I called the pharmacy again today and they still had not received authorization for the refill. I contacted the doctor's office and was told, "I'll have to check with the doctor and call you back."
"That's what you said last time and no one ever called." Then I heard the doctor talking about me in the background and it wasn't complimentary. I let the woman schedule an appointment, but immediately grabbed my phonebook when I hung up. I normally like to get referrals instead of choosing at random, but didn't think it could be much worse. I chose an allergy and asthma specialist and got an appointment for this afternoon. I then called my old doc's office and cancelled, saying "I'm going to someone closer who's office hasn't ignored me for a week."
I paid 150 dollars to see the new doc, but she gave me a sample instead of writing a scrip. I got Ventolin this time. That little window near the bottom is a dose counter, so I'll always know exactly how much is left. She also said when 20 doses remain to call and she'll give me more samples of it and the Symbicort. Since one month's worth of Symbicort is 200 dollars, it easily makes up for the unexpected expense of the office visit.
Now that I've got my albuterol, I can start training again. The new doc says that's probably what keeps me out of the emergency room and I should definitely keep it up. My marathon (soon to be triathlon) habit is not as expensive as the ER, so I believe I will. Besides, now it's doctor's orders.