Blue and organization!

Slacking on my Diabetes Month Photo-a-Day posts!

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I may not always wear blue on Fridays (I really try though!) but I always make sure I sport my “Cure Type 1 Diabetes” bracelet! Thanks JDRF!

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My pump supplies cubbie. Don’t worry, I just placed an order today!

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My test strips/extra Rxs/Random D stuff drawer. Anyone want to have a BG testing party?

Sadly, I don’t have a fun spot for my Dexcom supplies.  They just stay in their box in the bottom of my closet.  I feel I need a cute (blue) basket for them!

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TSA does not equal…

This Shit is Awesome!  However, my recent trip was pretty uneventful as far as TSA is concerned.  I was a little nervous about flying to New York this week since it’s been a while since I’ve flown with a pump.  And now that I’m more mature in my diabetes care in the “want to have a baby between now and the end of time” mindset, I wasn’t going to do anything to risk damaging my pump or CGM.  Because they are, after all, my diabetes care BFFs.  Previously when flying with a pump, I’d disconnect and send it through in my purse.  The interwebs told me not to do this and to request a pat-down (or “pre-flight massage” as one PWD put it).

Before my trip, I thought about using the TSA Cares program like Meri and her sons used, however by the time I actually really thought about it, it was less than 24 hours before my flight.  So rather than requesting a passenger support specialist, I simply called the hotline and asked them what to do.  I may or may not have pretended that I’ve never flown with a pump before.  The person on the hotline was very nice and she told me to just “Opt Out” and request a pat-down when I got to security.

So I did just that.  I told the agent that I had to have a pat-down due to my insulin pump.  She told me that I could go through the scanner, but I was firm and told her that I could not because it voided the warranty and since my pump was only a couple of months old, I did not want to risk it.  She said “no problem” and had me step aside while she called over another agent to give me my “massage”.  I stood there waiting for about 2-3 minutes until I was taken to a separate (although still public) area.  The agent brought my things over and asked me if this was OK our would I want a more private screening area.  I said it was fine and she began the process.  She asked me if I had any sensitive areas and I patted where my CGM sensor is (my thigh) and my pump site on my belly.  She began the pat-down, explaining to me what she was doing as she was doing it.  Then I had to rub my hands over my pump and CGM receiver and they were swabbed for explosive residue.  I was a little nervous waiting for the results of the swab, based on what happened to a fellow D-blogger, but all was good!  I was on my way to wait for my very delayed flight!

All-in-all it wasn’t the huge deal that I had built it up a lot in my head.  It probably cost me an extra 5 minutes in security, which, no big thing.  I think in the future I may try the Passenger Support Specialists, especially way down the line when we have a kid (or two).  The TSA agents I had at both RDU and LGA were courteous and respectful.  They both did try to convince me that it was OK to go through the machines, but I was nice in my response and they were nice back.  The agent in LGA even said “must be hard to deal with” in regards to traveling with diabetes.  I just said that it’s not a huge deal, especially when I have nice TSA agents like her.  Brown-noser.

The weekend with my friend was great!  We had a lot of fun relaxing and catching up – much different from when we would visit each other when we were younger.  The goal of those past trips was to eat all the food, drink all the drinks, repeat.  Now, we’re like, grownups or something.

Oh, and FYI, my average BG for the weekend was 145, according to my Dexcom!  Woohoo!

OK, not really, but better than a broken pump, I suppose!

OK, not really, but better than a broken pump, I suppose!

Rookie Mistake.

The other day I made a rookie diabetes mistake.  I woke up in the morning, checked my pump and realized I had 22 units left to last me until I got home from work.  My daytime basal rates vary from 1.0 to 1.275, so quick, just awake math…8 hours = 10ish units.  And, there’s no way I’ll bolus more than 8 units for lunch, since my average lunchtime bolus is about 5.5 – 6.0 units.  Breakfast is usually about 3-4 units, so, I’ll be just fine until I get home from work!

