I’ve been taking Vyvanse for just about a year now. It’s crazy to think that a year ago I started my journey with this medication and my therapist. And while I’m still struggling, I’ve made some significant progress over the past year.
When I started Vyvanse, I had so many hopes that this would make all my binge feelings go away and I would be “normal”. And for the first few days that was exactly what it felt like. But then my body adjusted to the medication and while it does help quite a bit, it’s not the miracle drug that I secretly hoped it would be. Over the past year, we’ve adjusted my medication a few times. I started at 20mg a day and right now I’m at 50mg a day (30mg in the morning and 20mg at lunchtime). There is a chance that things will be adjusted again when I see my doctor in a couple of months, but for now I’m happy where I am.
While I’m so grateful that I was approved to be on this medication, I know how lucky I am. Not everyone does get approved even if they have a history of binge eating disorder. I think you need to prove to the doctor that you are working on things yourself and not expecting the medicine to do all the work for you (similar to getting approved for weight loss surgery). I think the fact that I was doing a regular workout routine helped show my doctor that I am working toward a healthy lifestyle and one of the things holding me back from achieving what I want is my eating disorder.
I’m also grateful that my parents have been willing to help me with the expenses related to the medication. I do have health insurance (which got so much cheaper after the Affordable Care Act since I have so many pre-existing conditions), but I still have to pay for prescriptions. My medication co-pay is $50 a month. And I have to pay that for 2 different strengths of Vyvanse, so each month costs $100. And on top of that, I have a deductible for my prescriptions. Thankfully, I maxed when I refilled 1 strength of Vyvanse the other day. But it still made it extremely expensive ($250 for the deductible and another $150 for the prescription). It will be just the co-pay for the rest of the year, but $100 a month for a medication that isn’t required for my health is something to really think about.
I’m thinking about talking to my doctor when I see him in a few months about either going back down to 2 20mg pills a day or up to 2 30mg pills a day. That way, I only have 1 prescription per day and it will be half the price I have now. Money isn’t the best reason to ask for a prescription to be changed, but I at least want to bring up the concern to my doctor.
Outside of the help that I’ve gotten from the medication, there have been so many positive steps I’ve made in the past year toward my recovery. Before, my recovery was a passive effort. I tried, but I wasn’t trying that hard. Now, I have changed how I track my food. Not having to see the calories has allowed me to have 100% accurate food tracking with no stress. I’ve been listening to podcasts about recovery and reading books to help me. These are things that I should have done years ago but haven’t. While the books I’ve got aren’t free, I wait until they are on sale to buy them. And of course, the podcasts are free to that saves some money.
It’s sad that for me to get help it costs as much as it does. But I’m spending a lot less than many people do. For people who don’t have prescription coverage (or as good of coverage as I do), Vyvanse can cost significantly more than what I’m spending. I’m lucky that my appointments with my doctor only require my co-pay and nothing extra. And I’m not in an in-patient facility (which can be thousands of dollars a day). It’s not making my money issues worse because my parents are helping, but that’s also a lucky break I have. I wish that more things were available and free (or cheap) to help with recovery from a binge eating disorder. I feel in the next few years that maybe there will be more offerings as more people are diagnosed or aware of this eating disorder.
For now, I’m happy where I am a year into this new plan and hopefully the next year will bring even more progress toward recovery and hopefully an idea of how to maintain the progress I have made so far.