Test Strips Really Do Reproduce!

Test Strip Graveyard
The other day I was sweeping the floors and made a discovery that shocked me. There had been one test strip laying on the floor outside of our downstairs bathroom. I have swept around it for weeks. My son left in January and diabetes trash has served to be small reminders of him.
Yes, this shows a small bit of my psychosis. I am an empty-nester who still has issues. I read about it online the other day. It basically said I was crazy and trash is trash but I am not alone in my insanity. I still have part of a cartridge sitting in my car because…well its something my youngest son used. Under normal circumstances, it would have long been thrown away and I would have yelled at him for leaving his junk in my car.  He moved away and suddenly this stuff is a treasured possession. Yes, I definitely have issues.
I have not left his room as a shrine (another thing noted in this article on empty nest syndrome). He actually complained the last time he was here because the bed in his room now has a shiny duvet cover that he did not feel was manly. His brother’s bed covering is much more neutral.  I talk to both of my sons on a regular basis.  They are still a big part of my life but still  I do smile now when I come across a test strip…until the other day. On that day I got a little creeped out!
As I have admitted, I will sweep around one test strip. I will leave a dead soldier on the floor of his room and smile as I walk by it to feed the fish.  I am not a hoarder nor am I into dirt and garbage piling up.  Subtle reminders in places that ideally only I see are fine but let’s not go overboard (see no white jackets required at the moment!).  The other day, as I moved my Swifter throughout the small bit of floor space on our lower level, I was surprised to see that the one test strip that I had been watching now had a friend. There were two test strips that had somehow found their way out of a garbage can and onto our floor. This was not good. I put them in a spot together and knew that they would have to be returned to the trash that day.
I continued to clean and tidy but was again surprised to find test strip number three! Okay, I have admitted to not picking up ONE test strip but honestly I do not keep a bunch garbage around “just because” it reminds me of one child.  There is a limit even for me so how did I end up with three used test strips on my downstairs floor? I have not had anyone in the house testing their blood in over six weeks. I honestly clean my house and my floors on a regular basis. There is no way for me to now have THREE test strips in one small area.
There was only one reasonable answer.  Test strips, like dust bunnies really do reproduce! If only we could get the unused ones to do this, a lot of people would be able to test a lot more for a lot less money!
The test strips have all been moved to the garbage can.  The question remains however…will they really stay there this time?

Why my wallet is red

As the mother of a child with diabetes, I spend WAY too much time at the pharmacy. I do not rely on shipments of supplies once every three months but I am seriously thinking that I have to re-examine the way I do buy supplies. I have been spoiled for a long time. I have been using one pharmacy for ten years. I used to jokingly say that with the amount of money I spend in there in a month, I probably cover the cost of at least one person’s wages.

You may have noticed through different posts, that we have moved over the summer. My amazing relationship with my favorite pharmacy has had to come to an end and I am now in quest of a new and at least civil relationship with a new group.

My first experience with the nearest pharmacy left me crying to my one of my former pharmacists begging for their help to find a better place to go. The new people were not nearly as helpful and their service had been poor. Of course my pharmacist friend came through for me but with moving and summer being insane, I have not yet had a chance to try out her recommendation.

In the meantime, I am still going to the pharmacy just down the road. The biggest shock to my system is the cost. In our old pharmacy, because they knew me and had an understanding with the insurance company that my son’s father used, I walked in, ordered what I wanted, waited five minutes on a busy day, was given our supplies and I walked out of the door without being out of pocket anything. Don’t get me wrong, I knew that in a new city this would not be the case. The insurance company does not have this agreement with all pharmacies. It simply applied to a few in the area where my son’s father worked. That makes sense but also means that now I have to pay all of his supplies out of pocket and then wait for my son’s father to pay me for the supplies. Visa is loving the new system but I am hating it.

It does however give me a new appreciation of things. I physically feel the pain of the uninsured each time I pass that card across the counter and they say “That will be $300.” That is only enough insulin and test strips to last two weeks (I hope). The thought of that doubled was more than what I had been paying for rent on my old house each month! How do people do it? No wonder my wallet is red…its bleeding in the pain of all of the money disappearing from it.  How will my son cope and test as often as he should when he is on his own? He has to get a job with great insurance coverage. Being a child with Type 1 diabetes he has absolutely no choice. That scares me beyond belief. He will have a pump until he is 25 (as long as he stays in this province) but he won’t be able to afford to test. Holy moly!

I have learned that if I am going to survive waiting for the money to come in from my ex-husband to cover the supplies I buy, I have to be much more organized and not stock-pile as much as we once did. Well, unless I stockpile in a monthly purchase! Seriously, I am most likely going to have to send him the receipts on a regular basis (the pharmacy did offer an alternative but I don’t know if he will go for that one or not). To reduce my own debt load while waiting to be paid, it makes more sense for me to learn how many test strips, etc he uses in a month and going in and buying the works at one time. That will be so difficult–being organized and living with diabetes? Can people really do this?

As I have said before, I am easily distracted and in the pharmacy is no different. While waiting for them to bleed my wallet once again I saw it! I have been drooling over the ads and wondering what it would be like to use for months. I have tried to see if I could find a way to get a free one considering how many test strips we use but no way. I saw the price tag and my drool dried up as I thought…that is a box of strips Bud!

What was torturing me so? The new USB Contour. I am a meter junky. I have to try them all. I have yet to find one that I truly love. I have passed the addiction on to my son. If he had been there he would have been begging me to get it. When we spend over $500 on test strips each month, I really can’t justify another $100 for a meter just to see if we like it. My son does love his Contour—the regular one that is. Personally I am not that fussy over it but I do most of my testing at night so my scale is different that his. Oh well, I will keep dreaming and wait until the decide to give them to those of us who use so many strips.

In the meantime, I will just try to black out the pain my wallet keeps feeling each time I walk through those lovely pharmacy doors and pretend that my wallet is only red because I love the color.

They are stalking me

Its been a week but I think I am done the bulk of the unpacking and junking.  Trying to keep an office in order, make that two offices, and find space for everything in a home that already has everything has been a challenge but we are winning.

Today I finally found my way to Liam’s bed.  The room is not as complete as I would like.  There are many added touches to be made over the summer that will make it his.  All of the supplies have found a new home…and my heavens he does have a lot of supplies! I found all sorts of meter cases and lancets (although not all had meters to go with them).

The most amazing thing for me to unpack was his old toys.  My son has reached an age where he is no longer as into his Lego, Connects or other “kids’ stuff”.  He likes his video games, quad and a variety of other more mature “teen” things now.  He decided to bring his kids toys with him so that he could sell them.  We had a huge tote of Lego and another filled with Connects.  Yesterday I began going through things and putting the toys in bags to sell in a garage sale at a later date.  As I grabbed handfuls of Lego I found handfuls of test strips.  I had already cleaned out this box! How did they get back there? I grabbed another handful…this time it was a dead insulin cartridge. Later it was a carb count listing from a school lunch! You can see you my afternoon progressed. 
I persevered and left a pile off to the side of garbage and wayward items.  Imagine my shock however when in that wayward pile was a Medic Alert bracelet belonging to my son who happens to be about 900km away?? I hope he is wearing something but I guess it will soon be time to break down and by him a good necklace to wear before school…or more travel.
The joys of teen boys!