The Price Of Life – Saving on Epinephrine

Epi Open

It has been all over the news lately…the rising cost of Epi-Pens. I won’t go into the sordid details on how much they cost to make, or how many raises the CEO of Mylan has given herself over the years. The same years that the Epi-Pen has gone up in price over 500%. The information has been re-hashed over and over again, and a simple Google search will get you the information you need.

In an effort to keep this as short as possible, you can read the history of our journeys into Peanut/Tree Nut allergies Here

We were very fortunate to have had good insurance, and never paid more than $30 for a 2-pack. However, due to job changes, we had to get new insurance, and we now have to pay out of pocket, to the tune of $650 for a 2-pack.  Before anyone asked, no, the coupon on the Epi-Pen website does NOT bring it down to $0.00 unless you have a copay under $100. Otherwise, it only takes $100 off of the total, but that’s still $550. I shopped around, and the best I could find was another, much lesser known brand, called Adrenaclick for around $450. Better, but still a lot.

I’ve continued to hunt for the best option/deal, and the cheapest would be to buy a vial of epinephrine and a syringe. Like a 16-year-old boy, or any of his friends, are going to be able to accurately fill the syringe with the correct amount of epinephrine in an emergency? I’m not taking that risk.

I did, however, find an alternative for $144, and I want to share it as far and wide as I possibly can. This will only work through a Walmart or Sams pharmacy. Be prepared to know what you are talking about, as I did have to stress what I was looking for, to get it done correctly. What I got was actually the generic version of the Adrenaclick.

The first thing you need to do is click Here. This will bring you to goodrx.com, and the generic equivalent of Adrenaclick. Print the coupon for the $144 price.

Then, have your doctor issue a new prescription either for Adrenaclick (with substitutions allowed), or for just a general epinephrine injector 2-pack. Our local Walmart pharmacy had to order them for us, but we got them the next day.  This is what the box looks like:

Epi Box

First impression upon opening the box is that they are much smaller than the Epi-Pen brand.  With it being smaller, it is much lighter, and I think will be much easier for a teenage boy to carry around with him. Epi-Pen on top, generic on bottom:

Epi Cases

They are very similar in the way they work, yet different enough that the generic is a different mechanism. First difference is in how the cases open. Epi-Pen flips open at the top, while the generic pulls apart in the middle, into 2 pieces:

Epi Open Case

Both pens outside of their cases:

Epi Open

As far as how they actually work, the biggest difference is that the Epi-Pen has just one blue cap to pull off, while the generic has 2 blue caps to pull off. Both pens have the instructions on the pens, and the generic also has the directions on the box (I’m assuming Epi-Pen does, too, but I don’t have any of the boxes anymore). One of the first things I noticed, however, is that the generic does not have a tester pen, so no practicing with it before using it!

While $144 is still a lot more than we used to pay, it’s still a heck of a lot better than the $650 for Epi-Pens. Although the CEO of Mylan has issued a $300 coupon for Epi-Pen, it’s not enough. She said they will develop a generic of Epi-Pen, but I’m not sure I caught how much that will be. Please feel free to share this with anyone and everyone who might find it useful. Hopefully, it will help someone who is going without Epi-Pens, or carrying expired pens, to be able to get the Epinephrine they need, as nobody should have to worry about not having the correct medication should they need it.

Edited to add: Thank you to a friend’s information, a trainer pen can be ordered directly from the Lineage Therapuetics website at http://www.epinephrineautoinject.com/index.php.  I have now ordered one, free of charge.

 

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May The Force Be With Me…

Lightsabre

Roughly 6 months ago, I posted that I had signed up for the Star Wars Dark Side Challenge (10K and 1/2 marathon) at Walt Disney World. Who knew the time would get here so fast, and in less than a week I will be there? And what was I thinking?

I have found that training “post 40” is much different than it was prior. The pace is slower, the injuries are more, and the weight just isn’t going anywhere.

