THE PERILS OF LOUELLA:

Chapter 208: Louella Looks At Mexico

by A.C. Cherbonnier
       MYASTHENIA GRAVIS! Louella marvelled that her mother’s disease sounded so pretty. I’ve got to stop romanticizing things! Louella reminded herself. This is life and death, for crying out loud! It’s Mom! She gunned her Miata through a yellow light at University Parkway.
       If only Bill were able to help, she thought. Bill always knew what to do. But now that Bill was brain-damaged from their long-ago car accident, she hardly went to see him any more. She shrugged philosophically and pulled into her space in the condo garage. I’ll just go online, she thought. There’s got to be some way out of this $532 a month prescription thing! This can’t be for real—it’s just too mean!
       It had been a close call at her parents’ house, when her father had pressed her for the source of her mystery income. Instead of volunteering that she had a $32,500-a-year annuity from secretly winning the Lottery, Louella had let them believe she had a little income from the accident settlement.
       In the condo, she flipped open her laptop, logged on, and used Google to search on “prescriptions Mexico.” Bound to be cheaper there than Canada, she reasoned. She got 27,200 matches. You’re kidding me! She scrolled down the first page of hits, with promises of savings of 30% to 70%. Then, to compare, she tried “Canada” and “prescriptions” and found 84,200 matches.
       “Who would ever believe this?” she muttered out loud. “I mean, how do you know which one’s for real, and who the scams are?”
       She typed in the brand name of her mother’s medicine along with ‘prescriptions’ and ‘Canada’. No matches. Uh oh. Wrong name. They call it something else. Maybe they don’t have it.
       Louella felt a little guilty. Maybe I’m going to compromise Mom’s health by looking around to save money. Maybe a substitute won’t help her as much. I mean, it would hurt to have to pay for it, but I could do it. But it doesn’t seem right it should fall on just me. I mean, Candy could kick in some, and so could Mason.
       The cell phone shrilled. Louella picked up. “Eleanor Preston,” she said.
       “Would you please cut it out with that fake Wasp name, Louella?” snapped her father. “I was wonderin’ if you’d figured anything out.”
       “Not yet, Dad. I only just got home. I’m checking on the Internet, getting some ideas.”
       “Well, your mom and I have talked it over and looked at what we’ve got, and we think we can maybe put a couple hundred a month into medicine, but we don’t see how we can do any more and live—”
       Louella’s heart sunk. It’s going to be on me. I’m it. “Look, Dad, I know it’s tough. We’ll figure something out.”
       “Well, yeah, you do that, girl. All that education you got, if anybody can do it, you can.”
       “Thanks, Dad.” Damn! Wish I’d moved to Tampa when I got out of college when I had the chance, she thought. Candy would have had to hold the bag. “You know, I might just have to go Mexico, Dad. I think I could pull something off if I did that.”

— TO BE CONTINUED? —

 


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This story was published on June 27, 2001.