Over the holidays, my boys and I were sitting at our kitchen table enjoying an after supper conversation. My youngest son happened to look at a drug store receipt on the table and said “$160 for a month of test strips? That’s crazy!”
I quickly explained that sadly that did not cover a month’s worth of testing. I also reminded him that there was still the cost of insulin and pump supplies to add to that monthly diabetes care bill.
He was completely incensed. He was adamant that he would NOT be spending that kind of money on his diabetes care when he was older. This was insane by his calculation. No one should have to pay such crazy amounts to stay alive.
He decided that he would have to seriously cut down his testing when he was forced to cover his own supply costs. He informed me that when we went to diabetes events and he filled out cards, they always asked if he tested only a few times per week. He had to state that he was the child of an obsessive tester and tested closer to 10 times per day. My young son felt that these cards(geared to people with Type 2 diabetes) justified him not testing in his adult years.
I groaned and tried to explain to him that a lack of testing was not an option to consider. I had invested in a Disability Savings Plan for him and reminded him that it would give him some money towards his diabetes supplies when he was older. I also encouraged him to keep contributing and taking advantage of the free government money.
This did nothing to pacify him. He remained horrified at the cost of his care. He decided that it was the job of the government to cover his costs. If they did not pay for his supplies, he would die. It was simple.
I wish it was that simple. I wished that governments actually cared. His throught processes scare me at times. I pray that he does have good coverage when he gets older…and more importantly that he uses the tools available to him to keep himself healthy.
“Isn’t today the day that you need to change your site?”
“I don’t think so.”
“Let me see your pump. I am sure that you are due for a site change. If not today then you are overdue.”
Begrudgingly, my son handed me over his pump. The first thing I noticed was that his battery was stating that it was dying and almost dead. “You need to change your battery…like now. Its on its last legs and I was right! Your site change is today. Get the stuff out and get the site changed.”
My son grumbles and heads out of his room.
“What are you doing?”
“I need to get some insulin.”
“Holy cow, you are going for the full meal deal tonight! You have a dead battery, no insulin and a dead site!”
I”ts not a dead site. The site is fine.”
“Its due to be changed its a dead site. Time for a clean slate!”
Soon we had everything new but sadly he was still high during the night. Can’t win them all with Diabetes in the house!
Getting ready for a day on the snow…
Sled is on the trailer–check
Helmets are in the truck–check
Gloves are packed–check
Warm hats for under the helmets–check
Now for the pockets…
Cash just in case–check
Turned off the data so you don’t kill the battery searching for Internet–check
Syringe in case the pump dies–check
I was so busy filling my pockets with things that I did forget a scarf for my neck. Thankfully it wasn’t too cold so my coat and three shirts kept me warm.
And so we headed out for a day on the snow…with diabetes coming along for the ride of course!
This evening we have a guest who has Type 2 diabetes. He is very conscious of his diet and testing his blood but because of uncontrollable circumstances, his meter did not arrive at our house with the rest of his things.
I heard Larry tell him that he was sure my son could help him out. He knows that we have a number of spare diabetes supplies so finding an extra meter or lancet would most likely not prove difficult.
After overhearing the conversation going on the living room about supplies, I turned to my son and asked if he could help the gentleman out. He didn’t think that would be a problem. What type of meter did he want? I suggested he grab one of the meters that we rarely use so we didn’t mess up logging the wrong person’s readings.
My son then asked “What type of lancing device?”
I was sure it really didn’t matter.
“Well, there is one for the hand or the finger?”
The finger would be preferable.
“Hmm, well there is a bigger one or a smaller one?”
Oh my! I never knew there was such a variety! He calmly told me that there was. I told him that I would leave it in his capable hands. I just wanted a lancing device with new lancet, a meter, and some strips please.
|This is just the first few meters and lancets I found in his drawer!|
I have really come to believe that your pharmacy is the most underrated member of your diabetes team. We often take them for granted but live to complain when things don’t work out as smoothly. They hold all of the power. They can give you the devices you require or they can make you squirm until you get them.
We were exceptionally fortunate for the first 10 years that my son lived with diabetes. We had the best pharmacy around. They are a small pharmacy that gets to know their clients and always work to do the best by them.
They showed us new meters to try in the early years when I was having trouble finding the perfect fit for us. They helped with insurance forms and government paperwork to ensure that my son always had everything he needed. They became our friends. We spoke of our children. We offered help to each other when it was needed. They truly cared.
We now live in a larger area and go to a pharmacy that is not nearly as personal. One of the pharmacists from our old pharmacy offered to “hook me up” with a pharmacy in the general area but it is a bit out of the way so I have continued along with the place ten minutes down the road.
It has been a bit annoying having to go back to submitting my own slips each time to have the money reimbursed for my son’s supplies but that is what happens when you are no longer in a small community that knows your son’s insurance provider.
Yesterday brought me hurdling back in time to when we first moved here. Changes and a pharmacy that did not know us equated to a lot of trauma. Its been a year but I still won’t say that they know us yet. I still go to the pharmacy on a regular basis and spend an obscene amount of money on insulin and test strips. They are quite nice but its the bureaucracy that they seem to be swimming in that we did not have to experience before.
For example, last night, it was a Sunday and I figured a perfect night to get my son’s supplies reordered. Everyone else thought the same thing it would appear and the counter was very busy. I asked for AccuChek Mobile test strips. They didn’t have any. They didn’t know we, or anyone else, were using them and the woman who orders them hadn’t restocked. She questioned if my insurance would cover them. I said that they have always covered any strip we chose to use so I was not worried about these ones. She then state that I could get them the next day which was fine by me.
She went on to tell me that my son’s prescriptions had expired. They had been telling me this for the last three or four times I had gone in. Once again I explained that no, the prescriptions were all refilled by his doctor in April. They said that some of the prescriptions were refilled but the doctor had not specified that he needed insulin so it was not renewed.
Okay, they said that he needed pumps supplies, syringes and such but not insulin? According to the technician, they had missed the insulin and his prescription had expired. They would give me more but I had to contact his doctor and get this prescribed.
My nerves! I know I was terribly spoiled before. I know our old team was just too good to us. I understand that this is a larger center. I understand that I have made this choice because of convenience. I guess it could be worse but boy do I ever still miss the old pharmacy team. We will see how things go. I may have to take that longer drive to a different pharmacy yet.