Yep. Those are big shots. Wait until you hear the price tag…

The nurse thought I was crazy when I looked at her and said, “Hey, wait a minute! I want to get a picture of this!”

She gave me a sideways glance and said, “you’re kidding, right?”

“Um, no” I said totally poker  faced. “You don’t know what I’ve had to go through to get to this. I HAVE to blog about it.”

She moved away so I could take the pick giving me what I like to call the “Whatever” face (I see it on my tween often). I moved into to get a good shot. She was looking at me kind of suspiciously but I didn’t care. I had gone through hell to have this and I was going to enjoy every minute.

Why yes, that's $4,500 of Xolair. No, I'm not kidding

Why yes, that’s $4,500 of Xolair. No, I’m not kidding

For those of you that missed the drama from last year, I had three different jobs, four different insurance policies (including a $6,200 stint on COBRA) and I had a hard time getting approved for the medication that you see pictured above. The interesting thing is for more than seven years, I stopped by the allergist for three shots every two weeks (I’ve often joked that if I’m ever left for dead and my family needs to ID my body, they can do so by the injection scars in my arms. Proof that I’ve read way too many mysteries) so there was medical history that supported the fact that I needed the shots. Unfortunately, every time we’d get an insurance company to approve me, I’d go through a lay off and switch policies again. So, we spent the year paying thousands of dollars for coverage that didn’t allow me adequate medications to help my asthma.

Long story short, I spent the latter part of the year, coughing and hacking. Gasping for air. Five rounds of Prednisone left me bloated, fat and crabby. I spent lots of nights staring at the ceiling and when I was able to sleep, I had night terrors and sweats. Needless to say I was crabby (thank God after 40+ years of drugs I can control roid rage). I couldn’t play tennis and in December my body completely fell apart and I caught every kind of secondary infection that had to do with the upper respiratory system. My body shut down.

A couple weeks ago, I got the call that I was finally approved to get my shots (Hallelujah!). However, there was a small problem. Xolair costs $4,500 a month and on my new insurance (yes, policy #5. My previous employer changed plans for 2013), my co-pay would be $454 a month. When the pharmacy told me that I thought I was going to fall out of my chair. But I held onto the arms and told them we couldn’t afford the co-pay. Once again, I was not going to get my shots.

But there was good news! My asthma is so serious (okay that wasn’t it) that I qualified for financial assistance from the drug company. This brought the co-pay down to $90 a month. I would have my injections after all!

When I went last week, everyone at the front of the doctor’s office was so happy for me (I have a 20+ year relationship with the practice and I think they felt bad watching me suffer all year) and I was elated. It was a long year off the drug that I was going to pause and take a picture of the shots. And, I didn’t care what the new nurse thought. I was looking forward to a healthy 2013 and the injections were the start!




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