Mistake number one: A wise diabetic would’ve thrown a vial of insulin in her purse, along with a new cartridge and inset.  I never claimed to be wise.  

Off to work I go, excited for the D-girls gathering that evening and I notice that my morning numbers are running a little higher than normal.  I try to limit my rage boluses to when I’m 200+, instead I rock a temp basal.  So I set my temp basal at +50% for 90 minutes.  Mistake number two.  (Although, D-friends, it’s never a mistake to try to lower your blood sugar, amiright?)

Lunch time rolls around and I have my standard I’m-too-lazy-to-make-lunch Lean Cuisine.  Attempting to be healthy-ish, I had grabbed a banana to have along with it, rather than the Sunchips I have in my desk drawer.  My Ping tells me to bolus 7.55 units so I do because it is way better at math than me.

Literally as my bolus is being administered at warp-Animas-Speed, I remember that I’m low on insulin.  However, the Ping delivers it’s bolus in like, 0.00004 seconds so by the time I realized, it was too late.  Mistake number three – should have checked the amount of insulin I had in my pump before bolusing and deciding to eat that banana!

At this point I had 3 units left.  I thought about setting a temp basal of 60-70% so that even though I’d probably run a little high, it was better than getting no insulin at all.  However, I decided that this wasn’t that dire of a situation.  I work 20 minutes from home and I have a decent amount of sick time.  So, I figured I’d leave when I got down to 1 unit (to spare my coworkers the annoying “You’re out of Insulin!” song) and take a couple of hours of sick time.  I told my supervisor that I miscalculated my insulin in my pump and she, I think, thought death was imminent.  “Ohmygod, LEAVE!” was her reaction.  I told her I still had a couple hour’s worth of insulin in my pump and I’d leave when needed, which was about 2 hours later.

Rookie mistake(s).  Lessons learned – if you are borderline making it through the day, bring your supplies to work.  Better safe than sorry.  Check the amount of remaining units in your pump before deciding to eat the banana/bolus/set an increased temp basal.

And most importantly, don’t attempt to do math before having your coffee.

Not a week goes by….

… without fighting with my insurance company.

Warning: this post is rather venty and may contain some adult language.  Parental Guidance Suggested.

For the past few months I’ve been in one battle after another with my insurance and/or pharmacy benefits company.  Luckily, everything went smoothly with obtaining my insulin pump and CGM.  However, there have been a few headaches that I’ve had to deal with that are really starting to piss me off.  As if we PWDs don’t have enough to deal with, but insurance makes us jump through hoops (of fire, it seems) to get things done.

