Yesterday I received something in the mail from Anthem Blue Cross.  I almost pitched it because I’ve yet to see a doctor here in “middle earth” so I thought it was junk mail.  Fortunately I opened it and saw that I’ve been sent a claim notice.  I was perplexed because I haven’t seen a doctor in just over a year.  Upon closer inspection I see that it is in regards to the Trepadone prescription that my knee doctor in California prescribed after my third knee surgery.  Trepadone is considered to be in the “medicinal nutrition” category.  It is a prescription medicinal food and is prescribed to help manage joint pain and inflammation as well as help slow further joint deterioration.  It’s got Omega 3’s, Tuna oil, Chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine and a bunch of other difficult to pronounce ingredients.    I’ve been taking it since early 2011 with a few breaks along the way (one as long as three months) when I ran out of capsules.  Just before moving I purchased two bottles in an effort to “stock up” (they come in 90, or 120 capsule bottles) and then when my California friend Lou came for a visit she brought a couple more bottles after I received an OK to refill from my California knee doc.

Each time I placed my order to refill the prescription I paid the co-pay,  $30 a bottle.  I didn’t think much about it other than it being a little expensive for a supplement.  Still, I felt the protocol was worth it because it seems to make a difference in my deteriorating knees (both of which are candidates for total replacements) particularly in pain management.  I’m trying to buy a few more years of keeping the knees I was born with  before “succumbing” to the replacement surgeries.  My knee doc has exhausted all efforts to avoid sending me down the total replacement route to include appealing on my behalf for cartilage replacement back in 2010 before my third knee surgery.   In fact, in his last appeal he specifically stated in an appeal letter “….“Any alternative treatment for this patient would require joint replacement which would significantly limit this patient’s activity level in the future and sets her up for future medical problems which will be far more expensive [than cartilage replacement].”

Image my surprise when I looked at the claim letter, the purpose of which was to get more health information and details as to why I medically need this prescription.  Why is this an issue now I wonder; I’ve been getting this stuff for a while now.   Then I see the claim date;  5/23/2013.  Yep…that’s when I ordered two more bottles.

You’ve got to be kidding!

How much…..???

What?????

Oh my God???

Two bottles….

are you ready…..?

$1,010.95

I am trying very hard not to let loose an expletive, or two.