Things were going rather well until early January, when my gall bladder decided it didn’t like me any more, and wanted to move out. Forming 30 stones was a good way to get evicted. The surgery went off without a hitch, but that was 2 weeks without training.

Not long after, my treadmill decided IT wanted out of my life, also (I’m starting to get a complex about this). After pricing many options, I decided it would actually be cheaper to join Planet Fitness, which actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise after the next issue started…

Shin splints. I’d had small bouts with them before, but this was something awful. It hurt just to walk. So, off the treadmill to give them a chance to heal, but thankfully I was still able to use the bikes to keep the cardio going.

Now, we are 1 week away from the 10K. 1 week from tomorrow is the 1/2 marathon. The big training is done. I’m as trained as I’m going to get. Disney requires a 16 minute mile pace, and I’ve been a pretty consistent 15 minute mile. I’ve got my gear ready (including Darth Vader shirts made by a friend of mine). Now I just have to keep myself injury-free, and healthy. And then finish the races. Here’s hoping the force is with me!

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Half History (Edition 13.1)

Untitled

For the umpteenth time in as many months, I am attempting to get back on a running schedule. Why, you may ask? Do I have a 5K coming up? No. Maybe a 10K? Yup, one of those. And a 1/2 marathon to complete the picture.  I have signed up for the Dark Side challenge at Disney in April, which includes a 10K on Saturday, and a 1/2 marathon on Sunday. I have officially lost my mind.

My first 1/2 marathon was in Disney in January of 2010. Did this one with a friend, and it was miserable! Going to Disney with my friend was great, but nobody informed us that it might snow in January. Yes, snow. And sleet. And freezing rain. We kept  up a pretty good run/walk pace, until about mile 9 when we couldn’t feel our toes anymore.  But, we finished and got the bling. And, prior to the race I had joined an online running group and “met” some of the nicest, most encouraging enablers…er, I mean, friends…that one could ever want to meet.

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I then signed up for a local 1/2 marathon….but we’re not going to discuss the disaster of that one.

After that, in November of 2011, I ran the Rock N Roll 1/2 in Savannah.  Weather was great, and got to see lots of friends from the running group that I belong to. Spent about half with 2 of them, and then finished with another.

The last 1/2 marathon that I did was in 2012, the inaugural NC 1/2 marathon at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Spent the entire race with 2 friends from that same running group, and while the course was hilly, we all finished…and not last, either!!

Due to the prohibitive costs, I had not planned to run any other Disney races. And then, they made the announcement. The announcement I had been waiting a long time to hear. Walt Disney World would be having a Star Wars themed race weekend. Once the decision was made to sign up, I decided to go for the challenge. 3 shirts instead of one. 3 medals instead of one. It certainly seemed like a no brainer to me!

So now that I’m signed up, I see that I was a bit confused. I’ts not a “no brainer”…it’s that I had “no brain” when I was signing up! But I AM running again. Run/walking. Moving. I am moving…slowly.

This should be an interesting journey, as I’m already finding that training “post 40” is a lot different than it was “pre 40”. At least I have one thing to be positive about, as mentioned to me by The Boy “At least if it rains during the race, it won’t be freezing”!

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Crochet Creations – Part 3

Crochet Creations

 

 

Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve blogged anything. It would have been longer, but I got the notice of my renewal and thought, “What the heck, let’s see if I can get this rolling again”. The blog ideas are coming slowly, but if anybody has any suggestions on what you’d like to see, I’m all ears!

One reason I’ve been so absent is that I’ve been working on some crochet projects, which were recently finished. Some were for gifts, and some were purchased.  As an easy 1st day back, I thought I’d share them.

Blanket1  Blanket2

These two were both was based on the recipient’s favorite colors.

Blanket3

 

For a Balitmore Ravens fan!

Blanket4

 

For a young lady heading off to the University of Tennessee this fall

Blanket5

 

For a Chicago Blackhawks fan (Dog not included)

I’m really pleased with how they all turned out, and I could see my form improve as I went along.  There are no other projects in the working right now, but who knows what will come up next!

