My experience with ‘Echo’, the prescription app

My experience with ‘Echo’, the prescription app

The whole point of me beginning my anti-depressants was to combat my anxiety- or at least help it whilst I try to combat it myself. One of my worries is talking to people on the phone, and also going to meet strangers for things like meetings or appointments. Luckily for me, you have to do both of these in order to get the actual medication. So, as you could probably tell I was looking for any other way of getting my medication without the whole process of going to the doctors. For some people reading this, you’re going to think that I sound silly which honestly I completely understand. I just hate the process and I worry about every single step on the way.

I’ll panic that I’ll mess up the phone call.

I panic that I won’t be able to find a parking space.

I worry that there will be traffic on the way, resulting in less chance of a parking space and even that I could be late for my appointment.

I fret about making sure I’m in the correct waiting room and never taking my eye off that little computer screen that flashes your name and which room.

Compared to the majority of cases of anxiety, I’m actually fairly mild. I’m lucky and grateful that I can still leave the house and deal with these worries. However…

When I did a bit of googling after and appointment, because I thought ‘Surely there is a way you can get these to your house?’. And I found echo. At first, I even worried about the app itself. I live in a tiny little town on the coastal edge of Norfolk, and my GP surgery is busy, but mostly serves the elderly and I didn’t have much faith in them partaking with the app. However, I’ve now been on sertraline for coming up to 6 months and about 4 of them months now have been used with echo to get the prescription delivered straight to my house. Fab.

Now my worries did kind of ring true. However, I applied for my first set of medication around 3 weeks early to make sure that the app itself would work for me. Firstly, you enter in your details about yourself, your medication and your GP surgery. I can’t remember fully but I believe they contact your surgery for approval. Then you can request a refill of your medication. The first step has to be approved by echo. This was approved within a couple of hours, I was thinking ‘Wow this is going to be so great’. The next step is for the surgery itself to confirm your order. Once it’s confirmed, you pay on the app and they dispatch for you on first class FREE delivery. Amazing.

This is where I got a bit stuck. I had a holiday planned just before I was due to run out of sertraline, and therefore was getting a little stressed when it was a week before and my GP request was still ‘pending’ after 14 days. I decided to myself that my surgery wasn’t technical enough and I’d have to carry on the normal way. So I dropped in my prescription and went home to wait the few days to then go pick it up manually. What a bore!

But then suddenly the next day my request was approved! I’m not sure if it was a coincidence or whether my GP needed that prescription slip as some kind of proof? I obviously haven’t had a prescription slip since so if that was the case, it was only a one time thing. So I then paid on the app and I had my tablets next day, 100% stress free.

There is literally not a single thing I can negatively say about echo. The whole system is perfect and honestly hassle free. As well as the amazing factor of free first class delivery! (Yes, still amazed at that.) To further prove my point of how good the app is and the overall service of the staff involved, I’ve only ever had 2 issues with echo and they got solved efficiently and professionally.

One of my first issues was around my third month and my GP was taking a while to accept my request. I got a little worried but waited patiently. When I had 6 days worth of tablets left, I contacted echo support through the app to query if they knew a reason why they hadn’t accepted. I was told to wait the standard 24 hours for a reply but the average response is 2 hours. I had a response on the same day, letting me know that they were looking into the issue. No exaggeration here, just as I finished typing my reply of ‘Thank you’ I had the ping of notification to let me know that my GP had approved the order and I was ready to pay! I was honestly gobsmacked. I was like ‘Wow, this team is impressive’. And I honestly was impressed that they managed to somehow contact my GP and get the approval so quick. A* service.

My second ‘issue’ was at the start of this week. My GP accepted fine this time, however my app was stuck on the final step, waiting to be dispatched. This is usually a few hours or a day after payment but it had been about 5 days so I was a tad worried (I request my medication early in order to ensure I get it on time.) I just sent a query again on the apps chat function just to query the delay in dispatch. I had a response straight away with an apology and a instant notification of dispatch that day. Honestly, what better service could you ask for?!

