The Lyrics of the Medical Aid Run Around

  • Join medical aid for assistance in case of illness
  • Became ill in September 2006
  • Diagnosed with CBD in February 2007
  • Require medication called carbilev (now 8 tablets a day) and Lyrica (2 a day)
  • CBD (like MND etc) is not listed as a PMB illness
  • Discovery, however, agrees to cover the cost of carbilev as a chronic benefit but Lyrica has to be paid for out of savings account and eventually own pocket (R400 month)
  • Feb 2014 Pera changes employer, so we move to GEMS
  • Over the years, the type, frequency, dosage, timing etc have been altered in order to get maximum benefit from carbilev
  • They agree to cover cost of generic medicine only (Teva Carbilevo); I have to pay Lyrica out of pocket
  • I would have to pay in the difference if I continued with carbilev (R250 month)
  • After consultation with dr, patients etc I agree to change to carbilevo (even overseas discussions) and have to continue with Lyrica
  • But no carbilevo available for last two months – so pay in the difference for carbilev (and in full for lyrica)
  • Despite numerous calls by pharmacist and Pera all over the country they are unable to source meds
  • Pera manages to source tablets at DisChem
  • However, we are not allowed to buy it there because Provincial is our registered pharmacist with GEMS (may only change that after 6 months)
  • So I get involved (pull strings) to move tablets from one to the other pharmacy
  • Then Provincial manages to source carbilevo
  • On carbilevo since Sunday – experiencing slight shiver – lets see what happens and hope it works!
  • All sorted for this month at least (we hope)
  • Options: continue as is; get medical aid (legislation) to recognise neurological illnesses as PMB’s; sell of assets;  get welfare assistance; donations; apply to become a state patient

Week of the Proms

7 Years 9 months ill …

Physical: Advantage Ed / Mental: Advantage Ed


I Remember …

… This was the week of frustration with GEMS Medical Aid. All I want is my medication. After all, I  have paid into the medical aid since my first salary cheque in January 1982, that’s 37 times! What frustration and thanks to Provincial Pharmacy and DisChem Newton Park for assisting! Thanks to Sr Janice from Hospice for her help, too!

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… For the last 7 years and 6 months, since December 2007, I have been living on and driven and fuelled by my Pot ‘o Gold – Carbilev! From this Sunday I am now on my new fuel – a generic medicine called Teva Carbi-levo. Why? Because my new medical aid says so (it’s cheaper!) The old pills came in a plastic pot 100 at a time – the new ones are blister packed and have to be removed one-by-one from the blisters – ten on a sleeve. Rather stupid, me thinks, when they are for people whose fine motor skills no longer work and who cannot use their fingers!! Let’s just hope the 25mg carbidopa and and 100mg levodopa keep me moving like the old ones ….

… Last Night of the Proms and Banquet was attended by Pera, Gran, Peggy and I on Saturday evening. What a show and spread! Thanks to Gavin Loon, Investec and St Francis Hospice. I spoke at the Sunday afternoon show … see my speech blogged here :

While you there also view my blog Zip Zap!

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… I had lunches with my matric maths teacher, Michiel Ackerman, and with Ben Roth

… We started preparing for our HHH40 Reunion in Somerset West on 26/27 September 2014

… We went to the Mumford Revolution show at Old Grey with Stapes and Trish …wow!

WordpressBlog 007… Beer tasting at Barney’s is always a pleasure and add in the view!

… Swimming and exercising at Aurora Hospital and Rehab Centre is now on my weekly routine schedule. Followed by a meeting at Dis-Chem Pharmacy to sort out my pills.

… I used to spend days away from home on business trips – Jozie, Cape Town, East London, George. The best was leaving the Big Smoke and coming home. Today, Sean flys to Jozie on his very first business trip. Be safe!

Welcome to the world of delayed flights, waiting, airport lounges and company beers! Enjoy!

Haha … And the first flight IS delayed!

… And it’s time for another MND meeting at Old Grey … With Iron Man, motivational speaker , ex house mate and colleague Alec Riddle!