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No Sledding For You!!!

Sledding1

I don’t really have time to blog right now…there are a million things I should be doing. Working, cleaning, working, folding laundry, working…did I mention working? This is our busiest time of year, but I saw something this morning that just got my ire up. Pardon me, in advance, if I ramble, since I don’t have a lot of time.

It’s now officially winter, and some places have seen some snow already. Thankfully, not here in our part of NC, but some places have. Which means it’s time for winter sports. Ice skating, skiing, and that important childhood snowy staple…sledding. We don’t get many opportunities here, but we have a couple of plastic sleds in the garage for just those times.

But this morning, I had The Today Show on behind me while I was working (yup, working already at 7am), and I heard this story come on:

http://www.today.com/parents/cities-are-banning-sledding-over-injury-lawsuit-fears-1D80404775

In short, some cities are banning sledding. Why? Because some kids might get hurt, and their parents might sue the city. EXCUSE ME???  I’m not sure what angers me more…the fact that parents would be stupid enough to sue the city over something like this, or the cities for giving in to the idiocy.

Is it possible that a child could get injured while sledding? Of course it is. I’m living proof. When I was in 3rd grade, I was sledding with some friends, and one of my friend’s Dad was watching us. Three of us piled on to a round inflatable inner tube and took off down the narrow, tree-lined hill. I fell off, slid gracefully (maybe not so much) over the nicely packed snow, head first into a tree. I remember seeing the blood running down into my lap, and my friend’s Dad running up the hill to get me. I vaguely remember being tossed into the car (leaving all of the other kids behind), and racing (probably with no seatbelt) to their house, because it was closest. Her Mom lovingly cleaned me up, and then called my Mom to come get me. Mom just wanted to make sure I was ok, it was never an option to sue them. Could things have been done differently? Sure. It probably wasn’t the wisest hill to be sledding down, being lined on both sides with trees. And it certainly wasn’t wise to cram 3 of us on an inflatable meant for 1. But we were kids. And accidents happen.

I get it, head injuries are serious business. I had a slight concussion from the accident, and I am well aware of the potential outcome of head injuries. All too aware. But where do we draw the line, in the effort to keep our kids in plastic bubbles…both physically and mentally? Schools have already banned dodgeball and tag.  Now cities are going to ban sledding. What next? Are we to ban bike riding? How about running? About a year and a half ago, The Boy was out playing with some friends. He was running, his foot got caught up with one of his friend’s feet, and he face planted in the street. He was very groggy, so we had him checked out, and he ended up with 1 stitch in his lip, and a broken wrist. Should I sue his friend’s parents for giving their son feet? Or maybe the town, for making the street too hard? Let’s ban swimming, too. And public playgrounds, since it’s the parks that they are banning sledding from. Couldn’t little Johnny get just as hurt from falling off the monkey bars?

What happened to personal responsibility? Why should the town be responsible for what people do in their free time? And why should the rest of us pay the penalty for some people who are just plain stupid? If someone chooses to do something where they might get hurt, then they need to be held responsible for their own actions. We all take risks just by walking out our door every day, whether it’s riding in our cars, walking down the street, or sledding down a hill.

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Boy Bands…The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

Boy bands. They’ve been around since the Beatles. The big Boy Band in my day was New Kids On The Block (now affectionately referred to as NKOTB). They were big starting somewhere around my Freshman year of High School. Jordan, Jon, Donnie, Danny and Joey. 5 good looking guys, singing to and about girls. Everybody had their favorite…mine was Donnie. Back then, we had to go to the record store (Sam Goody’s was ours) to buy their album (you know, that really big CD?) or cassette.

I also became a fan of *NSync, but they were a bit past my school years. I was rocking my first-born to some of their tunes and, if he reads this, I’ll probably hear the gagging sounds from wherever he is. I never could pick a favorite amongst them, though. It was either JC, Lance or Joey…depending on the day.