This post isn’t sponsored whatsoever. After yesterday, I’m just honestly so impressed with the app that I wanted to talk about it and let people know! This app deals with any prescriptions, including paracetamol and allergy tablets (that I believe people should get in supermarkets anyway but..) so honestly no matter your medication, this app can sort it for you. Until I need to actually see my GP, I’m using echo and staying at home!

Who doesn’t want to stay at home and avoid the doctors?

Lots of love x

Anxiety

Anxiety

I feel like this word, as well as ‘mental health’, instills a deep fear into people as soon as they read it. I hope that one day this will change but deep inside me I don’t believe that it will. I’m still too scared to tell certain people around me that I suffer from anxiety. Some people I don’t tell because they won’t care, everyone seems to be on anti depressants lately. What makes me so special? Others I don’t tell because I’m scared they’ll care too much.

The main part of my anxiety is worrying. Yet funnily enough, I don’t tell people so that they don’t worry about me. Funny, huh? 

I’ve struggled with anxiety for as long as I remember, although it was only early this year that it got too much for me and I was encouraged to seek help. Since I was young I have memories of my anxiety. Silly little worries always plaguing the back of my mind that shouldn’t be there. My dad is exactly the same in this way. He’ll overtake a car at 8am, and come 6pm he’ll still be panicking about whether it was the right thing to do and if it was safe. It’s safe to say I am almost his twin. I’m that person who can talk to someone and utter a phrase wrong, and days later that scenario is still spinning round in my mind, haunting me and taunting at me. Telling me how I should have acted and what I could have done differently. This has been constant.

I never saw it as a problem. You know, everyone worries don’t they? It was just this year where it hit me that maybe it was a bit more than normal worries. I was trying to do a degree in education studies to become a teacher, but the workload was stressing me out so I had to drop out. In the phases of this I was volunteering at my local infant school, but I only managed a few weeks before I had to stop. And I did this in a cowardly way too. My brain kept telling me that I wasn’t doing well enough, that nobody liked me at the school etc. I also had stupid worries about whether I would be late or whether there would be a car parking space by the time I got there. These seem like such pathetic little worries which you probably read and go, ‘okay no parking, go somewhere else’ because that is the easiest solution. But my brain doesn’t let me see it that way. It got too much and I was freaking out on the Friday when I was due at the school on the Monday, so I had to drop out of this too.

It’s around this time my boyfriend encouraged me to go see a doctor. This was probably the best decision I’ve made in my life. I walked into that doctor’s room and I just burst into tears as soon as he asked how I was. The poor doctor didn’t even know the reason I had made an appointment, and the poor guy had to deal with me crying as soon as I walked in!

Now I’m not saying anti depressant’s and seeing someone is the miracle cure. Because it isn’t. I still struggle. I still have days that my brain refuses to let me leave my house. But for the majority of my days, my worries are clouded. They are in the back of my brain being muffled. The volume is on mute. But I can achieve goals now.

For example, today I went for an interview! Again, you’re probably thinking ‘that’s nothing’, which I understand. But my god with the brain that I have it took some work. For some reason my brain couldn’t comprehend that when I applied for jobs, that I’d have to go to interviews?! Who knew?

Now I still panicked. I still freaked out the initial phone call to arrange it. I still considered cancelling the whole time I was getting ready. I still worried about whether I would find my way there or whether there was parking whilst I was driving there.

But I did it.

And to me, that’s an achievement. And I’m proud of myself today. Today, for one little day, I beat my anxiety.

This blog post had no actual point. I started with an aim to discuss mental health and ended on a ramble about myself, oh well. But as a sign off point, you’re not alone. There are doctors, there’s family, there are friends. God, there’s even strangers. The best talks and advice that I have received when I’ve been at my lowest have been strangers who follow me on twitter.

The point? Reach out. Email me if you want, I’m always free believe me.

Thank you,

Charlotte x