Test Strips – My blood sugar meter “talks” to my pump.  Yay, Animas!  It’s a One touch meter, not some fancy unique brand that no one has ever heard of.  Well, my strips cost $95/month.  I’ve reached my out-of-pocket max for this benefits year (a perk to making major cyborg-living purchases!) so since they are classified as Durable Medical Equipment, they should be covered 100% for the rest of my benefit year.  Of course they weren’t so I called and was told they aren’t the preferred brand so if I want them covered 100%, I need to switch meters.  Pisses me off.  My pump supplies (remember, my meter “talks” to my pump) are covered, no questions asked.  So, fine.  I’ll switch meters and only use my meter remote when I will need to bolus from it (wearing a dress).  Worth it to save $$ and not a huge deal since I bolus from my Ping 99.7% of the time anyway.  I call to order my new meter (Verio IQ) and they are back ordered/recalled/they don’t like me so they won’t send me one/something.  So, guess who is on her last pack of strips and has to order more at $95 for a month?  THIS GIRL.  I am tempted to call and argue that they should cover this month’s worth of strips since it’s not exactly my fault that I don’t have my new meter yet.  But, I really doubt I’ll win that fight and frankly, I’m tired and don’t even feel like putting forth the effort.
Insulin – Previously, I used Humalog.  Was always covered with no problems.  Well, my doc switched me to  Apidra.  However, when I first got back on pump therapy, my pharmacy didn’t have any Apidra in stock so I used a vial of Humalog that I had to get started.  Worked fabulously.  But, my Endo wanted me to try Apidra so once the vial of Humalog was empty, I switched to it.  I feel like I’m not reacting to it as well as I did with the Humalog, so I asked to be switched back to see if this is the case.  This is all within the last 6 months.  Endo says, no problem, writes me a script for a 90 day supply of Humalog.  I mail it in to my mail order pharmacy and now my pharmacy benefits people are saying it’s not covered.  Something about the “formulary changed”.  Oh, I can get it, I just have to pay out-of-pocket.  So now I have to use a sub-par (for me) insulin because some higher up in some office decided that they weren’t going to cover my insulin.   Granted, it’s not like my control with Apidra is all over the place (if it was I’d be sure to appeal!), but I wanted to see if I’d do better with Humalog, like I think I would.
Dealing with insurance shit makes me rage.  I don’t expect anything to be free, but I’d at least like reasonable options when it comes to my diabetes management.  $1200/year just to test my blood sugar is outrageous.  Telling me what insulin I can and cannot use??  What the French is up with that?!
I don’t often get diabetes burnout.  Sure I’ll have a day here or there where I’m temper-tantruming against the disease.  But, man.  Insurance company burnout?  I have that 24/7.  I just don’t understand why it has to be so hard to make dealing with diabetes or any other chronic illness just a little bit easier with maybe a few more choices so we can make the best decisions for ourselves to manage this disease that we live with every day.
Maybe some day, this will be me.
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You’re not the boss of me!

Argh.  I have a love/hate relationship with insurance.  Love it because w/out it, well, I’d be selling my kidney and firstborn to pay for my diabetes care.  However, that being said, even with insurance, diabetes is expensive, man.

One of the perks for buying my new pump and CGM early on in the year and all at once was that I have met my out-of-pocket max for the year.  Hello, 7 months of lower diabetes costs!  Woohoo!  I called my insurance company to see what exactly was now covered at 100% and was told “all diabetes supplies.”  I clarified with her, “So, pump supplies, CGM sensors, test strips, correct?”.  It was confirmed, yes, these things are covered.  Parrrrrrty!

Imagine my surprise when I went to the pharmacy today and I was asked to pay for my test strips.  Now, this isn’t a $20 co-pay, it’s close to $100 for a one month supply.  The young lady at the pharmacy assured me that they ran it through my insurance/prescription coverage so I paid and told her I’d take it up with them.

I called my insurance company first who connected me with the prescription folks and told me yes, my strips are covered at 100% if I use Accuchek.  I use OneTouch, and they are not covered at 100% under my plan and despite meeting my out-of-pocket expenses, I still have to pay the $100/month.  The way she made it sound was that Accuchek strips are covered 100% all the time, no matter if the out-of-pocket max has been met.

I told her this is ridiculous and she needs to give me the phone number of whomever I need to speak to regarding this.  I have left a voicemail and am looking forward to receiving a call back.  It just makes no sense to me that my pump supplies are covered yet the test strips for the meter that talks to my pump are not.  Does.not.compute.

It makes me pretty angry that some random person gets to decide what is covered and what is not and make decisions about MY medical care.

Wish me luck when dealing with the insurance company!

It’s a pager…it’s a cell phone…it’s a…camera?

Last night the Hubs and I were out purchasing me some golf clubs (Because, you know, I golf every weekend.  *Note – I’ve never been golfing, but it looks fun and I had a gift card.)  We were chatting with the sales dude and he notices my pump, which was clipped to the pocket of my jeans, facing out.  He asks, “Is that…ohhh, is that a camera?”.  I’ve heard pager and cell phone, but never a camera!  I just said, “Oh, no, it’s my insulin pump.”  He replies “Ohhhhh, looks like a camera!” Maybe he thought I was a super techy secret shopper? I responded “Nope, just my pancreas.”

The Hubs said I made the guy feel bad, but I was just trying to be my sarcastic self.  How do you respond when people ask you what your pump is or mistake it for something else?