Refill Please

by Martha Rand




“You have reached the answering service for North Atlantic Neurosurgery Associates” a recording stated.  “Please hold on.”


There were so many things that she had been thinking she would say to the answering machine.


“Hello, this is Natalie Silverman, I've been trying to get my prescription filled for over a week.  Trazedone 100 milligrams.  The anti-seizure.  Maybe you recall, you did my brain surgery last spring?  Perhaps you're busy.  Doing more brain surgery.  I hope so.  That's why I went to you in the first place.  Because I heard you had a lot of experience doing brain surgery.  So I hope you keep it up, in case I need you again.  In the meantime, I need the anti-seizure medication.  I think I'm supposed to be on it for life.  Isn't that right?”


“I called the pharmacy over a week ago.  Just over a week ago.  They said they faxed you the message.  They said they faxed it to you more than once.  Then they said they called your office.  Tonight they only gave me one more tablet and they told me to call.”


“Yes the nice young Indian pharmacist told me to call.  He said the doctor's response is often better if the patient calls.  So I'm calling.  It's so annoying to have to go down there every day or every other day this week and just get one or two pills.”


“I'm sorry that there's still a balance of over eight thousand dollars. Seriously, I spoke to your office and I called my insurance.  You know, I don't have that insurance anymore because my employer changed insurance companies, but I called the old insurance company.  I hope you don't hold that against me.  Because I'm trying to take care of it.”


“Anyway, if you can't give me the seizure medication anymore and I have a seizure, I hope it kills me.  Because I just can't take it anymore.  My daughter is a senior in high school and when you did the brain surgery, I felt I had to see her get closer to graduation, but now she's so close I'm sure she's gonna make it and her father will see to it that she gets into college somewhere even if it's community college.  Though I know she wants to go to a private college and she's really smart and she was president of her junior class and in model UN and directed the class play and everything.   So if I happen to die then maybe she can get the life insurance and go to the private college that she wants.”


“So Doctor, you know what?  You play God.  If you decide to fill the prescription you call me.  You have my number in your files.  They gave me one more tablet for tonight.  I'm not gonna go back.  I'm gonna leave it up to you and kiss it up to God.  ‘Cause it's either my life or my daughter's college education.  Yeah, I can see it clearly now, the brain bleed was a blessing…”


Natalie's thoughts were interrupted by a voice.


“Hello, this is the service, may I take a message?”


“Yes, this is Natalie Silverman, I'm a patient could you have the doctor call in my prescription for Trazedone, 100 milligrams to the pharmacy at 943 782 8700.”