"

"It happens sometimes. There's not much to do but let the virus run its course. The good news is that people rarely get shingles a second time."

Fast forward to 2010. This boy is no longer a boy, and he swims every day in a pool filled with people of every size and shape. And one day, this man begins to notice his back itching. At first, he thinks it's just the chlorine from the pool, and then he notices several small bumps. Zits on the back aren't that uncommon, the man thinks to himself, so he pays it no mind. By that weekend, it's clear that his old nemesis from nineteen years ago is back. Unfortunately, he has to wait until Monday to see his doctor. It also means he can't swim for a while, lest he risk exposing someone else to the virus.

The doctor takes one look at him and says, "Yup, it's shingles all right." Then he prescribes some anti-viral medication, something that didn't exist in 1991. The man takes his prescription to the pharmacy, and they tell him it'll be about half an hour. When he returns, they tell him they can't get this particular medication, and phone in a request to change it to something else. Two hours later, the doctor returns their call, saying no, our hero must have this exact anti-viral. So the man takes his prescription to another pharmacy, one all the way downtown.

That's when the man realizes he has the wrong insurance card in his wallet. Too bad the pharmacy is going to close soon. The man sighs and returns home to find is new insurance card.

The next day, our hero heads back up to the pharmacy, and he stops by the doctor's office while he's at it, since he unwittingly gave them the wrong insurance information. Unfortunately, the monsoon season has apparently started in Salt Lake City, so the man is soaking wet by the time he gets into the doctor's office. Then he heads over to the pharmacy, less than a block away, and feels like he's swimming since it's raining so hard. This time, he gives them the correct insurance card. Of course it turns out that his insurance doesn't cover this medication anyway, so he has to pay cash. It comes to $260.

Oh well, the man thinks as he leaves the pharmacy. At least it'll count toward my deductible.

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