I never got to go to any of the boy band concerts as a kid. With NKOTB, I was too young to go by myself, and my Mom wouldn’t take me (smart woman, my Mom). With *NSync, well, I just never did.  But then came 2008. NKOTB had a reunion tour, and by golly I wasn’t going to miss this one! I got to go with 3 friends, and I’ve never seen an arena so filled with women before. As we looked at the few men, we labeled them “Wife dragged him”, “1st date”, etc. We didn’t need too many labels to cover them all. Of course, we all screamed as if we were school girls…thankfully those screams aren’t as high pitched anymore. The boys MEN of NKOTB still had it going on, and while I still love Donnie, boy that Joey can SING! Probably the best of all of them (not surprising since he’s been on Broadway).

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(The boys are definitely still looking good!)

So now here we are, 2015. The Girl is 11-years-old, and now SHE has a boy band…One Direction (affectionately referred to as 1D). Niall, Liam, Louis, Harry and Zayn (BONUS! These guys are from England and Ireland). Say the name Niall in this house and a big smile appears across The Girl’s face. In case you’re wondering, he’s the only blonde in the group. Still 5 good-looking guys singing to and about girls. Only now their music is downloaded. Record store? What’s that? The devices used are different, but The Girl still walks around the house listening to their music. Just like NKOTB for me, 1D posters adorn her bedroom walls.

1D_edited

(Sorry, it’s the only picture of my own that I have of them…it’s from a blanket)

Unlike my Mom, I am brave. Or stupid. Or both. 2 other Moms, and myself, brought our daughters to see 1D when they came here in concert in September. I have to say, they really did put on a great show. It was very similar to the NKOTB concert, except the screaming was much more ear piercing. Even us Moms got into it, dancing and singing along (I wonder if that’s why the girls kept inching further away from us?).  While so much stays the same with Boy Bands and their music, there was one glaring difference from any concerts I’d been to in my younger days, though. This:

IMG_2080

No longer do we hold up lighters during the ballads…we now hold up our cell phone flashlights!

Come June, I will be taking my Mom to a concert to see one of her favorites. Barry Manilow. Somehow, I have a feeling there will be a lot less screaming and dancing at that concert.

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A Year Without A Santa Claus

Christmas

After 15 years of playing the Santa game at Christmas, this was the first year without a Santa Claus.  The Girl is now 11, and in the 6th grade. It was time. I think she was having doubts, but The Boy broke it to her. Not exactly gently, either. But he had my permission, and he was happy to do it. The Girl was a little bummed, but really took the news just fine. She has always understood the real reason for Christmas, and now understands the spirit of Santa.

Now, while we’ve always done the Santa thing, we never went overboard with it. Not from our religious beliefs, or anything like that, but from pure laziness.  Santa would wrap his gifts, and the stocking gifts, in plain red paper, but that’s it. After the kids were very little, we didn’t even go visit him. The girl wrote him a letter a couple of times, and would leave him a note on Christmas Eve with the milk and cookies (nope, no carrots for the reindeer, either).

I tried the Elf On The Shelf for 1 year, a few years ago, and that was a colossal bomb. Insert laziness; I can’t tell you how many times that stupid elf didn’t move during the night, and I was scrambling to do something with him before the kids got up in the morning. Thankfully, the kids grew really attached to him, so he never went back to the North Pole, and has been living in The Girl’s room ever since.

I see so many parents who dread the day their kids find out the truth. But I was not one of them; I couldn’t wait for it to be over. I think The Girl enjoyed it, too, as she got to be more involved in everything. She helped shop for, and wrap, gifts, including the stocking gifts of The Boy. She finally understood why Santa always had a budget, and why he refused to bring certain gifts. And, she now gets to be more grown-up, and keep the Santa spirit alive.

Although, there was one Santa tradition she wasn’t quite ready to give up yet…leaving out the milk and cookies. And really, as “Santa”, who was I to stop her???

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