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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Four test strips

So we switched insurance companies at my work, easy right?  Wrong. Little does the general public know (people who are healthy and have a pancreas that isn't on a permanent vacation) that insurance companies are constantly dictating which brand of insulin we can take, which brand on glucose test strips we can use and which brand of insulin pump we can use.

I personally think this is the biggest crock of shit.  Why in the hell does an insurance company even have the power to override what my DOCTOR says I should do and use to treat my, MY, Diabetes?
Granted most of the time Novolog and Humalog (or Lantus and Levemir) work very closely to the same, but for some people one works better vs the other.  Yes, you can fight to get it covered but when you do get it covered they charge you a much higher copay, a copay that is sometimes to high for the patient to pay because the cost of managing Diabetes is so very expensive.  Also a lot of glucose test strips are the same or close to the same but some of them are not as accurate as others.  Insurance companies just don't care, if your brand is not on their preferred list they will charge you a much higher copay, if you win the battle to even get them covered.  The same is even true for type 2 Diabetics, the insurance companies will only cover certain brands of drugs for them as well and a lot of them work so differently sometimes the drug a person really needs isnt covered so they pay twice as much to take it.

So I switched to Novolog earlier in the year because of the prescription copay savings program that Novo Nordisk offers and now I have to switch test strip brands.  Awesome.  7 years using Bayer test strips, seven, and now I have to switch to One Touch.  Seems easy enough right?  I actually don't have that big of a hang up switching.  Now I once again get to ask my Endo and his awesome nurse to do all the stupid leg work of getting me more than the piddly 150 strips a month that now it seems is the insurance companies standard amount to allow their Diabetic patients.

I have a serious problem with 150 per month. Serious. That is 150x12months=1800 per year divided by 52 weeks a year=34 strips per week divided by 7 days a week=4.95 strips=really 4 strips a day.  FOUR FREAKING STRIPS A DAY!  FOUR!

FOUR?!

CAN I SCREAM it any louder FOUR STRIPS A DAY!  WTH is wrong with insurance companies. AHHHHH I HATE THIS STANDARD!!!!

Ok sorry, it just really really pisses me off and no I wont be kind or polite about it. To adequately  manage TYPE ONE DIABETES you need to test before each meal, two hours afterward and before bed and sometimes in the middle of the night if you are not on a glucose sensor.

Does that equal FOUR?! NO!  That is SEVEN.  7x7days a week=49 times 52 weeks a year=2,548 strips divided by 12 months=212 per month.  WE have got to have at LEAST 212 a month and since they are no 12 qty bottles that equals 250 or 225 per month.  I personally fight for 300 per month.  I go low, a lot, I test a lot. I want to live to see my child grow up, ok, I want to literally be able to SEE her grow up.  I need more than four freaking dumb ass test strips a day!  AND to top it I have to fight every freaking year to get this stupid prior authorization bull crap approved. EVERY YEAR!

MY DIABETES DIDN'T STOP BEING A PAIN IN MY ASS THIS YEAR!  Did they cure Diabetes recently?  So YEAH I still need the 300 strips a month this year like I did last year.  Yeah I am screaming at you, ALL insurance companies who makes us people with Diabetes go through this garbage!

I get asked a lot, why do you test so much, you must not be in good control, or the dreaded, YOUR DIABETES MUST BE BAD!  Again, WTH? No, to manage it better you need to test MORE not LESS!   Im sorry if your dumb ass doctor has you only checking once a day or once a week, you need a new doctor because they are definitely NOT treating your Diabetes adequately.  Do some research, join online support groups, you need to test MORE not LESS and you will find that out when you see how Diabetes should be treated.

Please general public GET THAT OUT OF YOUR HEAD!  STOP SAYING YOU MUST HAVE DIABETES REALLY BAD!  

YES I am entirely sick of hearing that terrible comment and I am tired of people making comments about the high sugar content of some sort of food putting me into a DIABETIC COMA.  Good grief.  That isn't even funny for one damn second because a Diabetic coma can kill me. 

Did you ask that Cancer patient you know if they had Cancer REALLY BAD?  Hell NO, all Cancer is bad all types of Diabetes are bad.  Its never good.  I know Cancer and Diabetes are totally different in their own ways I am just using that as perspective.

All chronic disease is bad, especially the kind you get stuck living with the rest of your life.  It is manageable but its hard and there is no perfect way to treat it and treating it is never perfect.  I cant just take a pill or a shot or a bolus of insulin and it will work perfectly every time.  No, every time is different.  Its never the same, Diabetes never stays the same it is always changing and always hard to manage.  Right now I am low and have no freaking idea why.  Its just the nature of Diabetes.  Its a bitch but I can live with it and I am sick and tired of all the bullshit associated with living with it.

Getting diagnosed with a disease I will battle my entire life is never good, do you want it? Do you want to live with a Disease that the general public feels entitled to comment on?  Even make fun of it?  Do you want people commenting on the food you are putting into your mouth or commenting on your weight or how hard is must be to manage?

Sorry for the ridiculously long blog post but I had a lot to say, as usual.  Next time someone says some horrible comment to me about my Diabetes I am going to stick up for myself and stop letting my feelings be walked all over.  Watch out.  My nice diabetic tank is on empty.  14 years of type 1 Diabetes and I am just totally done taking the general public's abuse of the disease I never ever get a break from nor can I stop worrying about it. If you don't want to hear the brutal truth about Diabetes don't comment on it or the way I live.  It's a bitch, pray to God you don't ever get it.  I pray to God for a cure daily, sometimes twice daily.

If you want to strike up a conversation about Diabetes do some research, ask me how I like my Dexcom CGM or how it works or how I like my tslim insulin pump or how being on an insulin pump has changed my life. 

Think first, speak second.

I am sticking up for all the people with Diabetes who are too afraid to speak up for themselves and even for myself when I am too afraid to speak up. 

If you live in my area of Sauk Valley Illinois go see CDE Callie McClain or Teresa Stout with CGH in Sterling, IL...THEY will treat your Diabetes adequately if your current doctor is a ding bat and wants you to test once a day or once a week.

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